New mountain bike trail proposed for Alum Springs

Published 1:01 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023


A representative from the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association made a presentation about the benefits of building a bike trail to the fiscal court on April 11.

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Magistrate Paula Bodner introduced the idea of building a bike trail on the site of an old landfill in Alum Springs. Since the property is unusable for housing or commercial development, Bodner said a bike trail is one of the few things they could use that land for.

“There’s a lot of room out there to do something with, and we can’t do anything with it since it’s been an old landfill; so this is a really great repurposing of some valuable land that could make Boyle County some money, and more importantly help the health of people,” Bodner said.

She said the property sits on roughly 80 acres. Boyle County owns half and Danville owns the other half, and she has spoken to city officials about the idea.

Jon Strom, president of the Bluegrass chapter of KYMBA talked about the benefits of bike trails for communities.

KYMBA advocates for building and maintaining off-road natural trail systems, and fosters a welcoming outdoor community. It’s run by volunteers who help with trail maintenance, outreach and advocacy, and community events throughout central Kentucky.

Strom said trail usage around the country is at an all-time high since the pandemic. He also said that bike trails keep people healthy; that people are more likely to do physical activity if they live near a trail; and bike parks bring economic activity to the area.

Strom gave the example of Silver Creek Bike Park in Berea, which the town funded and opened in 2021. According to an impact study by Berea College, 4,000 people visited that park in its first year of being open, and 67% of those people went to local stores or ate at restaurants in town.

A bike park could also bring in money by hosting bike races, as Strom said races can bring in hundreds of people.

The trail would not only be for bikes, but also for hikers, dog-walkers, bird-watchers, botanists, etc. Kentucky has some of the highest obesity rates in the nation, and Strom said local communities need more recreational outlets to keep people healthy.

Strom said KYMBA would not build the trail, but would offer support and volunteer maintenance after it’s built. Bodner said they are meeting with Bluegrass ADD to see about ways to fund the project.