Mountain bike trail to be built in Boyle this summer

Published 8:46 am Friday, January 19, 2018

The summer is going to be sick for local mountain bikers who are stoked and ready to shred a new trail. 

Translation: The summer of 2018 is going to be really good for local mountain bikers who are excited and ready to tackle a new bike trail being planned in Danville.

According to a news release from Develop Danville, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation’s board of directors unanimously approved two perpetual trail easements on Jan. 11, which make it possible to create a mountain bike park on land within the foundation’s Enterprise Center development in the John Hill Bailey Industrial Park at the intersection of Lebanon Road and U.S. 127 bypass in Danville.

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Most of the park will be located at the end of Stewarts Lane North, on 4.643 acres adjacent to Wilderness Trace Child Development Center. 

An additional 1.446 acres accessible from Lebanon Road will be a gravel parking lot with enough space initially for 10 vehicles. 

According to the release, the remainder of the park and trails will be secured with additional easements already approved by Heritage Hospice and Honeywell Intelligrated.  

In an email on Wednesday, Jennifer Kirchner, director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said construction on the new bike trail will begin this summer. 

“Now that the three easements have been secured, we can begin to plan the design. We intend for the design to be done by students from Lindsey Wilson College and local expert biking enthusiasts,” she said. 

Kirchner said there will be limited construction in the park by a qualified subcontractor, who is yet to be named. However, most of the work will be done by volunteers. “Construction is minimal because the park is intended to follow the natural lay of land.” 

Clearing the brush along the planned bike path will be most of the work involved. “The more rugged and rustic the better,” she said.

Kirchner said there will be no paving, and a natural earth path will rolled in. Also, special attention will be given to protecting the riparian zone (which are the banks of Clarks Run creek).

There will also be “signage and other needed trailhead items such as benches and trash cans,” Kirchner said.

The release stated the park will contain a single-track loop trail along Clarks Run and will make use of low-lying, wooded areas along the creek that are subject to flooding. The bike park is expected to attract pedestrians too.

Because flooding occurs within the natural floodway of the creek, the area isn’t easily suitable for industrial development, according to the release. 

Kirchner said, “Agritourism is big business in Kentucky. And it isn’t just state parks. From bourbon to softball tournaments, Kentucky has a lot of outdoor offerings in many forms and we are getting in on the action. This is a feature of the larger trail system we continue to build and the area out Lebanon Road is a big focus for us now. We intend to link the park to the distilleries, UK Extension Office, BCTC and the industrial park. It is an exciting step in a larger plan to grow our offerings for residents and visitors alike.” 

According to the release, Mark Morgan and Rob Caldwell represented the Boyle Trails Alliance in this collaboration with BCIF, in addition to Danville City Attorney Stephen Dexter. The easements were granted to the City of Danville to construct and maintain the park and trails. The community collaboration was made possible in part due to the working relationships of BCIF, the City of Danville, and the Danville-Boyle County Convention & Visitors Bureau through the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, according to the release.

BCIF Secretary Walter Goggin and Chairman John Albright were instrumental in the negotiations for the park plans to proceed, according to the release.

Goggin said, “The Trails Alliance folks were great to work with, and this unique resource provides yet another wellness and recreation opportunity for our community and our industry employees. BCIF is glad to be a part of it.”  

Morgan said, “This is a great example of cooperation between our city, our Industrial Foundation, Honeywell Intelligrated, Heritage Hospice, and the Boyle Trails Alliance. This trail will allow mountain bikers to ride and all of us to walk and run in a beautiful, natural area near downtown. This will be an exciting addition to our community.”