Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Forum for discussions about Tomahawk and the Northwoods.

Bradley Park Mountain Bike and Snowshoe Trails

Poll ended at Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:05 pm

Great Idea when do I Ride
4
67%
Not bad, but need more details
1
17%
No way I'll drive for trails
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

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Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby mtbkr81 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:05 pm

As a professional cyclist and former resident of Tomahawk, I've been contemplating building small but fun trail system that will double as a snowshoe trail in the winter. Tomahawk has no "singletrack" mountain bike trails and the nearest is in the rhinelander and irma areas. Keep in mind trails like this require NO cutting down of trees and only natural features using the limbs and other materials already in existance and only moving brush to define the trail. At this point it's a feeler to see what the oppinions are but this may lead to additional tourism and healthier lifestyles plus it will bring life to a park that is seldom used at its full potential. Oh and tomahawk mountain bikers can share the fun with new comers and not plan a day to go to rhinelander, underdown, or wausau to the great trails at nine mile.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Old Scout » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:16 pm

My concern would be turning the main part of the park where families go to picnic and have get togethers into a circus and driving the regular users away. The best place for something like that would be in Mirror lake area on the south east part of the park and then there might still be a parking problem.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Deb Richardson » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:54 am

There is, what I would call, an abandoned cross country ski trail in the park, which I'm sure could be modified for mountain biking.

I have to disagree with Old Scout, I don't think there would be a circus that would drive away the regular using. I'm sure it could be a harmonious union.

In the Northern Highlands State Forest there are mountain biking trails near and around day use areas. From our camping experience there I've seen the mountain bikers park, just the same as the picnickers, do their thing, just the same as the picnickers. With no issues. This would be in areas with less parking than Bradley Park.

A mountain bike trail might just be another great option for promoting Bradley Park and Tomahawk.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby mtbkr81 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:56 am

As I have done some scouting in and around the park the trailhead would be in the boat landing area rather than inside the park itself. This does two things. It allows for a longer loop and little or no interference with other events already taking place i.e. weddings and family reunions etc. Good stuff so far keep it coming and thanks for the professional dialogue.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Old Scout » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:07 am

My concern was that there are several walking trails in the area of the park near the shelter area and out to the point. My feeling would be to keep the part of the park from the log building where you come into the picnic area to the point for a picnic area and as walking trails and have the biking trail in the eastern part that is used very little other than for kids fishing in Mirror lake. That would also make a very challanging area for mountain biking with the trail running through some of the old unused roads and trails. There are many acres of the park from near Hwy 86 (S. Tomahawk Ave.) west that most people don't even know are part of the park and have never been in. When we were kids growing up in the area we were all over that part and it is really a nice area. This would give it some use and provide some great riding.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Floyd Alvin » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:52 am

What? Mountain bikers in Bradley Park?

Where are all you guys and gals that came unhinged over the idea of camping in Bradley Park?

My goodness, mountain bikers welcome, campers not? ... you got to be kidding?

Sounds like the snowshoe trail idea is bing used to get a toe hold for the bikers. How many snowshoers are there anyway?

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Old Scout » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:32 pm

I see a big difference between people riding bikes on a designated trail and vehical's pulling campers and motor homes driving all over the place causing erosion and other problems. The terrain in the park just does not fit well with that type of activity. It is hilly and has very little ground cover to prevent errosion. I you have looked at the park lately, you could still see the ruts where people used to drive that have been washed out. When there was camping in the past it was almost all tent camping or small camper trailers. Not much of that happening now.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby mtbkr81 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:35 pm

Floyd Alvin wrote:What? Mountain bikers in Bradley Park?

Where are all you guys and gals that came unhinged over the idea of camping in Bradley Park?

My goodness, mountain bikers welcome, campers not? ... you got to be kidding?

Sounds like the snowshoe trail idea is bing used to get a toe hold for the bikers. How many snowshoers are there anyway?


First of all, this project is to create a viable, sustainable trail system within the park and relaim trails that have since deteriorated over the years. This isn't developing land to incorporate campsites which can lead to land management issues and environmental issues. The trails would be created to facilitate the requirements of a bike, but welcomed to trail runners, snowshoers, mountain bikers, walkers, outbound xc skiiers and other "silent" sport enthusiasts. Snowshoers would help with keeping the trail sustainable and help with maintainence over the winter months, so yeah it's kind of a toe hold in that regard. Not some government spending bill to hide billions of wasted dollars.

Getting back on topic, how many snowshoers are there? We don't know that answer because there is nothing within close proximity that will allow that kind of activity same goes for all the above mentioned silent sports. The proposed trails would give an opportunity to try out the aforementioned activities and locals a closer place to home to partake in some of those activities as well both of which I wish had when growing up.

Campsites would be great but as mentioned in that discussion, developing land could hurt the geological aspect of the 110 acre area. Not one tree will be cut down during this project, only defining a trail to be followed per IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) guidelines.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby mtbkr81 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:53 pm

Update: I was able to go through the park today and get some ideas and check out the soil in which the park rests on. I found that there are a good chunk of trails already built but have been forgotten about for years and just need to be brought back to life. Some trails will need to be added though in order to make a sensible loop and staying within the flow of traffic coming and going in the park.

