While several Jefferson City residents walked, bicycled and threw rocks Sunday afternoon into the lake at Binder Park, members of two local trail organizations hiked a wooded area where they anticipate constructing a new children's mountain bike trail.
The Jefferson City Trail Users and Osage Region Trail Association hope to open a new mountain bike trail by this summer.
The new trail loop would be about a half-mile, located up the road from the boat ramp. It would include features such as hills and a wooden bridge that would help beginner riders become accustomed to narrower and higher trail bridges.
The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department may also construct playground equipment in the middle of the loop so children can take a break from mountain biking, said Celeste Koon, a member of both trail organizations.
Binder Park currently has 15 miles of mountain bike trails but they are geared more toward adults, organizers said.
"We've had these trails out here for a number of years and several people have just mentioned that the trail is nice and we even have a beginner's trail, but it's more geared towards adults," trail member Cary Maloney said. "We don't really have any place to bring young children who may just now be getting on a bike."
The trail would not be solely for children or even mountain bikers. Adults first learning how to ride mountain bike trails can use the trail, and park visitors can walk or jog the trail too.
"Getting out on bikes in the woods is really a lot of fun and it's a healthy activity," Koon said. "It gets people away from everyday stresses."
Organizers already laid out the outline of the trail by tying green flags to trees. Starting in the spring, they hope to nail down the exact trail route. They would also have to clear out brush and leaves and cut off tree limbs that could poke riders.
Organizers hope to begin work sessions in the spring and are looking for volunteers. Those interested in volunteering can contact Koon at 573-644-3199.
Members also hope to construct a 1-mile addition to a mountain bike trail on the other side of the lake.
Between the children's mountain bike trail and the addition, member Jim Bell said, it may take about a year to construct both.
The trail organizations anticipate the projects will cost $48,000. They would receive a grant reimbursement of $28,000 from the federal Recreational Trails Program to help offset the cost, Maloney and Bell said.