Rocky slopes, jumps and pump tracks are just a few of the features of the new Bridger Bike Park, which gathered crowd of biking enthusiasts, young aspiring BMX racers and casual mountain bikers on Wednesday evening after the grand opening.
Three years after the idea first hit the planning stages, a ribbon cutting and a few inaugural comments opened the new city park to the public. There are no entry fees or age restrictions.
“We really saw a pent-up demand in the community for a facility like this,” said Dayton Crites, the Cache County trails and active transportation planner. “I knew we had to get this idea up, off the ground and going.”
Teaming up with Cache Trails Alliance, a local nonprofit trail maintenance organization, Crites said they worked hard to raise funds and fill the void for mountain bikers in the community looking for a middle ground between the skate park and mountain trails.
Through a couple fundraising events, the community raised $25,000, and this price was matched by the City of Logan, followed by several grants that led to the construction effort this summer.
“We received donations anywhere from $5 to $1,000, and that really goes to show how committed and involved the community was in creating this park,” said Brent Thomas, the CTA outreach director.
He said the community fundraising paired with public comment influencing the design of the park proves that this is a labor of love.
“I feel like a kid on Christmas,” said Crites, who, along with Thomas, has had his finger on the pulse of this project since day one. “This is such an exciting project to be a part of and I am so excited for the community to enjoy it.”
Thomas said the park is transitional and enjoyable for all age ranges. There are trails for advanced mountain bikers, with technical features and more difficult routes, and then there other trails that accommodate young families and beginning bikers.
“I have a 3-year-old and I put the 3-year-old out on a pump track,” Crites said. “He just barely learned how to balance, and he was having a blast out there on the beginner pump track.”
This progressive and transitional aspect of the facility is intended to bring people back again and again to build different skill sets and satisfy the needs of many different patrons.
That is, as long as the weather holds out.
Rain paired with the Cache Valley clay, which makes up the terrain of this 2-acre park, can lead to ruined trails, Crites said, therefore the park will be closed when the soil is wet.
“This means the park is closed when it is raining and the 48 hours after rain,” said Crites.“It is going to require the community to take a lead in caring for and recognizing the value of this park.”
Jordan Byington, a Logan resident, said he has been waiting a long time for this park and has been anticipating the grand opening after flyers showed up in his bike shop.
“A lot of places have been shut down or have been closed to bikes in Logan, so to finally see a legal park is a big deal,” Byington said. “Hopefully this will give kids skills that they can’t learn anywhere else. And it is centralized in the valley so it will be a popular outdoor activity.”
The goal for is to one day connect the park with a larger trail and park system, motivating active transportation throughout the valley. Upkeep and maintenance will be key in getting to that goal, said Thomas.
“This is your park. Love it, take care of it,” Crites said to the crowd of people hopping on bikes at the grand opening.