Glastonbury is looking to add mountain bike trails. Unauthorized trails are difficult to clean and manage, officials said. – Hartford Courant

Glastonbury – Glastonbury City Council heard a presentation at a recent meeting that could lead to mountain bike trails being added to the town’s official cycle paths.

Glastonbury resident Mark McCall, who is also a member of Bike Walk Glastonbury and the New England Mountain Biking Association, said he had visited the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, including a children’s trail, and said that he had immediately thought it would be a good choice at Glastonbury. . NEMBA also recently helped build mountain bike trails at Rocky Hill and Cromwell.

There are “unofficial” trails, which branch off from the paved multi-use trail that leads from Smith Middle School to Bell Street.

“At the edge of this trail, over the last few years, has become a little network of trails, built by we don’t know who,” McCall said. “They’re fun to drive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re well-designed or city-approved.”

McCall said the unauthorized trails have been difficult for parks and recreation officials to clean and manage. A map was created of the existing trails, to build a more maintainable and safe plan.

Dividing the area into multiple zones, McCall said there are no trails in the wetlands area near the school’s baseball field, nor in the adjacent area, where there are hiking trails. established.

Recommendations from the city, from a guided tour, include not crossing trails at the multi-use trail, adding kiosks with mapping details, removing large ramps or “waterfalls” created by unknown users and retention of all existing trees.

“These are all things that NEMBA is well capable of dealing with,” McCall said.

The proposal would include incorporating some trails, rerouting some of them, and adding markings and signage. This would also include adding space for small children on smaller bikes.

Glenn Vernes, president of NEMBA’s Central CT Chapter, said the organization’s specialty is building sustainable trails that minimize erosion.

“Erosion is obviously a problem when trails aren’t properly constructed,” Vernes said. “We have experience training volunteers to do trail work, we have hundreds of trail work days throughout the year, all over New England.”

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Vernes said the organization’s goal is to educate trail builders and maintainers, as well as trail users. It would also allocate a budget for the repair and maintenance of the trail.

“We will use social media to encourage people to act responsibly,” Vernes said.

At the recent meeting, board member Jennifer Wang asked if NEMBA would use some kind of outreach to resolve potential conflicts between different types of trail users.

“NEMBA has a lot of experience mitigating user conflicts,” Vernes said. “That’s really why the organization was created 35 years ago. It can be the way the trails are designed…good sight lines and good signage. The best way to keep cyclists away from hiking trails is to have good bike lanes they can ride on.

Council Member John Cavanna asked if the areas where the trails will be located would impede pedestrians.

“This is a multi-use trail, a shared trail,” McCall said. “Everyone is welcome to use the trails.”

For more information, visit www.glastonbury-ct.gov.

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