I think the best thing to do really is make a complete loop with some hard stuff along with a bypass to make it safe. This along with numbering and nameing sections of the trail to keep it fun and easy to make your way around plus maps could really be a big help as well.

Keeping away from the activities in the park wont be too much of an issue as I found one spot by the dock that will be the only interference but how many times will that become an issue? Other than that, all of the trail is nicely tucked away.

Via signage I would like to connect it to sarah park and the gravel road bed heading towards the school via arrows and maps would also be part of the plan as well. I think this has a great potential for great riding and even snowshoeing as well as there isn't too many rock formations to trip over so it will be safe as that's usually the problem with including snowshoes on bike trails :D .

Some of the trails do have some down trees that will need to be cut to clear the path as riding around them just wont work in most cases. I think a 4-5 mile loop is definitely within reach.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby asterix » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:11 pm

I think there are more people snowshoeing than you think. My wife and I snowshoe as do some of our relatives. I also know many people at work that cross country ski and snowshoe. Don't forget however, that in the winter snowmobiles use the park.

As for get togethers in the park, do you think that people are going to ride their bikes through the pavilion when they are going on.

Just start riding your bike through the park. Get all your friends to do the same. Beat down those old trails to reestablish them.

The city has issued permits to cut down trees in the park for firewood in the past. But that's a whole different can of worms and it's a big one.

Right now the city wants to draw people to the parks. If they see bikers useing it they will see the need for established trails to keep the park from degrading.


When there was camping in the past it was almost all tent camping or small camper trailers. Not much of that happening now.


Are you pointing out that there is no camping in the park, or are you saying that people don't tent camp or use smalll campers in general?

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Kerry Tobin » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:53 am

Snowmobiles only use a small number of trails (at least legally) in the winter. Also, just riding the trails a lot without talking to the city first is a bad idea. The city won't see it as, oh, we should open the trails. They will respond by banning biking in the park and ticketing those who do.

I really like this idea and might even be able to get a few friends to come help do the work or donate a little toward signage.

I've been telling family for some time that if Tomahawk was smart it would work with all the paper company land and put in trails all over the place. People in Tomahawk may not bike much but if we put in a good trail system the racing group in Wisconsin might move a race there (which leads to camping and hotel usage) and I really think the Tomahawk area could become a mountain biking mecca of the midwest. Anyone wants to see the tourism effects of that just needs to look at Moab, UT or Fruita, CO.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby asterix » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:19 pm

When I was younger (about 10 years ago), we rode our bikes on Bradley park trails all the time, and still a little bit now. The city didn't ban us then and I very highly doubt that the city would ban bikes from a park, especially now.

Today looks like a good day for a bike ride for me.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby asterix » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:52 pm

When I went back to Bradley today for another bike ride there were no signs put up banning bikes. Looks like I'm in the clear.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Kerry Tobin » Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:56 pm

Asterix,

A couple of people won't start anything. However, if a large number of people start doing it, and the city hasn't approved it in advance, it will simply be closed. I've seen it happen in other cities. It's better to work with the city in advance if you want it to turn into anything official. That way you have a chance to explain what damage will or won't occur, etc.

I'd like to see an official trail system become available in the Tomahawk area and the proper way to do that is to talk to the city, chamber, local businesses, etc.

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby neup99 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:04 am

I hardly think the city is going to start ticketing people for using a trail as a bike path. Interest and use will get their attention and show a need for established trails. I'd like to give the local government a little more credit than that.

The city is working to create a (much needed) connection between the Riverwalk trail and the Hiawatha trail. The new Fourth Street bridge plans include a walkway to connect the east end of the Riverwalk to Memorial Park. This hardly sounds like the work of a ticket happy government against family recreation. Is there some event or history of the City of Tomahawk ticketing people for something like this that I'm not aware of or are is there some personal issue?

I highly doubt Fitchburg has the trail system it does because people waited for the city to come up with a plan. Why did they create bike lanes on both sides of Seminole Highway? Why did they spend thousands of dollars to build a bridge over Fish Hatch at McKee? Because there was a need and people made themselves known.
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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby Kerry Tobin » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:13 am

I'm sure all the bike lanes, etc. are in the Madison area because people approached the city and worked with them to make it happen. Madison has also had a couple of mayors that bike.

There is a big difference between noticing bikes on the street and people seeing bikes riding through the woods. I've been told that one of the MT bike trails inside Minneapolis occurred because people approached the city and promised to maintain it. Prior to that the city simply considered any random riding in that area damaging to the property. It also helps that the mayor was a biker.

You also can't just go randomly build a trail in the forest service, they will, at least occasionally, work with you if you approach them though. This hasn't stopped me from checking out a few unapproved old logging roads but I certainly wouldn't start promoting them as a new trail to others.

The city will also want to explore any liability it may take on allowing this. People have sued, especially if their is a failure of something on the trail (I know of one suit when a bridge broke).

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Re: Mountain Biking and Snowshoeing @ Bradley Park?

Postby asterix » Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:24 pm

Does anyone know if all the old trails in the park were offically closed or if they just forgot to maintain them. Like I said before, the city has given out permits in the past for people to cut up down wood in the park. Besides, a bike trail will be a good addition to any campsites that they put in. It would also be nice if we could get a couple more docks put in at Bradley park. I bet we could get enough donations for that.


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