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Go with the Flow (Trails) at USI

USI flow_trail groundbreaking -2.jpg
Tim Jagielo
An informational proposed trail map at the small trail groundbreaking on Monday.

Non-profit organization Trail Heads Southwest Indiana has broken ground on three new mountain bike trails on the University of Southern Indiana campus

USI flow_trail groundbreaking -3.jpg
Tim Jagielo
Brent Jarvis with TrelCru Inc. operates a Kubota at the news conference on Monday. TrelCru Inc. is responsible to building and maintaining mountain biking trails.

Brent Jarvis with TrelCru Inc. fires up a Kubota compact loader at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) on Monday morning.

The machine gurgles to life, and lifts a pile of dirt to ceremonially break ground on the brand new set of mountain biking trails, right on campus.

These ‘flow trails’ will be complete and ready for students and the public in about two weeks. There will be three trails of varying difficulty, full of obstacles covering about an acre of woods near the ceramics building.

Brad Scales is executive director of Trail Heads Southwest Indiana, which is leading the project. He said features include berm turns and jumps. “(It) will be very exciting for riders, pretty much action packed,” he said. “There will be a return trail that goes along the edge of the woods to bring riders back up to the top where we stand here.”

The trails are a collaboration with USI. Steve Bridges is Vice President for Finance and Administration at USI. He said there have been several student inquiries on the project. “I think that student interests will pique once they get a chance to see the actual trail itself,” he said.

This trail will cost $25,000, funded by the CenterPoint Energy Foundation.

The goal is for this smaller project to aid the big, $100 thousand dollar trail project they’re planning for the summer, also at USI.

“This project here will be a catalyst for the rest of the overall project jumps, dirt jumps, flow trails are not something(I‘ve seen) There are none in Evansville, as far as I'm aware of.”

Trail Heads has until March 24 to raise $50,000 to earn matching funds from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, for a 2.75 mile loop near the student housing.

“That'll be a natural surface trail with optional features for people to enjoy,” Scales said. “And we are also building the point-five mile Broadway connector trail as part of that fundraiser.”

But phase one is first — these small trails now under construction.

Go to trailheadsbike.com to donate to the larger project.

USI flow_trail groundbreaking -1.jpg
Tim Jagielo
Brad Scales speaks at the news conference.

About Trail Heads Southwest Indiana

This non-profit is responsible for several scholastic bike groups and trails throughout the tri-state area.

“Trail Heads is a volunteer-based organization with a mission to develop infrastructure and support programs for quality trails throughout southwest Indiana.”