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HomeNewsCity of Clarksville opens North Ford Street Mountain Bike Trail Park

City of Clarksville opens North Ford Street Mountain Bike Trail Park

Clarksville Parks and RecreationClarksville, TN – The City of Clarksville cut the ribbon on the North Ford Street Mountain Bike Trail Park during a short ceremony on Saturday.

The new park consists of a 2.2-mile, advanced-level trail loop designed for experienced mountain bikers. The 2.2 miles is only the beginning as eventually the Park will have miles of trail designated for advanced, intermediate, and novice riders. It is anticipated that another ¾-miles will be open by mid to late August, as trail development continues weekly.

Mark Tummons, the Director of the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation took a few minutes to speak with Clarksville Online about the new trails after the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ribbon was cut by Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, Clarksville Department of Parks And Recreation Director Mark Tummons, City Councilman Gino Grubbs, Drew Sanford who led the construction, along with members of the COGS Mountain Bike Club who provided volunteer manpower.
The ribbon was cut by Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, Clarksville Department of Parks And Recreation Director Mark Tummons, City Councilman Gino Grubbs, Drew Sanford who led the construction, along with members of the COGS Mountain Bike Club who provided volunteer manpower.

The bike trails at this point are designed to be for the little bit more advanced riders, additional trails are in the planning stages to cater to beginner and intermediate riders. We did the advanced trail first because while there are other very nice biking trails in the county and region for beginning and intermediate riders but there are very few opportunities available out there for more advanced riders.

We expect these trails to draw not only local riders for, but a lot of riders from outside of our city and county who will come in and experience a little bit more difficult challenging type trails. We expect it to be very popular with the soldiers from Fort Campbell.

We’re excited to have the first 2.2 miles open. We got another 3/4th a miles that should be open by mid August which will give us a total of 3 miles of the more advanced bike trails open this year. We are planning to have around 5 miles of the more difficult, and then we will begin starting on the intermediate and the novice areas hopefully in another year or so.

This is a wonderful facility for those type of folks that enjoy mountain biking, nature, fitness, and health.

These trails are also such a wonderful place for people to come and experience the great outdoors. While out on the trails I have seen turkeys, deer, a coven of quail. It is just such a phenomenal place! And it is connected to our Clarksville’s Greenway as well so it just makes it even that much better!

I think it will be a great experience for people all around.

During his tenure at the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation Tummons has been working very hard hard to change the mindset that does nothing to do in our city, “The Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation is working hard to meet life values of all Clarksvillians. Not long before I started five years ago people felt that their was is just nothing to do in Clarksville, “You’ve got to go Nashville to do anything fun,” was the mindset. I think that the whole situation has changed a lot! Now there is so much out there for to do right here in our own community.”

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan addressed the crowd before the ribbon cutting

Thank you Mark so much. Thank you to Drew, and all of the COGS members and everybody else out here that has helped contribute to make this possible! You know I go to a lot of ribbon cuttings and a lot of things like that, but things like this mean more to me than almost anything else!

Because what it does is it shows that we are a city that is committed to doing whatever we have to do to make sure that we have a high quality of life for our citizens, and that those that come from outside our County borders appreciate and have the opportunity to see everything that Clarksville has to offer!

You know you hear me say that we want to make sure that Clarksville is the best place in America to live work and raise our families, and that kind of entails that we have a great of quality of life, that we offer our citizens things to do that go across the spectrum. Mountain biking, trails, and parks facilities are just one thing in that but it’s important that we also bring that to the citizens. I am so excited to be here.

I have to tell you one thing, I’ve had a couple of people say always your bike it was your bike helmet and why aren’t you doing it. Now all of you know that I really try hard to participate! When we opened Clarksville’s Blueway, I was in the first canoe that went in. When we opened something else I was the first one in out there trying to do it.

Now the reason that I don’t have the bike and helmet here, is because I read the sign that said, “More Difficult.” I’m waiting for the trail that says “less difficult,” or “novice,” or “beginner!” So when Drew is nice enough to get that one built and when we go for that ribbon-cutting I will have my bike in my hand and I will get out there and try it out; but I’m leaving the more advanced trails to all of the expert riders that are here with their bikes, and who will go out enjoy it, then will come back and tell me what it’s like!

So thank you all for being here today, thanks for all the folks at the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation, thanks all the folks at every city department that really contributed to put in a lot of hours and hard work, and especially the volunteers who did this! We couldn’t do anything in Clarksville without the help of the volunteers that really make things happen in our city. They don’t call us the Volunteer State for nothing, and I think that Clarksville really epitomizes the volunteers stayed because we have groups of volunteers that step up to help us make these type of things happen.

