Sycamore Park Singletrack Improvements
Parks will construct approximately 1.5 miles of natural surface, bike-optimized singletrack trail at Sycamore Park in 2024. The trail will be open to bikes and other non-motorized uses such as hiking, walking, and snowshoeing.
The trail is shown on the map below and would form a singletrack loop comprised of several different trail surfaces. Portions of the trail will be covered in a natural stone chip seal surface while others would be constructed of native soil, stone, and wood. The project will be built by a professional trail builder with experience in constructing bike-optimized singletrack. A similar project was constructed at Aldo Leopold Park and Cannonball Path in 2021. Trail construction such as this uses techniques such as bermed turns, rollers, and technical trail features to enhance the experience of riding bikes off-road and make riding fun. Trail difficulty is proposed to range from "easy" to "moderate" with a ride around optional lines for technical features.
Trail construction methods used by professional trail builders use a combination of machinery and hand work to shape a trail tread. The tread is carefully constructed to minimize erosion, create a firm and sustainable tread, protect trees, and create a safe and predictable experience. The professionally built trail lets riders choose their level of risk and excitement in a predictable manner. After trail construction is complete, the disturbed area will restored with native vegetation and managed by Parks.
Parks hosted a Public Information Meeting on the project on Thursday, October 5, 2023. If you were unable to attend and have questions or would like to share feedback, please contact Project Engineer Corey Stelljes at email@example.com or (608) 266-6518.
The proposed schedule for the project is as follows:
- Fall 2023- Planning and Design
- Winter 2023- Bidding and award
- Spring 2024- Construction start
- Fall 2024- Construction complete and open for riding
The need for natural surface trails has been communicated to Madison Parks over the past two decades. While the communities surrounding Madison on the south and west sides have many miles of single track, opportunities on the east side remain scarce.
To best determine locations for trails, Parks underwent a city-wide planning process in 2020 to develop a vision of an urban singletrack network. That planning process and details can be found on the MadBAT project page.
A Master Plan for Sycamore Park was completed in 2023 that identified recreational biking and an amenity to be added to Sycamore Park. See Sycamore Park Master Plan for that planning process including recordings of public meetings.
In 2021 and 2022 a temporary skills loop was mowed in the long grass by Parks staff. Volunteers then installed temporary wooden trail features. This trail was used and maintained by local volunteers and used by local high school students to practice and trial for NICA competitions.