Urban mountain bikers take heed: Rouge Park Trail being improved and expanded

In 2005, the Michigan Mountain Bike Association started work on a mountain bike trail at Rouge Park. "It's been a work in progress for a while," says Chris Frey, one of the trail's new coordinators along with Jason Friedmann. Now, with the help of members of the Conservation Leadership Corps, a program of the Student Conservation Association, the trail is getting improved and extended.

The Rouge Trail starts at the corner of Tireman and Outer Drive and follows the Rouge River to Joy Road for about 1 1/2 miles. The ultimate goal, explains Frey, is to have over 10 miles of trails that are "stacked" so that riders can do shorter or longer distances and choose easy, intermediate or advanced routes from within the system.

The SCA volunteers, who are also logging hours at the Greening of Detroit's Meyers Nursery, have the knowledge and ability to create retaining walls, clear brush and build trails. Frey hopes the program continues into the future, with the mountain biking association plotting new trails through the winter, and SCA building it next summer. "It's a perfect partnership," he says.

One of the things about the trail that excites volunteers like Frey is its unique urban location. "It's urban, yet still off the road," he says. "We want this to be a community trail appropriate for kids on BMX bikes and parents with kids ... but we also want to make it an attraction, a reason to go to Rouge Park."

Other partners on the Rouge Trail include the Friends of Rouge Park and the Friends of the Rouge River.

Source: Chris Frey, Rouge Trail
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

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