Drew Sanford the trail builder for the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation also addressed the crowd.

I’ve got to say it sound like I been given a lot of credit today, but every time I’ve been involved in the building of a trail system like this it’s difficult to get things rolling. To actually get on the ground to start building the trails, as it is to actually build the trails. So I didn’t get involved in my mind, until half the work was already done.

So the guys at the Southern Off-Road Bike Association (SORBA) especially Bob Slaton who drew up the map proposal, and everybody who laid the groundwork to start with, a big thanks from me! To The City of Clarksville and Parks and Recreation for just the forward thinking to initiate something like this. Because this is something that typically I’ve had to fight for as much as 2 to 3 years just to be to sit down and talk about actually doing a project like this.

Never mind saying, we’ve got some trails that need to be built, can you do it? That’s kind of how this happened!

So a lot of the grunt work was already done before I even started building and I can’t thank everyone who was involved in that enough!

Also again all the Parks and Rec crew that put together all of the logos through the signage everything who came up here and put everything together. Everything they did that allowed me to focus my attention on building the trails. That’s been more help than y’all can possibly know and I really appreciate that is a fantastic feeling to be a part of of such a great team.

The Clarksville Street Department did our map for us and honestly this is the best looking map I’ve ever had four trail project I’ve been involved with. I can’t say enough good things about that thank you so much.

What to say about the trail, I guess to start out with build to come out a little bit. Please respect the trail that here now, and all of the future trail is going to be here. Don’t skid on the trails. Always right on the directions that we’ve got specified on the signs, it’s directional by day. Always maintain control of your bike and be courteous to all of the other trail users. Be kind of the wildlife out here too if you see deer or other animals on the trail, slow down. Take care of the wildlife out here, because they were here before us!

This is an advanced trail. There are things out here that not even I may get over every time I try to ride. Be prepared in some instances to walk your bike if you can’t make it over an obstacle on the trail, or you are not sure about it, it’s easiest sometimes to get off and walk over it. Don’t make bypass trails around stuff that you can’t ride, and don’t make your own changes to features that you can’t ride. If you have comments about the trail or suggestions please come to me I’m open to suggestions! It may not change anything that’s on the ground already, but it might effect the way something is done in the future.

This trail is technical not the modern sense that their large rocks that you have to deal with, although there are some rocks; is technical in a very old school sense in that is tight and it is slow, and part of that is done as a safety factor. Slow down on these hills up here we have some gullies and some run-ins and we didn’t build any bridges across them; you’ve got to ride the terrain. So it’s a little bit slow and you need to get a safe speed approach some of that, and you have to be able to move the bike around and put power out.

We are still building trail’s, so as you get to certain points out here on the trail you’ll come back out to the main road in the center and when you’re crossing the road to the next session of trail that will be trail with caution tape across it, and that is where we are working right now. I asked that everybody respects the fact that that is closed until we take that caution tape down. Those trails are still soft, they really haven’t weathered in yet. So riding them can damage them. There’s also the possibility that you’ll encounter an unfinished obstacle down there that in his unfinished state might be dangerous. So just respect that and stay off the unfinished trails that are marked with caution tape.

I got to send a big shout out to all the guys in the COGS Mountain Bike Club. These guys are put in over 170 volunteer hours up here helping to build this. Stuff like this doesn’t happen without the community riders like the COGS. If you riding Clarksville, or if you know people who ride in Clarksville get involved in it with these guys. They will let you know when the workdays are. They usually post them on their Facebook page, and on top of that there great bunch of guys if you want to learn some new skills, and up your game go on some rides with these guys, they will help you out!

The ribbon was cut by Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, Clarksville Department of Parks And Recreation Director Mark Tummons, City Councilman Gino Grubbs, Drew Sanford who led the construction, along with members of the COGS Mountain Bike Club who provided volunteer manpower.

After the ceremony was complete a guided group mountain bike ride highlighting the new trail was held.

Riverside Bike Shop and the Bicycle Center on Madison were on hand to offer bike maintenance, safety features, instructions, and gear for sale. The Riverside Bike Shop also offers bike rentals for those who do not have their own riding equipment

For more details, please contact the Clarksville Parks and Recreation at 931.645.7476 or visit www.cityofclarksville.com

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Bill Larson
Bill Larson
Bill Larson is  is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave. You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.

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