The Homer Cycling Club rounded up workers to help improve the singletrack mountain bike trail in the Diamond Creek area for Trails Day on Sunday, June 5. The group has been slowly establishing a bike trail that starts about 50 yards from the top of the dirt road that leads to the trailhead of the existing Diamond Creek hiking trail.
Currently, the bike trail is 7/10 of a mile, said Derek Reynolds, Homer Cycling Club member and organizer of the Trails Day event. Reynolds and other members of the club began work on the trail three years ago, but only recently received official approval for the trail from the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation in October 2015.
Until the official approval came through, the club did minor upkeep on the small part of trail they established, but now it is a major focus. Reynolds attended a chainsaw class prior to the Trails Day event so he would be approved to operate a chainsaw to help clear the trail.
“We’re waiting for approval to build more trail. We are trying to get as much mileage as we can, though the terrain dictates what we can or cannot do,” Reynolds said. “I’d like to see five miles of trail on this parcel of land. If we get there I’ll be pretty happy because it will feel like a good work out if you do a loop.”
The Cycling Club held their Trails Day event on Sunday partially to accommodate Reynold’s business, Cycle Logical, and its employees who are involved in the project, and partially to give volunteers involved in the Saturday activities across the bay a chance to help with the bike trail as well.
Building the full five miles of trail will not happen overnight. Reynolds said he would like to get at least another 3/10 of a mile completed by the time the snow falls, bringing the trail to a “nice clean mile.”
In addition to being the mountain bike trail that Homer does not have, the trail will be open to runners and hikers as well, Reynolds said. The vision for the trail is to create as much mileage in the allotted space as they can.
“It will be a fun running trail,” Reynolds said. “Hikers…will probably be confused why it squiggles around so much.”
Anna Frost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.