After a summer of work, and the efforts of a cadre of enthusiastic volunteers, the newest additions to the Langlade County of Trails will be dedicated this weekend.
The focus will be on mountain bike trails, with grand opening ceremonies Sunday at the city of Antigo’s new single-track beginners loop and then, a few hours later at the new Jack Lake loop.
Both trails were created through the efforts of the Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association, known by the acronym LAMBA.
On Sunday, activities kick off at 11 a.m. with the grand opening of the city of Antigo’s new single track beginner loop located at the former city landfill south of the city at N1985 Dump Rd.
LAMBA volunteer Mike Heiny will offer a few words, followed by a trail ride on the 1-mile loop.
The city had a single-track trail at the former landfill site, but it attracted limited usage because of its extremely technical nature, which were great for mountain bike enthusiasts but extremely hairy to sport newbies
The extension runs an additional mile, along a completely separate track, and is far more forgiving, allowing those new to the sport to enjoy an outing, gain some confidence in their single-track trail skills, and not lose enthusiasm for a very fast-growing sport.
The terrain in the area is stunning, and being located only 3.7 miles from the city, very accessible.
The trails are not just for cyclists. They are open to runners and hikers, dog-walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts in the summer along with snow-shoers and fat-tire cyclists in the wintertime.
It will be a quick ride, because everyone is invited to load up their bikes and head north to the new Jack Lake single-track trail at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park at Jack Lake.
The 8.5 mile trail will be officially opened with a 2 p.m. ceremony, followed by a big group ride afternoons. Refreshments will cap the day.
The Jack Lake trail is the first of a multi-phase project spearheaded by LAMBA. It is designed for families and cyclists of all ages, including those new to the sport. The trail will also be open to hikers and in the winter months, to skiers, snowshoers and fat-tire cyclists.
Members of the Tainter family enjoy the new Jack Lake bike trails,
which will be dedicated on Sunday. It’s part of a full weekend of a
ctivities devoted to single-track biking in the area.
Subsequent phases through 2018 and 2019 will extend the trail’s length around Game and Jack lakes and connect with the existing ski and hiking trails to the north.
The project’s partner, the Antigo Swim Club, will see benefits as well. The club uses its Michelle Koss Memorial Splash-N-Dash aquathon as its primary fund-raiser, and the swimming and running event has plateaued. Adding a single-track cycling component will create an off-road triathlon, a second unique three-sport event in the area, along with the Langlade area’s Wolfman Triathlon that featuring whitewater paddling, cycling and running.
Work was completed over the summer on both trails with the help of cycling enthusiasts who constructed close to 10 miles of new trail. Additional horsepower was provided through a great piece of trail building equipment, a trail-specific bulldozer capable of carving four-foot wide trails through just about anything, with assistance from Jerry Rice and City Gas. Antigo Rotary Club also provided funding and assistance.
The fun actually begins on Saturday when LAMBA hosts a unique poker run, using the rugged pedal bikes instead of the more common motorized methods, based at the challenging Nicolet Roche single-track trails at Langlade.
Known as Biketoberfest, with a long E emphasis on the ber, it all starts at 10 a.m., headquartered at the Grudgeville Pub on Highway 55 south of Langlade. Participants are invited to ride the trail and collect cards, with the best poker hand winning.
There will also be food, raffles, beverages and music afterwards.