IDAHO FALLS – A new bike park will be unveiled in Idaho Falls this weekend.
Idaho Mountain Trading will officially open the Gem Lake Bike Park at 2761 West 49th South this Saturday, Sept. 17 during a social at 5 p.m.
Developing the 25-acre property into a bike park has been a joint effort between the Snake River Trail Alliance, the city of Idaho Falls and the Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization. Dan Bonney is a member of the trail alliance and he tells EastIdahoNews.com it will eventually have a series of intersecting trails “to promote skill building for mountain bikers.”
“What we have established right now is a one-mile perimeter trail,” Bonney says. “Think of it like a dirt greenbelt. It goes around the perimeter of the 25 acres. We’ve got two trails under construction that are going to be for intermediate or advanced riders. The goal with the perimeter trail is to be more (for beginners).”
The city-owned property was previously used as a gravel pit.
Snake River Trail Alliance President Davin Napier began the initial discussion about converting it into a bike park about two years ago. He’s an avid mountain biker and wanted a place in town where other bikers could go after work to get a quick ride in.
“We hope that as we build this bike park, people can cruise a few laps and wind up having eight to 10 miles on their tires,” Napier says in a news release.
The topography at this location is what Bonney says made it an appealing spot for a bike park.
“From it highest point to its lowest point is about 80-90 feet of elevation,” Bonney explains.
The city signed off on the property last October, but construction didn’t begin until this spring. Though the three trails will be complete this fall, Bonney estimates at least another year before the park is complete.
Many volunteers have put a lot of time into making this happen and Teton Toyota has provided money for the project.
“We love when the City can partner with private organizations to provide more amenities and recreational opportunities for our residents,” Mayor Rebecca Casper says in a news release. “Promoting a healthy and active lifestyle through such events benefits our community as a whole and is something to really celebrate.”
Those interested in helping the Snake River Trail Alliance on the project can call Napier at (208) 523-6679.
The Bike Park Social is a free event open to the community. There will be live music, food trucks, drinks, free bike rides for the kids, raffle prizes (including a bike) and more. The social will last until 8:30 p.m.