Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Minnesota Builds Mountain Bike Trail for Disabled Cyclists at Backcountry.com: The Goat

Minnesota's first mountain bike trail accessible to disabled people on three-wheeled hand cycles will be built later this year at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove.

Advocates for the trail expect it to be an especially popular recreation outlet for injured veterans.

"I look around and see our veterans coming back with missing arms and legs, and these guys don't want to be handicapped, they don't want to stop doing things with their kids -- why not give them an opportunity?" said Tim Wegner of Rosemount, an off-road cyclist and professional trail builder.

If hand cyclists respond with enthusiasm, other dirt trails could be widened for accessible use, too, he said.

The accessible trail will be a 1- to 2-mile loop in a 12-mile dirt trail that the Three Rivers Park District plans to begin building this fall and open June 2011.

The $305,000 trail will be built with $90,000 from the state's Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program and $50,000 from the Federal Recreational Trail Program.