Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Biking

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Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Biking

Postby jajones » November 26th, 2013, 9:18 am

All,

The time has come! The Waterloo Working Group, in conjunction with the International Mountain Biking Association, Michigan Mountain Biking Association, local business and government stakeholders and countless others are pleased to present you with a vision for mountain bike trails at Waterloo Recreation Area (see link in blue at the end of this document).

This vision is the end product of, literally, a 20+ year effort to create some accommodations for mountain bikers at Waterloo. As such, the Waterloo Working Group and its stakeholders wanted a plan done right. With this in mind, we engaged one of the most noted and progressive trail design consultants in the country - Spectrum Trail Designs. Spectrum has spend over 100 hours with Waterloo Working Group members "in the field" and also many more hours analyzing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Master Plan for Waterloo Recreation Area. The attached document, Waterloo Recreation Area - Initial Concepts for a Mountain Bike Trail Network, is the culmination of this work.

This document was formally presented to the MDNR Parks and Recreation Division for review last week. After their review, there will be public input sessions, and we'll need ALL Michigan mountain bikers to get behind this proposal. The Waterloo Working Group and its stakeholders are committed to the realization of this project and the benefits it holds for active outdoors enthusiasts in our State and beyond. However, our first step needs to be agreement on and approval of a trail system. Once this happens, we will work on formally organizing our resource base to realize the trail. However, it should be noted that resources are already aligning behind the project. While this fact excites us and bodes well for the project, we cannot formally engage these resources until a formal, approved plan is in place. With regard to this fact, we now await a response from the MDNR Parks and Recreation Division.

Regards,


/s/ Jason Aric Jones
Acting Chair, Waterloo Working Group
mtbwaterloo@outlook.com

Waterloo Recreation Area: Initial Concepts for a Mountain Bike Trail Network
Poto IMBA Potawatomi Trail Coordinator
Waterloo (MTB Trail System) Working Group, Acting Chair

Fat Bikes are Dumb, Ride a 650b 27.5"!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby Hermannator » November 26th, 2013, 8:40 pm

Jason and Poto crew-

Thanks for the persistence and hard-work on all of this. The plans, though tentative, look fantastic! Looking forward to lending support and helping in any way. - Tom
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby WishIcouldcatchmybreath » November 26th, 2013, 11:36 pm

That is great news J - personally I am looking forward to helping make this a reality! :D
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby LuckyCharm4x4 » November 27th, 2013, 1:50 am

Looking forward to hearing more news.
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby deezler » December 3rd, 2013, 12:50 pm

Wow, that's some professional sh*t right there. Great work!

Surprised to see everything located into the eastern-most extent of the rec area - but, also quite pleased, as it's closer to most people and makes for a great excuse to stop in Chelsea for some grub and a beer after a ride.

Really hope that the forbidden zone land bridge is cleared for usage!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby jajones » December 3rd, 2013, 1:12 pm

Yeah, I should explain why everything is in Eastern Waterloo.

The vision (which still exists) is to connect Big Portage Lake in Western Waterloo with Silver Lake at Pinckney Rec (via a connector segment to the Poto).

A few stumbling blocks:

The 'Loo Master Plan gerrymandered the whole Rec Area into "zones", many of which were designated Primitive (aka no bikes). After that, you have to net out usable topography (aka is a lowland area preventing a trail). After that, you have to net out that the MDNR didn't want us anywhere near any equestrian trails (aka the whole of the middle of Waterloo between Loveland and Mt. Hope Roads). After that, you have to net out the fact that (post-final master plan), the MDNR informed us that some of what we though would be usable space was not usable due to the nature of the way the land was purchased (aka some fish and game funding was used). This last point is still a debatable issue and is being "addressed" at numerous levels (and may take some time to resolve). It is also why we cannot currently develop a plan to connect the Poto to Waterloo (allegedly no feasible land corridor). So, basically, what you are seeing in our proposal is us trying to maximize what little we have been offered to work with. If you think jigsaw puzzles are frustrating....
Poto IMBA Potawatomi Trail Coordinator
Waterloo (MTB Trail System) Working Group, Acting Chair

Fat Bikes are Dumb, Ride a 650b 27.5"!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby i69whitey » January 9th, 2014, 3:29 pm

I heard rumor of a meeting next Tuesday...

-whitey
"...So whether you have got 29-, 26- or 20-inch wheels, whether you ride XC or DH, whether you've got boobs or balls, i hear you. Let's go ride." - Rachel Atherton
"Ride your bike, sleep when your dead." - dirt
http://thehubofdetroit.org/
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby jajones » January 11th, 2014, 12:33 am

Don't know anything about next Tuesday, but the DNR told me they'd have something after this week. What kind of meeting and where?
Poto IMBA Potawatomi Trail Coordinator
Waterloo (MTB Trail System) Working Group, Acting Chair

Fat Bikes are Dumb, Ride a 650b 27.5"!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby i69whitey » January 13th, 2014, 7:47 am

Saw it posted on Detroit Critical Mass F-book page.
They even tagged you, but the attachment they had didn't work

-whitey
"...So whether you have got 29-, 26- or 20-inch wheels, whether you ride XC or DH, whether you've got boobs or balls, i hear you. Let's go ride." - Rachel Atherton
"Ride your bike, sleep when your dead." - dirt
http://thehubofdetroit.org/
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby jajones » January 23rd, 2014, 7:17 pm

The Waterloo Working Group Trails Planning Committee has a meeting next Tuesday with Alex Stewart of Spectrum Trail Design and the MDNR. The MDNR has reviewed the Plan submitted by Spectrum on behalf of the WWG TPC and will be providing feedback on their assessment. I will post sometime next week after the meeting with an update.
Poto IMBA Potawatomi Trail Coordinator
Waterloo (MTB Trail System) Working Group, Acting Chair

Fat Bikes are Dumb, Ride a 650b 27.5"!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby sisu » January 24th, 2014, 8:14 am

Can't wait to hear the news!


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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby aarontriton » January 25th, 2014, 8:11 am

No doubt chomping at the bit!

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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby aarontriton » January 30th, 2014, 5:58 pm

Any good news?

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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby glr » February 6th, 2014, 10:56 pm

Anything.........suspense is killing me!
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Re: Waterloo Trails: A Game Changer for Michigan Mountain Bi

Postby jajones » February 7th, 2014, 8:51 pm

The MDNR proposed a new 15 mile trail based on some of what we proposed. We discussed enhancements and changes to their proposed route to heighten the quality and experience. We are in the process of reworking the layout and resubmitting. It is a work in progress, but much progress is being made.
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Fat Bikes are Dumb, Ride a 650b 27.5"!
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