Group working to bring bike park and new trails to Idaho Falls
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IDAHO FALLS – Volunteer groups are spearheading efforts to build a new multifaceted bike trail in Idaho Falls.
The Ryder Park Bike Trail is being developed in a 1-mile area south of the Sunnyside bridge. From the bridge, it will extend west to Ryder Park and north to Snake River Landing before it reconnects with the Riverwalk bike path along Broadway. Eventually the trail will include multiple paths of varying difficulties.
Local rider Gray Augustus is involved in the construction of the Ryder Park Bike Trail. He tells EastIdahoNews.com there’s been a big push for several years to have a space in town where riders can go for a jaunt on short notice.
“We didn’t have a place in the area where people could do that,” Augustus says. “We looked at different spots. There was already a lot of natural trail down in the Ryder Park area. I brought it up with the city and nobody really understood how much ground is there between the walkway and the river. It’s a little bit of a forgotten area.”
The city approved the idea earlier this year. Augustus and other volunteers kicked off the project in May with a build night. During the build night, members of the community began clearing out three trail paths south of the Sunnyside bridge.
The project will be completed in three phases over the next two years.
The first phase is a beginner trail, which is expected to be complete by the end of August. A more advanced trail with obstacle courses, is slated for completion in June 2019. The third and final phase will include a jump park with a southward extension of these trails. Augustus says they are hoping to have this phase completed by May 2020.
“You can ride the trails as they develop. After a build night, we make sure it’s completely rideable before we leave,” Augustus says.
Build nights are held every Tuesday during the summer at 6 p.m. Anyone is welcome to get involved in building the trail during this time.
Augustus says the cost of completing phase one and two is between $2,000 and $3,000. Most of that cost comes from equipment needed to haul dirt, which has all been donated up to this point. The completion of the jump park for phase three is outside the scope of volunteers, he says. It will require the expertise of an engineer and cost between $30,000 and $40,000.
Idaho Falls Recreation Superintendent PJ Holm says there currently are no city funds allocated for phase three. But he says people can show their support for this project by using the trails.
“Allowing our elected officials to see the trails being utilized will let them know it’s necessary and important to the community. This will help us in getting funding and the backing to progress and continue to build on our trail system,” says Holm.
Another bike trail is in the works for Iona. Augustus says work will begin on the Iona bike trail next spring on Panorama Hill off Iona Road. It is slated for completion in December of 2019.