With seven existing trails running about six kilometres, the local trails system is still in development, but promises to be one of the City’s top tourism draws, according to the Cold Lake Bike Park and Trails Society.
The society, formed last spring, now has seven members, and Don Harris and Ed Machtmes updated City Council on progress on the project during its Tuesday, September 8 meeting.
To date, nearly 900 volunteer hours have been invested in the construction of the trails. That doesn’t include time spent on regular trail maintenance and inspection.
“I can’t emphasize enough how are volunteers and the community have stepped up,” Matchmes added. “We have saved tens of thousands of dollars from people that would just come up out of the blue. We post on social media that we need either people or materials or what have you, and it just shows up. It’s just amazing.”
Harris explained the plan is to complete more trails this fall, which will enable the society to host a pair of events next summer – the Alberta Youth Summer Games qualifier, and a Trailblazer’s race, which he said usually draws a high number of competitors.
The trails are averaging between 40 and 60 visitors a day, and even more on weekends. Harris noted that cross country users and snow shoers. New QR scan signs have also been implemented to help keep track of the number of users. Harris noted there isn’t another bike park for 350 km, which he said has led people to come from as far as Lac La Biche and North Battleford, Saskatchewan.