Mountain bikers may soon climb the Knapp hills - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Mountain bikers may soon climb the Knapp hills


KNAPP, Wis. (WQOW) - We're not known for our mountains, but a new project in the works could attract mountain bikers.  Two organizers want to partner with the Menomonie School District to design, build and maintain a trail system for mountain bikers - at no cost to the school district.

The hills are alive, with the sound of ...bicycles? Well, they may be soon.

"We have lots of flat area but the hills are very seldom used. Mountain bikers have the word mountain in their name, so they love the hills," says Bill Dingwall, the School Forest Coordinator for the Menomonie School District.

Two area mountain bike organizations, MAMBA (Menomonie Area Mountain Bike Association) and CORBA (Chippewa Valley Off Road Bicycle Association), have proposed to design, build and maintain mountain bike trails in the Knapp hills.

"They are looking to put in four to five miles of trail in a sustainable manner, single track that will hit the elevation contours back there on the hills. Any work, any maintenance, any fees, any construction will be through MAMBA," Dingwall says.

"Part of our mission is to promote the building of more trails systems and get more people out to ride. The more bike trails we have available, the more people we'll get to come into the community," says Dan Deetz, the CORBA president.

The hills are part of a 445 acre environmental site, which is owned by the Menomonie School District.

"Behind us, we have one of the hills out there, kind of representative of what would be out there for the bike trails. There is a 300 feet elevation change from the base to the top," Dingwall says.

"It'll have a different flavor to it. There will be the challenge of more climbs but if a trail is built correctly, it should be able to be ridden by a wide variety of users," Deetz says.

The trails will be very similar to those at Eau Claire's Lowes Creek Park, which are maintained by the same groups that are making this proposal.

The Menomonie School District could vote on the proposal at its next meeting. If it is approved, portions of the trails may be open as early as next summer.

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