Developing a community trail system that stands out takes a combination of key elements: good topography, a strong relationship with the land manager, and a passionate group of volunteers. Winona, MN is on their way to achieving this with a balance of these essential elements. Not to mention, the scenic bluffs and Mississippi River Valley are an added bonus. We spent this past weekend working closely with the Winona Area Mountain Bikers (WAMB), a tight-knit group of riders looking to expand singletrack opportunities in their area. Our Club Care presentation provided some great discussion points that helped start the conversation between members and new riders looking to get involved, facilitating excitement among all to lend a hand in any way they can.
Land managers specific to this project and even a state representative were engaged and excited as we discussed how trails can better the Winona community in our Better Living Through Trails presentation. A key event that helped facilitate a dialogue between WAMB and some important stake holders. The weekend continued with our Saturday Trail Building School, where 30 volunteers traveled from all corners of Minnesota to participate in our educational day. Attendees included clubs from other communities, as well as land managers, local business owners, and mountain bikers from the Winona Area. After an educational morning in the classroom, we were granted a brief window of clear skies and sunshine, giving us the opportunity to begin WAMB's latest trail project. With access to an area of state forest just northeast of town, WAMB has a 9 mile network of trail proposed where they hope to integrate in a variety of sustainable, bike optimized trails. As the educators and organizers for the weekend, we were honored to be involved in the development of this promising area.
After a great weekend in Winona, we are excited to see WAMB take the opportunity and develop a top notch network of trails. Thanks to the Scott, Lindsay, Sheldon and the rest of Winona Area Mountain Bikers, the community of Winona, the Minnesota DNR, Blooming Grounds coffeehouse, and everyone who made it out for any of the events this past weekend. A big shout out to Susan, Hunter, and Julian for your kind hospitality and for teaching us to windsurf!!!