CAMBA has received one of only two IMBA Trail Building Assistance Grants awarded in the Great Lakes Region this year. The $2,500 grant provides services from IMBA’s professional trail design and build consulting arm, Trail Solutions.
CAMBA has taken a new tack with its trail construction plans for the 2012 season. “We are building a different style trail from the Ojibwe Trail south,” said CAMBA executive director Ron Bergin. “We have plenty of traditional cross country riding, so the plan on this section of trail is to go for flow – wider, open and fast riding trail with liberal use of bermed turns, rolling grade reversals, sweeping S turns and switchbacks with some special features.”
In selecting CAMBA as a recipient of this grant, IMBA’s regional director Hansi Johnson was pleased to help CAMBA advance its current trail building agenda. “CAMBA has a lot of great cross-country riding, including a terrific IMBA Epic route. I’m really psyched to help CAMBA step out into this new style of trail design and construction,” Johnson said.
The trail will include fewer technical features (rocks, roots, etc.) in the main ride line. However, numerous “B” lines will be built to take advantage of rock features, ride-overs, jumps and wood features adjacent to the trail to offer up a little spice. In addition, there will be two totally different one-way downhill lines that take advantage of natural terrain features such as shallow ravines or wide gullies.
The grant allowed CAMBA to contract with Trail Solution’s newest design consultant, Aaron Rogers. Rogers has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the top contemporary trail designers in the Midwest through his work in Copper Harbor, Mich. Rogers visited CAMBA’s new trail in the spring and helped refine over four miles of flag line to insure maximum downhill flow where achievable and suggest improvements on the existing line.
He returned in early June to work with CAMBA’s trail crew and equipment operator when he shared some newer trail finishing techniques and berm construction strategies, supervised the construction of one of the alternate flow lines, and even took a few turns at operating the mini-excavator.
This season’s trail construction effort relies far more heavily on a mini-excavator than in the past. The mini- and operator will be on site for at least nine weeks this summer. CAMBA has also hired a three-person hand crew to follow the excavator and do finish work. This combination seems to be a winner, as the crew is making excellent progress. The one challenge, however, is that this style of trail is slower to build, as it requires moving a lot of dirt and takes more time to construct, shape and finish the many berms along the trail. It will in the end cost slightly more to build a standard cross-country trail of comparable distance.
Part of the IBMA grant obligation is to generate matching funds, which will help offset some of the additional cost of building the trail. A goal of $2,500 has been set with a deadline of August 1. To make a donation of matching funds, visit the CAMBA website, www.cambatrails.org and click on “Support CAMBA.” Select the “Donate” item from the menu. You may also submit a donation by mail to: CAMBA, P.O. Box 141, Cable, WI 54821. Thank you very much for your support.
To get an idea of what CAMBA has in mind for this new trail, take a look at this post by Trail Solution’s Director of Consulting Chris Bernhardt: http://www.imba.com/blog/chris-bernhardt/trailbuilding-fund-improves-flow-chequamegon-trails.