Although Springfield, Illinois may not have the trail systems in place yet, CILTA (Central Illinois Trails Assoc.) is excited and committed to bringing in more trails, and doing it sustainably. CILTA asked for the full gamut of presentations: the Better Living Through Trails presentation, Land Manager Training, and the Trail Building School. The response in each presentation shows the CILTA is on the right track.
At the BLTT, the room was enthusiastic about the community aspect of trails. With the urban population of Springfield, there is a lot of potential to build a strong biking community. The LMT revealed the working relationship between land managers and CILTA in this area. The Army Corps of Engineers has plans to further develop a bike specific trail around Shelbyville Lake, about 1.5 hours east of Springfield.
Considering the holiday weekend, the Trailbuilding School was a hit. The volunteers were eager to build the flagged re-route and close down the existing trail. The vegetation and soil was easy to sculpt, making for a relatively quick day clearing the new trail, and building it. The reroute added additional milage to the existing one mile of trail adding elevation and a new level of flow to the highly used trail. It provided a project that the volunteers were able to apply the principles of sustainable trail building and create a sense of accomplishment. It was inspiring to see everyone come together to revitalize the limited space available at this particular site, and leave excited to work on developing more trails in the area.
Thanks to everyone who came out to volunteer and learn about mountain bike access in Springfield. Thanks to GORC (Gateway Off-Road Cyclists) and PAMBA (Peoria Area Mountain Bike Association) for loaning trail tools for the weekend. We look forward to seeing trail access continue to grow in the Springfield area with the help of CILTA and surrounding clubs.
For more photos from the weekend click here