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Mountain bike trail a local gem
By Aileen Wingblad
Mountain bikers from near and far are discovering a gem nestled in the Village of Milford.
Carved out of a heavily-treed section of Hubbell Pond Park, west of Peters Road, the dirt trail has plenty of hills, dips and curves — thrilling and challenging enough for people who enjoy hopping on a mountain bike or lacing up their walking shoes and taking on a wooded trail.
"The views are spectacular, the terrain is aerobic — even triathletes are using it to train," said Bill Hermann, a Milford resident and member of the Michigan Mountain Bikers Association. "It's amazing the number of people who use it."
It was Hermann who saw the need and pitched the idea of a mountain bike trail in Hubbell Pond Park to the Milford Village Council about a year ago. And once he received the OK, it was Hermann who did most of the work of establishing the 5-mile, winding, intermediate-level trail by trimming branches, building small wood-plank bridges and erecting signage. Hermann said he spent about 425 hours between last April and January to get the trail ready.
"It was a way to give back to society, to get people healthy," said Hermann. He's been a mountain biker for about 15 years.
He credits Village Manager Arthur Shufflebarger and the village council for helping Milford get the mountain bike trail. "They are the main reason we got the trail. (Arthur) is the man who got this all going," Hermann said.
On Saturday, Hermann organized a celebration to honor the one-year anniversary of the trail plan garnering a nod from the Milford Village Council. Mark Hosbach of Milford, a Michigan Mountain Biking Association member, was one of the mountain bikers on hand for the event. He describes the trail as "awesome and a lot of fun."
"Any time I go on a bike ride, I usually end up here," Hosbach said.
Commerce resident and fellow mountain biker Gary Weak said he especially likes having the trail so close to home. "I can just ride right to it," he said. "Mountain biking is about fun, first — and exercise, second."
Chris Bemis of Milford calls it an "overall good trail."
"There are obstacles to get over, lots of ups and downs. But the distance and location is the best thing," he said. "You can run it twice if you feel like it."
El Huntington, a MMBA board member and Farmington Hills resident, agreed. "It's a wonderful trail in a great location," he said. Huntington was one of the volunteers who helped Hermann build the trail.
"It has good cardio (features) and has a few sections that will test your skills," Huntington said. "And anyone can ride or hike it — and enjoy it. It's a lot of fun."
Bemis joked that the real reason he came out to the trail celebration was for the promised dessert. "Hey, there's going to be cake," he grinned.
The mountain bike trail is accessible at the northern edge of the baseball field parking lot on Peters Road. A sign points the way.