Size doesn’t always matter. Breckenridge has completed many big and small trail and open space projects over the last 10 years. But, it’s the smaller shorter trails, or connectors, that oftentimes have the biggest impact. With a new connector trail, the Wellington trail, in the works, let’s take a look at how some of these “connector” trails impact the local community.
Bike Park and Pump Track
The Wellington Bike Park and pump track (WBP) was added to the open space and trail system in 2015 in Breckenridge. If you’re not familiar with pump tracks, imagine a BMX, or motocross type track or trail. The pump track is much smaller than a motocross track, but it’s in that same style of berm turns and jumps. On a bicycle pump track, the idea is to use momentum, gravity, body weight, and a certain style to propel yourself around the track, without pedaling. They’re also great for all ages and abilities, as different people can attempt different lines, in order to have fun and stay interested. The WBP, being about a half mile from the family-oriented Wellington neighborhood, has proved to be popular with bike crazy families and their young children.
The Bike Park and Pump Track has become a gathering spot where experienced bikers mix with novices and intermediates. And where friends, neighbors and families convene and catch up about the local news in town and with each other. This is quickly becoming a social hot spot in town.
Wellington Connector Trail
The Bike Park and Pump Track have become so popular that the Town of Breckenridge has identified a missing link – there’s a need for a trail to connect to the WBP safely and easily. In order to access the WBP, you either had to drive to it, or ride on the road, and then on the sidewalk. The Wellington connector trail solves that (note: it’s still under construction in summer 2016). The goals are simple for this new addition to the Breckenridge trail network. Give riders the opportunity to access the bike park by using more natural surface, or trail, riding, than road riding. And to add green, beginner-level trail mileage to the Breck trail network. The new trail will be three- to four-feet wide, and relatively smooth. It will stay interesting with some natural undulations and tree coverage, but remain more of a trail for people to get from one point to another, in a natural setting, instead of riding on the road. It’s not going to be a “sick” or “shredder” type trail. Breckenridge has those, in other places. This is a trail not only for bikes, but Moms pushing strollers.
The Wellington trail also connects the town with the French Creek/Wellington area, avoiding roads. And it adds true green level, or beginner, trail miles to the overall system. With Colorado state grant money, the hard working Breckenridge trail crew is ready to stick some shovels in the ground and get this wonderful new addition ready to ride.
Construction started in July, 2016. The Wellington trail will start off of Wellington Road, on the South side, approximately between Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and Xcel Energy properties on the West end of it, and just West of the Country Boy Mine property on the East end. Of course, it meets the pump track in the middle.
In my opinion, this simple new trail will fill a couple key roles: that of beginner level trails, and as an awesome dirt addition to certain loops, instead of riding on the road. These two scenarios are both wonderful additions to what has really become one of the best all-around bike towns in the United States.