Hike it, bike it, or strap on some snowshoes

• Homer Cycling Club works to create a multi-use trail at Diamond Creek

By Sean Pearson
Homer Tribune
In a world increasingly driven by reusing, recycling and multi-purposing, the Homer Cycling Club is right on task with their work to create a sustainable, year-round, multi-use trail system in the Diamond Creek Recreation Area.
Cycle Logical owner and biking enthusiast Derek Reynolds was joined by 12 like-minded friends on Sunday as they spent a little sweat equity forging their way through downfall and brush along the Diamond Creek Trail.

Photo by Catriona Lowe - Bikers use hand tools to cut thick brush in the trail. The group has already logged more than 150 volunteer hours.

Photo by Catriona Lowe -
Bikers use hand tools to cut thick brush in the trail. The group has already logged more than 150 volunteer hours.

“In an agreement with Alaska State Parks, who owns the land, we (HCC) are working on a three-quarter-mile long demonstration trail,” explained Reynolds. “It’s a trail being built by bikers for bikes, but with intention to share with other user groups, as well.”
The group split into two teams, each working from one end of the trail to the middle, brushing out with chainsaws and working the dirt with McClouds, Pulaskis and rakes. Reynolds said it was the third public work party, following two clearing efforts in July.
“Each time, we’ve made great progress,” Reynolds said. “As it stands presently, the trail is absolutely hike-able, somewhat run-able and not quite bike-able.”
He said the trail-clearing teams have already logged more than 150 volunteer hours, and encourages people to check it out, as any traffic on the path will help to establish it.
Recent work to remove spruce bark beetle-killed trees at the Diamond Creek area created an excellent opportunity for the development of a sustainable, year-round trail system for enjoyment by diverse user groups including mountain bikers, runners, hikers, classic Nordic skiers, showshoers and fat-tire bikers.
Soft-surface, narrow trails sustainably built for this combination of user groups are notably lacking on the southern Kenai Peninsula, but are reportedly in great demand.
Reynolds said the demonstration trail currently under construction is meant to not only serve as an experiment and example of what trails in this area will look like, but also indicate the intent and commitment HCC has to work toward the development of a much larger recreational trail system.
“Should we gain final approval from Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, we will pursue grants and further community involvement to establish approximately eight miles of single-track trails, signage, parking and a restroom,” he said. “We expect this project to span up to a decade, but hope it gains momentum with an overflow of public support.”
Multi-use trails are best for bikers and runners in non-snow season and fat-bikers and snowshoers in snow-season. They are not appropriate for use with horses until the trails are well-established, and can withstand the impact of deep hoof prints and copious amounts of horse manure.

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Posted by on Aug 7th, 2013 and filed under Outdoors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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