Johnson / Millenium Park

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Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby ignition16 » July 14th, 2011, 1:16 pm

I may be kicking a dead horse here, but I'm wondering if johnson and millenium parks have been considered for new trail locations. I know there is already quite a bit going on at those two parks, but given the natue of the land and the amount of land there, i would think that there must be a few spots where we could fit in some singletrack. Also given the number of riders in the jenison and grandville area, it seems like it wouldnt be terribly difficult to find help either. I'm just wondering if anything has ever been done to gain access and build trails here, or if maybe the space just isnt right for it.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby kyle_vk » September 24th, 2011, 3:26 pm

I do a bit of longboarding at Johnson Park and there are a few spots where you can see impromptu biking tracks.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby SlowPoke » September 29th, 2011, 6:30 am

Those parks have been successful in developing a nice paved trail system and attracting some people to get outside. But it is amazing to me that they will not allow a single track to go in.
It seems strange to me that we spend so much money paving paradise, and yet will not allow a NGO to put in and maintain a natural trail at no cost.

Maybe someday.

Till then we will keep packing our bikes in the car and driving a half hour each way to an area that welcomes bikers. When we arrive at the closest trail, we see a parking lot full of cars from GR. :?
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby c0nsumer » September 29th, 2011, 6:50 am

SlowPoke wrote:Those parks have been successful in developing a nice paved trail system and attracting some people to get outside. But it is amazing to me that they will not allow a single track to go in.
It seems strange to me that we spend so much money paving paradise, and yet will not allow a NGO to put in and maintain a natural trail at no cost.

Maybe someday.

Till then we will keep packing our bikes in the car and driving a half hour each way to an area that welcomes bikers. When we arrive at the closest trail, we see a parking lot full of cars from GR. :?


I'm just curious, but why won't the land managers allow MTB trails to be formally built in the park?
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby SlowPoke » September 29th, 2011, 7:19 am

I don't know??

Years ago I heard roomers of why we could not have a trail in almost any park in the area, but I think those were just roomers. It sounded far fetch to me but the story involved a parks person having a bad experience with a mtn biker. I suspect that old story is not correct because that was about 8 years ago, and it seems hard to believe the parks department would lock out a community based a bad experience like that. If they did that, we would need to keep everyone out of the park.

I suspect they think they have created a "trail" system, and we don't need more trails. Several years ago I looked at the plan for the new park, and I was amazed at how much pavement they planned on putting in. It is cool to see people using those trails, and it would be even better to see people using both the paved trails and single track for running and biking. We have an active trail running community in the area also, and I know they would also love to see a trail go in.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby msugrad96 » September 29th, 2011, 7:56 am

SlowPoke wrote:I don't know??

Years ago I heard roomers of why we could not have a trail in almost any park in the area, but I think those were just roomers. It sounded far fetch to me but the story involved a parks person having a bad experience with a mtn biker. I suspect that old story is not correct because that was about 8 years ago, and it seems hard to believe the parks department would lock out a community based a bad experience like that. If they did that, we would need to keep everyone out of the park.

I suspect they think they have created a "trail" system, and we don't need more trails. Several years ago I looked at the plan for the new park, and I was amazed at how much pavement they planned on putting in. It is cool to see people using those trails, and it would be even better to see people using both the paved trails and single track for running and biking. We have an active trail running community in the area also, and I know they would also love to see a trail go in.


I heard the same rumor, but that it started with Aman park on Lake Michigan Drive. I heard that used to be a great spot to ride years ago before they shut it down. Has anyone ridden out there prior to it getting shut down?
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby c0nsumer » September 29th, 2011, 8:12 am

SlowPoke wrote:I don't know??

Years ago I heard roomers of why we could not have a trail in almost any park in the area, but I think those were just roomers. It sounded far fetch to me but the story involved a parks person having a bad experience with a mtn biker. I suspect that old story is not correct because that was about 8 years ago, and it seems hard to believe the parks department would lock out a community based a bad experience like that. If they did that, we would need to keep everyone out of the park.

I suspect they think they have created a "trail" system, and we don't need more trails. Several years ago I looked at the plan for the new park, and I was amazed at how much pavement they planned on putting in. It is cool to see people using those trails, and it would be even better to see people using both the paved trails and single track for running and biking. We have an active trail running community in the area also, and I know they would also love to see a trail go in.


So what you're saying is that it's all hearsay? Maybe some interested party should approach the land owners with a proposal and see where it goes?
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby SlowPoke » September 29th, 2011, 8:56 am

msugrad96 wrote:I heard the same rumor, but that it started with Aman park on Lake Michigan Drive. I heard that used to be a great spot to ride years ago before they shut it down. Has anyone ridden out there prior to it getting shut down?


That is the story I heard also. I would not think that problem would still be causing us trouble, because that was not even on a maintained trail. But, maybe??? Also, would they really lock out a sport, because of one conflict with a parks person? That can't be what it is. But honestly I don't know why no trails are allowed, or maybe they are in the works and I don't know about that. These things do take a lot of time to get worked out and because of some strange work stuff in the last two years I have not attended any MMBA meetings.

