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Grand Falls-Windsor gears up for a mountain bike trail

More than 20 people from Grand Falls-Windsor, Botwood, Gander, Corner Brook and Stephenville participated in a mountain biking trail development session on Sept. 22. One of the things they did was practice trail planning. Delia Young (left) uses the inclinometer, with Jenelle Grandy assisting, to measure the slope of a section of trail.
More than 20 people from Grand Falls-Windsor, Botwood, Gander, Corner Brook and Stephenville participated in a mountain biking trail development session on Sept. 22. One of the things they did was practice trail planning. Delia Young (left) uses the inclinometer, with Jenelle Grandy assisting, to measure the slope of a section of trail. - Krysta Carroll

A representative from IMBA Canada provides hope for Central mountain bikers

Grand Falls-Windsor has no trails designed specifically for mountain bikers, but that’s about to change.

The International Mountain Bike Association Canada (IMBA) came to town Sept. 22 to offer a free mountain bike trail building course, uniting interested volunteers from across the province.

Justin Truelove, trails specialist and program co-ordinator at IMBA Canada, led the course.

He told The Central Voice there is certainly potential for mountain biking trails in the area, noting an existing snowshoe trail could accommodate biking.

 “The possibility and potential in the Grand Falls-Windsor area is fantastic; there's no reason why this mountain bike trail can’t be created and why it can't be a destination for people to come,” said Truelove.

His visit to Grand Falls-Windsor came about when the local mountain biking club reached out to IMBA Canada and the town council. The town then contacted IMBA Canada to host the course and assess local trails.

In the meantime, in 2017 the town received funding from provincial and federal governments to improve ski trails and build a five-kilometre mountain bike trail.

Although improvements have been made to the ski trails, members of the mountain bike club say the bike trail development is taking too long.

“As a club, we want to ensure that the town of Grand Falls-Windsor utilizes the grant money given to them to build a quality, sustainable mountain bike trail,” said club member Colin Clarkson.

Krista McKinnon marks a trail in Grand Falls-Windsor during a mountain bike trail building session with Justin Truelove of International Mountain Biking Association Canada (IMBA).
Krista McKinnon marks a trail in Grand Falls-Windsor during a mountain bike trail building session with Justin Truelove of International Mountain Biking Association Canada (IMBA).

Truelove will prepare a report from his visit to the town, offering suggestions on how to properly develop and improve the snowshoe trail to allow it to double as a mountain biking path.

Grand Falls-Windsor is not the only town in the central region that sees the potential in having good mountain biking trails.

Gander, Eastport and Glovertown also want to build trails.

“Our biggest concern has always been that we don't have any access to real mountain bike trails; we ride a lot on quad trails and dirt roads,” said Andrew Poole, a physical education teacher in Eastport.

 “It’s all about getting out on new trails and seeking new experiences; the more trails, the better,” added Rocky Strong, a member of the Gander mountain biking community.

A representative from the Town of Grand-Falls Windsor said a mountain biking trail would certainly add value, for both citizens and visitors.

“We would like to see people from around the province travelling to our community to make use of our trails,” said Keith Antle, director of Parks and Recreation for the town.

Once Truelove hands in his report, Antle said the town plans to work with the local mountain bike club to ensure the development of the trail.

Their goal is to have portions of the trail open to the public by next summer.

“It's one of our top priorities; bringing somebody from IMBA certainly shows that we’re very serious about developing this trail and very anxious to see the results,” said Antle.

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