Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry rides on the new off-road track at the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park near Lino Lakes and Centerville. The Anoka County Parks Department has officially added off-road cycling to its recreation menu this summer, after opening single track dirt trails through the rolling hardwoods of the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve in Lino Lakes.
Trails near Centerville Lake and the Chomonix Golf Course are the first anywhere in the sprawling north metro park system. They formalize user-created — but unsanctioned — trails that parks officials noticed years ago, and eventually amended the parks Master Plan to include.
"We knew they were here," said Parks Director Jeff Perry. "We knew there was a need."
Anoka County obtained $140,000 in federal and Metropolitan Council grants to pay for the trails, which take riders through mature oaks, maples and basswoods and feature twisting turns and jumps. Each node is about 1.5 miles long.
"This will be one people will want to come to," said Anoka County Commissioner Jeff Reinert, who has been an off-road rider for the past 25 years. "The trails flows along and are easy to ride."
To keep the trails in good shape, the county has partnered with the volunteer nonprofit Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists. The group, which has about 1,000 members, works with agencies like Anoka County Parks to maintain trails, create technical features to add interest and to serve as trail ambassadors for safe trail use, said President Gunnar Carlson.
Off-road riding, characterized by […]