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FAST plans to add trails to Great Bear Recreation Park

todayMay 28, 2024 6

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A nonprofit in Sioux Falls is working to elevate the outdoor experience of hikers, riders, and runners.

Falls Area SingleTrack, also known as FAST, has created 15 miles of trails across nine parks in Sioux Falls.

“We work on building and advocating for and maintaining natural surface trails in and around Sioux Falls,” FAST board member Brad Blomberg said.

FAST will soon add a tenth option, partnering with Great Bear Ski Valley to carve out more than ten miles of trails.

“Great Bear offers over 200 acres of rolling terrain ideal for hiking, biking, that kind of stuff,” Blomberg said.

Brad Blomberg is a FAST board member, and says the project at Great Bear will feature all new construction working around the existing trail system.

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“We’ve got a lot of user groups to keep happy. A lot of people walk dogs out here, a lot of people have already been out here trail running, now we’re going to have bikes. Our plan has thought through to provided something for everybody and not to disturb the pecking order,” Blomberg said.

“I would say the trails are used as much for hiking as it is for mountain biking. If you go out to the SingleTrack trails at Tuthill Park you’ll see as many people walking on them, probably more people walking, than actually on mountain bikes,” Parks Planning & Project Manager Mike Patten said.

Mike Patten is the city’s parks planning & project manager and says trails are always a popular amenity.

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“Everyone walks, everyone hikes, everyone bikes, and so incorporating more trails into the parks system is a high priority for the community,” Patten said.

Bicycles are currently not allowed at Great Bear, but phase one of the project will include bike trails located near the parking lot.

“That puts us at four- to five-mile trail system here at Great Bear, which is really exciting. We don’t have a continuous four- to five-mile system here in Sioux Falls yet,” Blomberg said.

The nonprofit launched its “The Great Trail Build. Destination: Bear” fundraising campaign earlier this month, with a goal of $1-million.

“It is a big project. We do want it to be a destination for people to come so that’s why we said Destination: Bear, people always talk about going skiing at Bear or being at Bear so it all kind of aligns with what our goals are,” Blomberg said.

And Blomberg hopes to see phase one become reality by 2025.

FAST plans to raise at least a quarter-million dollars before starting phase one of the project.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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