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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gonna be in southern IN over Christmas (24-29) and was curious if yall think that the trails at brown Co State park will be ride-able? Is there standing snow or are things just wet? We will be in Paoli/French Lick so we can alway just plan on riding gravel roads with the cross bikes. Just need to decide on whether to take the mtb or the cross bike.
Thanks
 

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Right now the BCSP trails are frozen with no snow.

There is a potential for rain in the forecast for the next few days. With a little rain and a thaw, it could be a little sloppy in areas.

Keep an eye on the HMBA site for conditions.
 

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Ride Christmas Day

Today (12/25) is the only chance to ride on trails in Indiana this weekend. Even with over night temps in the teens and a high of 30, trails in the sun may start to thaw this afternoon, so get out soon.

With all the rain the past two days and warm temps and more rain coming. The rest of the weekend will be for riding on the road.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey thanks for the input. Bailed on the mtb idea, and decided to just take the SS cross bikes to ride the gravel roads around paoli and French Lick. And was nearly crippled by all the combination of short steep hills and a 42/18 gearing. We ended up at the Spring hill lake (?) one day and rode that loop around the lake, and it was not until we were finished that we looked at the trail head sign and saw that you were supposed to have a $5/day permit.
Now I was curious to see what yall thought about the permit system and the pay to play thing. It would appear that you guys have been doing alot of work with trail building especially in Brown Co. SP. Do the organizations that build these trails ever see any of this money? or is it the actual State park staff building the trails (highly doubtful).
I ask because there are some trails systems that charge a daily user fee, but no trail maintenance is ever done with that money. Tsali in western North Carolina is the best example of this.
Hope to make it out to Brown Co. SP sometime soon (and pay my user fee)
 

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Pay to Play

agriholic said:
Now I was curious to see what yall thought about the permit system and the pay to play thing.
We (HMBA) are big fans of pay to play.

While the entry fees to the state parks and reservoirs don't directly fund the construction of new mountain bike trails, they do directly keep the parks open, which here in the Midwest is currently an issue, with neighboring states closing parks to cut costs. The gate fees at State Parks cover the cost of maintaining the restrooms, mowing the grass, protecting the land, salaries, etc..

We have found that the gate fees are a great asset for us getting access to build trails. While we like to think of park managers out in the woods doing outdoor stuff. They really spend most of their time managing the business of the park. And they are responsible for how much money the park costs to operate. When the park's gate fees cover the park's operating costs, the Park Manager doesn't have to fight with other parks in the red for funding from the state.

So when other State Park Managers see mountain bike trails bringing more people to other parks, they want mountain bike trails in their park.

At Brown County State Park for example, the park employees do not build mountain bike trails. Which is a good thing. The park employees aren't as passionate about mountain bike trails as we are. They would likely build some ok trails, but they would not know how to build really special mountain bike trails.



Alex and Alex benchcutting: These are the guys you want building mtb trails:

While the parks aren't building the trails, they have been very helpful throughout the whole process. I couldn't even start to list all the little things the park mangers have done to help us.

Meanwhile, State Parks are part of the DNR, and the DNR has helped us financially by working with us to secure and manage large grants. Between RTP and State Trail Grants, we currently are putting $400,000 of trail on the ground. Working on this type of funding is much more productive that worrying about getting a cut of the entry fees.

Here is a good article by the State DNR on whats going on in Indiana

https://www.in.gov/dnr/12934.htm

One thing to be aware of, is that the State Parks and Forests do have some trails that while open to mountain biking, where not build by mountain bikers. Some of these are old horsed out trails and would be disappointing to any mountain bikers who traveled to ride them. If you look at the list of DNR MTB trail at the end of the article, I would break those into 2 groups.

Trails built by mountain bikers:

Brown County State Park
Potato Creek (NIMBA)
Salamonie
Roush Lake
Versailles
Ferdiand (lot of steep climbing)

Multi use trails that are open to mountain bikes, but not built specifically for mountain biking:

Clark State Forest
Deam Lake
Jackson Washington
Martin State Forest
Spring Mill

More MTB built trails coming at

Harmonie State Park (currently under construction)
Fort Harrison State Park
O'Bannon Woods State Park

Paul Arlinghaus
V.P. HMBA

P.S. the Paoli / West Badin area has a lot of potential. We are working with the DNR to try and convince French Lick Resort to add MTB trails to there property. There also is a reservoir South of French Lick on our list of properties to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Its really great that your organization is able to devote the time and manpower to developing these facilities. It would be nice to have trails around french lick/west Baden. The reservoir that you are referring to is Patoka lake? Many thanks and hope make it back to Indiana in the future.
Joshua Stamper
 

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indytrekracer said:
We (HMBA) are big fans of pay to play.

While the entry fees to the state parks and reservoirs don't directly fund the construction of new mountain bike trails, they do directly keep the parks open, which here in the Midwest is currently an issue, with neighboring states closing parks to cut costs. The gate fees at State Parks cover the cost of maintaining the restrooms, mowing the grass, protecting the land, salaries, etc..

We have found that the gate fees are a great asset for us getting access to build trails. While we like to think of park managers out in the woods doing outdoor stuff. They really spend most of their time managing the business of the park. And they are responsible for how much money the park costs to operate. When the park's gate fees cover the park's operating costs, the Park Manager doesn't have to fight with other parks in the red for funding from the state.

So when other State Park Managers see mountain bike trails bringing more people to other parks, they want mountain bike trails in their park.

At Brown County State Park for example, the park employees do not build mountain bike trails. Which is a good thing. The park employees aren't as passionate about mountain bike trails as we are. They would likely build some ok trails, but they would not know how to build really special mountain bike trails.



Alex and Alex benchcutting: These are the guys you want building mtb trails:

While the parks aren't building the trails, they have been very helpful throughout the whole process. I couldn't even start to list all the little things the park mangers have done to help us.

Meanwhile, State Parks are part of the DNR, and the DNR has helped us financially by working with us to secure and manage large grants. Between RTP and State Trail Grants, we currently are putting $400,000 of trail on the ground. Working on this type of funding is much more productive that worrying about getting a cut of the entry fees.

Here is a good article by the State DNR on whats going on in Indiana

https://www.in.gov/dnr/12934.htm

One thing to be aware of, is that the State Parks and Forests do have some trails that while open to mountain biking, where not build by mountain bikers. Some of these are old horsed out trails and would be disappointing to any mountain bikers who traveled to ride them. If you look at the list of DNR MTB trail at the end of the article, I would break those into 2 groups.

Trails built by mountain bikers:

Brown County State Park
Potato Creek (NIMBA)
Salamonie
Roush Lake
Versailles
Ferdiand (lot of steep climbing)

Multi use trails that are open to mountain bikes, but not built specifically for mountain biking:

Clark State Forest
Deam Lake
Jackson Washington
Martin State Forest
Spring Mill

More MTB built trails coming at

Harmonie State Park (currently under construction)
Fort Harrison State Park
O'Bannon Woods State Park

Paul Arlinghaus
V.P. HMBA

P.S. the Paoli / West Badin area has a lot of potential. We are working with the DNR to try and convince French Lick Resort to add MTB trails to there property. There also is a reservoir South of French Lick on our list of properties to look at.
Thanks for your hard work, specifically out at Brown County!

I have a bunch of friends who go to IU and I've been out that way on my road bike several times, but until October had never taken an MTB with me on my trips down south.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised to find a 10min climb (giving it full gas, too) in the middle of Indiana.
 
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