area 178 offers nearby haven for offroad bicyclists
There have always been trails around Chippewa Falls – trails that “kids and motorcycles made through the woods” and paths that lead to places you never knew existed in our little valley.
Not as mysterious as Area 51, Area 178 is a newly updated trail network in Chippewa Falls. The Chippewa Off Road Bike Association, a non-profit organization based in the Chippewa Valley, has recently updated a single-track trail network in town with a new off-road area for walkers, joggers, bikers, and all outdoor enthusiasts to use.
The trail begins at the boat landing close to Timber Terrace Golf Course in Chippewa Falls and runs east of Highway 178.
The ongoing project has been underway since the fall of 2012 when County Forest Administrator and Public Liaison Mike Dahlby contacted CORBA and other associations to see what could be done with the trails. After attaining the rights to maintain the trails, CORBA opened Area 178 with a ribbon cutting ceremony in mid-August.
CORBA board member and interested individual Dean Roth said this is a good move with tons of advantages.
“It is large, scenic, and close to the city so people can get out onto the trails without having to load up their gear and drive to them,” he said.
“(Having an area that is close by) to go ride and explore and be challenged is a nice thing.”
– CORBA board member Dean Roth
The Area 178 space consists of new trails, improvements to existing tracks, modifications to erosion issues, and mechanized maintenance so that the network may be used throughout all of Wisconsin’s unpredictable seasons.
As for local biking culture, Area 178 provides yet another new spot to pedal around. And it’s ideal in that it’s not far away at all. “(Having an area that is close by) to go ride and explore and be challenged is a nice thing,” Roth said. “People like to go somewhere they can ride, but what people like even more is a place they can bike to and ride.”
The updates to the trail will help the blossoming biking community become more active. Because it offers a wide variety of outdoor opportunities, Roth said the updated Area 178 should certainly get a lot of use by local cyclists.
“CORBA is a collection of people that all have different backgrounds and different talents. We’ve got business owners, we’ve got engineers, we’ve got educators, and just people with a wide variety of talents. Projects become really fun,” Roth said. “We don’t just build trails, we build relationships with each other.”
Honoring the close-knit theme of the community, outdoor enthusiasts will definitely be brought together by the trails.
Learn more about CORBA and find a map at chippewaoffroad.org.