Earlier this spring the Potowatomi Mountain Biking Association along with sponsor DTE opened the first of a series of five new mountain bike trails in the Waterloo Recreation Area of Chelsea. Altogether the five trails will combine to cover over 20 miles, with hopes of eventually connecting with the existing Potowatomi Trail.
This first trail, known as the Green Trail, opened in June of this year. It is 5.2 miles in length, and like its subsequent trails is designed to be a sustainable trail using what is known as “flow trail” construction. The idea behind this design is threefold; 1. Limit environmental impacts; 2. Keep maintenance requirements to a minimum; 3. Avoid user conflicts. Using frequent grade reversals and few flat areas, the trail should funnel water away, and keep the soil in tact. The flow design emphasizes speed and rhythm as well as other features that use the riders momentum to minimize peddling and braking. This allows for a wide range of skill levels. The style is easy for beginners, but when ridden with speed can be a challenge for the more advanced riders.
By spring of next year the second loop called “The Big Kame”, should be completed and ready for riding. While DTE provided the first $250,000, it is estimated that the total project will cost approximately $500,000. At the moment over 350,000 has been raised so far. Fundraisers and individual contributions are what will hopefully allow this great project to be completed. For more information and opportunities to donate, you can go to the DTE energy foundation Trail website.