June 19, 2018

Sheehan Park Mountain Bike Trails are Open Again

The Sun Prairie Parks Commission met yesterday to discuss mountain bike trail use in Sheehan Park. At the end of that meeting, a vote occurred and access was again granted to riding on the south side singletrack trails.

Below are three points provided by Public Works and the Parks Department that were voted on:

  1. Allow the bicycle group to use the lower 37 acres of Sheehan.
  2. Do not allow any additional maintenance or construction of the course to occur on the lower 37 acres until City Council approves a Memo Of Understanding (MOU).
    • MOU will include insurance requirements, maintenance agreement, fee structure, event authorization process and expansion approval process.
  3. Do not allow any work, maintenance or riding on the proposed bike trail until Park Commission and/or City Council approves the proposal.

A fourth point was added during the meeting stating that everyone involved acknowledges that these trails are temporary.

This four-point proposal was approved.

What does this mean for the singletrack trails in Sheehan Park:

  • Bicycle riding on the singletrack trails is allowed again. Please go out and ENJOY the trails.
    However, please note it has been raining so the trails are technically still closed. Once the rain stops, and we've had a day of drying, then go hit the trials.
  • Planned trail work is on hold until the MOU is finalized. This means that trail signage and berm work is on hold. Yes, some of the berms still need work and that will need to wait for now.  This also means trail mowing is on hold. Thus the grass along the trails may grow taller than you are used to. We recommend that you wear long socks and a lot of bug spray. Tall grass can increase the potential for hitchhiking ticks. So take precautions.
    We do not know how long the MOU process will take.
  • There was a proposal for trail expansion into another area at Sheehan Park. This is currently on hold while proposals are being examined and the city looks at other options.

As to the temporary status, this is a reminder that the city is interested in acquiring land that they feel will be better suited for both mountain bike and other user groups. We do not know how long that process will take. Thus 'temporary' could be for a very long time.

In the meantime, continue to enjoy the trails, be courteous to other park users and residents, and remember to pack out what you bring in. Please don't litter or make a mess.

We look forward to seeing you on the trails after they dry post rain.

More details on the Sheehan Park singletrack trails can be found on this page.

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