My hope was that the parks people would see what we are doing in other parks, and see that for the most part we are a group of responsible hard working (and hard playing) people that care more about the environment and our parks than many other groups and that we would be good caretakers of the resource. I love the fact that we clean up after each other, and maintain the resources with trained volunteers. How many groups can say that? :D
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby cramer » September 30th, 2011, 4:25 pm

We've had a shaky relationship with the Kent County Parks Dept. in the past and I believe some of the issues were directly related to access at Johnson Park BUT, that was the past. Right now we've got a pretty good relationship going with them and Luton is the evidence of that. There are also other projects in the works so there is no anti-mountain bike bias currently in place at least from what I can see. I appreciate that the head of the parks dept. has been willing to work with us on these new projects.

There are some Kent County parks with mountain bike trails and some without. I doubt we will ever get access to every Kent County Park, it's just not going to happen. Millenium however seems like an ideal location to me though, since it would serve people from the other side of the county and there is a ton of land there and some elevation also. Being linked to the Kent Trails means there is access for many people without using a car to get there. It just seems like a great location for some natural surface trails. Maybe some day we can revisit this with them and get something started.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby SlowPoke » September 30th, 2011, 10:14 pm

That's a good word.
Thanks!
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby dennismurphy » October 15th, 2011, 10:43 am

Johnson Park was our first Kent County trail proposal- the director said that mtb trails in that park did not fit the character or mission of that particular park and he passed us on to look at Luton, which Rick Plite and team brought to fruition. Johnson Park does many rentals for the county park system- reserve rentals for family gatherings as well as the pavilion building there.

Aman Park is a City of Gr Rapids park- from what I know, biking was allowed there years ago.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby ballpk » November 2nd, 2011, 1:15 pm

I just had this conversation w/ my wife after complaining about having to drive out of the city to find a decent trail.
I've seem in the past that they chalk out a trail for cross country running, I wonder if it goes into the woods at all? If not it would make for a good cross ride.

On the subject of G.R. parks does anyone know about a trail being developed in the southern part of town, maybe even in Wyoming? I remember seeing something about it in the paper but forget the name of the park.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby RickPlite » November 2nd, 2011, 2:31 pm

ballpk wrote:I just had this conversation w/ my wife after complaining about having to drive out of the city to find a decent trail.
I've seem in the past that they chalk out a trail for cross country running, I wonder if it goes into the woods at all? If not it would make for a good cross ride.

On the subject of G.R. parks does anyone know about a trail being developed in the southern part of town, maybe even in Wyoming? I remember seeing something about it in the paper but forget the name of the park.


The trail in Wyoming didn't pan out but construction of Kenosha near Kalamazoo and 32nd St is underway. Come to the WMMBA chapter meeting Monday Nov 7th at Rockys Bar and Grill downtown to learn about all the other city trails being worked on.
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby Mike_D » November 22nd, 2011, 9:17 am

cramer wrote:Millenium however seems like an ideal location to me though, since it would serve people from the other side of the county and there is a ton of land there and some elevation also. Being linked to the Kent Trails means there is access for many people without using a car to get there. It just seems like a great location for some natural surface trails. Maybe some day we can revisit this with them and get something started.


I agree it would be a great place for some singletrack but I am biased since it does suck to have to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to get to any singletrack for me. There are so many different parking areas at different areas next to Kent Trails that you wouldn't need to park at a trailhead at Millenium. Like you said, you wouldn't need to use a car to get there. For me, it would be a 10 minute bike ride. I think there might be an issue with getting some lengthy singletrack at Millenium since there is PAVED trail everywhere in that park now and a singletrack would most likely need to cross a paved trail at some point which would create a safety issue. Maybe this would not be the case but I know that there is a lot of wetlands in that park too that could restrict some singletrack access. It would have been nice if Luton had been up and running a few years before the Millenium highway system was planned. Perhaps some singletrack could have been planned also.

Slowpoke brought up a good point about trail runners using this as well. Does anyone know if there is a trail runner club that the WMMBA could join forces with in promoting this to Millenium again??? I think the owner of Striders/Grandville used to promote a huge trail race up at the Big M every fall. He might be someone to talk to about "joining forces".

As for Johnson Park, it sure seems like a singletrack system could be put in place up in the hilly wooded section away from all of the picnic areas. Granted there is scenic drive up there but as long as you didn't have a trail bomb across it on a downhill run, it could be somewhat safe. There are already restrooms in place for riders to change and huge parking lots in addition to being able to park along Butterworth. If they put a trail in @ JP and another at MP, the 2 would be tied together with the paved trail running between the 2. Ok, I'm dreaming. Back to work :roll:

It would just be nice to get some new singletrack on this side of town instead of all the nice singletrack going in around the Rockford area. Maybe we need some reps from this side of town in on the decision making - JK :wink:
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Re: Johnson / Millenium Park

Postby Mike_D » November 23rd, 2011, 12:08 am

By coincidence, I see in the Advance newspaper an article on Kent trails and how much it has grown and how much it costs to maintain. Here is a quote from the article: "....an annual total maintenance cost of $20,000 for the first 10 years and $25,000 annually for the next 10, with the Kent County Parks Department paying half and the other half being charged to the remaining five partners based on the original formula based on how many miles of trails were in the community"

and here is a link to the article:
http://www.mlive.com/walker/index.ssf/2011/11/kent_trails_management_agreeme.html

Here's an idea..... Not sure what is involved with these maintenance costs but suppose the MMBA proposes to maintain or help maintain those existing trails in exchange for allowing us to build some singletrack in Millenium Park or Johnson Park??? I'm guessing some of the maintenance is grass mowing and brush trimming? Just thinking if we saved the parks dept. some cash well you know how money talks :roll: Just another idea and maybe this has been thrown on the table already.....
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