Proposed Lowes Creek Bike Park Organizers Seek Community Input
an input session for the bike skills park will take place on May 17
UPDATE: Visit the Lowes Creek Bike Park website to learn more and donate.
The Chippewa Valley suffers no shortage of trails and parks, yet the growing recreation scene may soon welcome a new element into its fold: a bike skills park.
Eau Claire has increased its efforts in becoming more and more bike-friendly thanks to various organizations and local riders – particularly over the last handful of years – and now, leaders from a handful of different organizations and individuals are officially ready to share the concept, location, and general plan for its proposed Lowes Creek Bike Park.
On Wednesday, May 17 from 6-8pm, the bike park organizers are holding an input session at SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar (615 Graham Ave., Eau Claire). The group is hoping to hear what community members would want for features in the mountain bike-geared park, to serve both adult and youth riders.
This won’t just be a park with trails or paved paths for biking, though; the bike skills park would be loaded with unique, fun features for folks at any level of mountain biking.
The Lowes Creek Bike Park would include features like jumps and drops, rock gardens, skinny wood rails, and more that would offer people a chance to try and gain more capabilities and confidence, facing challenges in a low-risk environment.
"With the rapid growth of mountain biking since COVID – and youth mountain biking programs specifically – the timing is perfect to create a dedicated space for riders to develop and hone their skills,” said project team member Jereme Rauckman. "Plus, it's just going to be a fun place to gather and hang out before and after rides.”
CORBA, a volunteer-based organization that builds, maintains, and improves many multi-use trails across the Chippewa Valley, and the group of locals – made up of individual riders, leaders from the Eau Claire Youth Cycling group, the 906 Adventure Team, County staff, and others – also met with the County, which owns the park grounds, and received their blessing to continue bike park efforts.
"With the rapid growth of mountain biking since COVID – and youth mountain biking programs specifically – the timing is perfect to create a dedicated space for riders to develop and hone their skills."
lowes creek bike skills park project member
While the Lowes Creek County Park has an excellent array of multi-use trails suitable for skiing, hiking, biking and more throughout each season, a skills-based concentrated bike park would be an entirely new offering not only at Lowes, but for the region overall. These parks often function as an area families and friends can gather to work on skills together, and can become a focal point for events and happenings for mountain bike enthusiasts.
The group – many of whom have been officially organizing for the proposed park since the fall of 2022 – is looking at two sites, and two different skills areas. One would be a “Bike Playground” located on the east side of the park closer to the Expo Center, geared toward younger kids. The second site would be the main Bike Park/Skills Area on the west side, which would be created on roughly four acres.
"As an avid mountain biker and member of this community, I strongly believe that adding a bike skills park to Lowes Creek is essential," fellow project team member Jon Olstadt said. "It provides a safe and controlled environment for cyclists of all ages and skill levels to practice and improve their techniques. Not only will it promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles, it will also bring more people to the area, boosting the local economy.”
Learn more about the Lowes Creek Bike Park plans by attending the May 17 input session.