Indian Lake Co Park--Possible MTB Trail?


September 16, 2013, 09:21 AM

Hello CORP,

I had a brief meeting with Chris James, Dane County Parks planning, last week.  He is still very supportive of Seminole MTB Trail (Dawley Park) and he indicated that there are no problems with moving forward. 

He brought up ANOTHER opportunity that we may want to consider.  He is developing the five year plan for Indian Lake County Park.  It is one of the largest parks in Dane County, located in the northwest corner of Dane County in the Town of Berry. http://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/indian_lake.aspx   Chris felt this would be a great location for a MTB trail.  I have not visited the park yet, so I have no idea on terrain.  Chris has conducted one public information meeting and was concerned that no one had suggested MTB trails as an option.  I contacted Nelson to see if he had a CORP member that could be the champion for this new trail project.  He did not have an immediate candidate, so here is a cry for VOLUNTEERS.

This is not a big commitment or investment.  We just need a point of contact to shepherd the project and interact with Dane County and the local Friends group.  This will take a long time to gain approval.  Trail building is far on the horizon.  However, if we do not officially pursue this now, we may lose it.  I suggest that anyone really interested in having a new trail in their backyard contact Nelson and get knighted. 

Bruce

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« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 09:22 AM by brucelindsay »

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nor
Assistant Trail Steward - Cross Plains

September 16, 2013, 09:51 AM

I tried pursuing this park a few years ago.  I asked for help from the club getting a meeting with the county and heard nothing but crickets.  I also talked with Chris and he made it seem that Indian lake was not going to see bike trails.  I am glad you were able to get some discussion about this park with the county. 

Indian lake has great potential, assuming we can keep the bird people happy.  Bikes were banned there a while back, it would be great to ride there.  I will provide assistance.   Let me know whats needed.


~ crushing it


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Nelson
Former Club President
I ride bikes

September 16, 2013, 10:00 AM

I'd say the CORP will be all-in trying to expand our riding options. Really what we need is the individual to champion for each new trail.  This would be a great way to see the political process involved in creating these riding opportunities.  Heck maybe even the guy who chimed in a month or two ago about how lame CORP was is ready to stand up and work for this effort?


~ i like social d


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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

September 16, 2013, 10:33 AM

I'll second what Ron is saying about the site because the park is considered in the GNT, County and DNR corridor planning. I go there with my kids' school and scout events and work with skiers who are involved in the property. Several with what I'll call ownership there are not fans of mountain bikers.

Yeah about help. The GNT meetings have had Chris, county people, area communities and DNR present. Some were explicit saying what they really need to make a new place is somebody like a few CORP people they already know if not one of them to step up. They need to know one or a few people will be putting in a lot of time.

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TheMayor1
Trail Steward - CamRock
Trail Steward
608-772-7833

September 16, 2013, 11:47 AM

I will also say I was surprised when I saw this post. I have also had discussions with Chris at DCP with comments that it did not look probable for mountain biking there. Probably from my discussions with you Ron. Bikes got a bad name years ago (decades) and were not looked at favorably.

That being said, things change. Local stalwarts involved in important decisions change. Heck Dane County Parks attitude of us as a fringe group only concerned with our interests has changed over the years to that of a partner. And if there is ever a time to get involved it is during the Master Planning process. They will look to this for decades when making decisions about the park. It is a fantastic property with a ton of potential. If we are not involved now we won't be for a long time to come.

So is there someone that is willing to step up? There is a ton of support, me included, if someone is willing to do so. But it has to be someone willing to take it on as the point person and the cause they are working on.


~ Chuck Hutchens


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Bin
aka Ben

September 16, 2013, 01:23 PM

That park is beautiful and has a good amount of elevation change for some fun stuff.

Can anyone give a rough estimate of what kind of time commitment the point person could expect?   

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TheMayor1
Trail Steward - CamRock
Trail Steward
608-772-7833

September 16, 2013, 01:44 PM

As a Trail Steward I have some experience here, though every situation is different. It is really a "do what it takes" kind of position. Weeks may go by with nothing. Then it takes a lot at once. There will eventually be long and boring meetings to sit through. Being a new potential park the nice thing is you can grow into it, and rely on experience from some of us who have been around for assistance.
I would think for now it is a matter of getting familiar with the Master Planning concept. The one for CamRock would be pertinent here as both are COunty Parks. It is on-line. I would love to sit down over a beer and go over what it takes, key players at DCP, etc. Also learning what the timeframes are (prolly years). And getting to know the existing strong Friends group. It will be key to get them on board or this will not happen. Also learn if there are neighbors or others affected that will need to become supporters.


~ Chuck Hutchens


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September 19, 2013, 07:32 PM

I was excited and confused when I saw this thread because I have always thought Indian Lake would offer great terrain for trails, but have talked to Chris in the past and he has always said it would be unlikely.  I called him today to see what may have changed and unfortunately nothing has.  Apparently a miscommunication between he and Bruce.  Chris was actually hoping to include mountain bike trails at the newly developing Lussier county park between Lodi and Sauk City (at Fish and Crystal Lakes). Sadly as of today that appears to be off the table as well....at least for a while.  He was working on the report and learned that a stipulation in the land donation excludes Biking, snowmobiles and ATV's.  Once again we get lumped in as destroyers rather than the silent sport that I believe we really are.  Rest assured this exclusion is not Chris' viewpoint or doing.  He is very supportive of us...All the fine work at Camrock and going on at Seminole is very positive in his eyes.  There does remain some hope for Lussier in the future with some more land acquisition possible.  Another area he suggests is some county owned land off of highway 12 at Ballweg Road.  It's on the north side of Springfield hill.  Chris feels it may be large enough and offer some potential for trail building but wants us to reach out to him in support.  I think numbers speak and the more we lobby him the more he can show his fellow County decision makers that we need to find additional places to build.  I will try to stop and take a hike around the property next week...I drive past it daily.  In the meantime...please try to encourage Chris that we are on board to try and build trails on additional county lands.  He said it would be fine for me to post his contact info here. 

Chris James
 Dane County Parks Planner
608-224-3763
james@countyofdane.com

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September 20, 2013, 08:17 AM

This Dane County Parks property (Springfield Hill) off Ballweg Rd is about 10 minutes drive out of Middleton right off hwy 12 (very close to Madison).  I know this site well and it has the right topography, but it has a new section of the Ice Age trail running through it... perhaps a limiting factor.  If the time comes to look at this property, I could assist with navigation out there.  If DCP buys an adjacent property this site would have major potential.  I am so happy to see DCP leading the way, such a great team of people.

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