Monday, September 26, 2011

Announcing New Trails at Royalview Park

As many of you know, this summer Cleveland Metroparks has been planning mountain bike trails at Royalview in Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville. The Metroparks chose to work with a small group of CAMBA members on this project, utilizing their skills in trail design. Extensive natural resource studies were done at the same time to ensure the trail is laid out with minimum impact.

Some in CAMBA felt left out by the lack of information during the process. While the process was not “secret” the Metroparks took a low key approach, not wanting to make major announcements until the natural resource studies were complete and the board of commissioners weighed in. This process took many months. BIG THANKS go to the CAMBA members who devoted many hours to this project, instead of riding their bikes this summer!

The addition of these trails was a sensitive issue with some public. Other trail user groups protested vehemently. The Metroparks new draft strategic plan (to which many of you contributed!) is recommending an increase in outdoor recreation and health & wellness initiatives. This is based on consultant work, extensive public input and interviews with community leaders. The Metroparks decided to consider new uses to help meet these recommendations, and kudos to them for taking a more balanced approach for all trail users; hike, horse, and bike.

Many of the Metroparks trails are not in good shape or sustainably built. The Metropark is using the Royalview trails as a learning laboratory for their own staff to learn the techniques and design of building sustainable trails for all park users. They hired experienced Student Conservation Corps leaders to teach and build in this effort. Going forward, the Metroparks will use these skills to rehabilitate many of their other trails.

There are 2 loops in the new system. No definite completion date as it depends on weather and speed of crews. Roughly, Loop 2 may be complete this fall and Loop 1 next year. Watch the web site for volunteer work days later in Oct. Thanks go to Cleveland Metroparks and CAMBA for this work!

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