Spätzli, Cow Bells and the future of Flow Trails in Wildhaus, Switzerland
Wildhaus, a village in the Pre-Alps of Northeastern Switzerland, will soon be the site of a three-mile flow-style trail. Shane Wilson, a Trail Specialist from IMBA's Trail Solutions program, spent a week in early November laying out a route that will become one of the first components of a plan to bring progressive trails to the Toggenburg Valley. IMBA partnered with Allegra Tourismus who are spearheading the effort and working directly with the local community. Fadri Cazen of Allegra Tourismus was even afforded the opportunity to chase Shane all over the mountain and was instrumental in the route's design.
Strategically located within a two-hour drive of over six million people, this area is slated to become a dream destination for Central European mountain bicyclists. Historically, the slopes that tumble down from the rocky peaks that line the valley have been used for farming in the summer and snow sports in the winter, but the people of the Toggenburg are looking towards the future, and they see flow-based mountain bicycle trails as a key part of their economic growth. Future development will be modeled on the same concepts that have made the Trail Centres of Wales and IMBA's own Ride Center program so successful. With construction beginning as early as Summer 2012, it won't be long until riders will be enjoying sweet trails and delicious spätzle in Wildhaus, Switzerland!
A portion of the funding for this work was provided by SRAM, who supports IMBA’s efforts to improve the riding experience for European mountain bicyclists.