Group works toward school forest winter bike/snowshoe trail system
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – A local group is working toward the construction of a winter bike/snowshoe trail system at the Marshfield School Forest.
Marshfield Area Ski Touring Foundation (MASTF) is initiating a project that would create an addition to the current ski trail system, combined with the current mountain bike trail system.
“This began with a dedicated group of mountain bikers in the Marshfield area looking for a local place to ride. The closest trail systems being an hour away,” explained Mark Haferman, MASTF vice president and trail construction chair. “The interest in mountain biking has continued to grow with the addition of new trail systems in the surrounding communities. More recently, fat biking and winter riding has become very popular with new winter trails being developed in the surrounding communities. And still no local trails.”
Haferman said that the project found its beginnings with a district teacher who is a dedicated mountain biker. A mountain bike club was started in the school system, which allowed for the use of the school forest.
“As the interest in winter biking grew, a proposal was submitted to the MASTF to begin developing a trail system that could be used in the winter for biking and snowshoeing,” Haferman recalled. “This system would be in combination with and add to the mountain bike trails. MASTF would be responsible for maintaining groomed winter bike/snowshoe trails and in exchange MASTF would gain new members to the association. Though volunteer help a limited winter bike/snowshoe trail was opened three years ago at the School Forest and MASTF grew to include skiers, bikers, and snowshoers.”
Logging in 2018 for forest improvements closed many of the mountain bike and winter bike/snowshoe trails.
“The funds gained from the logging are intended for School Forest improvement, primarily the remodeling to the lodge,” Haferman added. “The proposed remodeling plan will make the lodge much more useful for the general public, especially the skiers, bikers and snowshoers.
“The recovery of the ski and bike trails after the logging was undertaken by the respective groups. The ski trails are being repaired in preparation for this winter. Some of the existing bike trails have been repaired. The remainder of the existing trail repair and the proposed bike/snowshoe trail system, which includes new trails, remains to be completed.”
To complete that trail system. MASTF is working to contract a professional trail builder to repair existing trails for reopening this winter and repair and complete a revamped trail system for completion in the summer/fall of 2020.
MASTF hopes to raise $18,000 for the project. For more information on the project or to donate, visit https://trail-projects-tsf.everydayhero.com/us/marshfield-school-forest-bike-trail-development.
MASTF was formed in 1991 and was instrumental in working with the Marshfield School District to build the 10 km ski trail. The group continues to work with the school system to maintain and enhance the trail system.