Stoneage Ramblings

By John R. Stone

People curious about the bike trails in Barsness Park should know that they are open for use.

These are single track mountain bike trails, not the kind of trails you would want to tackle with your single speed Schwinn Cruiser. They contain features that follow the contour of the land with bumps, dips and sharp turns. Wearing a helmet is a must, say riders, to prevent life changing injuries. Gloves and proper shoes are also important.

These features are similar to other mountain bike parks. People who learn to navigate these trails well will find they will be comfortable on other trail systems.

Riders also say it is important to scout the trails before riding them too fast. Most of the trails will be rated easy or moderate.

While the trails are mostly done, the signage is still a work in progress. Each of the trailheads will eventually have a kiosk with maps and directions for trail use. If all goes well there will be a QR code on the kiosk that will allow a rider to download a trail map onto a cell phone.

There are three trailheads that provide access to the trails and all three have parking near the trailhead. The trailheads are:

 * AJ’s parking lot on Highway 28 at the top of the hill. The trailhead is at the west end of the parking lot. There is a large frame for a map (kiosk) and other information at the west end of the parking lot, that is the trailhead.

* A second trailhead is at the intersection of 3rd Avenue SE and 7th Street SE just east of the 48-unit apartment (some call it the high rise) building on 5th Street. A kiosk marks that spot, head up the trail that starts at the left of the kiosk. After entering the trail there will be a “Y.” Stay to the right, this is the climbing part of the trail. It is important to respect the “Do Not Enter” side of the “Y”, downhill riders will be exiting those this path and will not be expecting a climber.

* A third trailhead is near the wood chip pile on Park Road just west of the new ASB warehouse stormwater retention pond. The kiosk for this trail has not yet been installed but the trailhead is just south of the chip pile.

Efforts to form teams for trail maintenance are also underway. Trail organizers are hoping to have an open house this fall. People interested in helping with trail maintenance may call the City of Glenwood 320 634 5433. Trail organizers will then contact you and explain what the process is.   


Talking about Barsness Park, there is a new parking area and trail access to the park trail system from Memorial Drive.

The volunteer Buckthorn Brigade cleared the area and the Glenwood city crew brought in fill and leveled it to create a wide parking area.

People who follow the trail at the north end of the parking area will soon arrive at the wood chip covered “main loop” of the Barsness Park trail system. A person heading left at this intersection will end up at the trailhead near the Lion’s Chalet building. A turn to the right will take a hiker around about two thirds of the “main loop.”

This access point will help alleviate congestion near the sometimes cramped parking areas near the Chalet building on busy camping weekends.

Part of the signage plans being worked on now would guide people throughout the hiking trail system.


Work started last week on the splash pad that will be near the Lions building along the main park road entrance.

A couple of sites were checked out and this proved to have the most stable soil. One of the other sites would have required too much fill to make it financially feasible.

While it is probably too late for use this year, this will probably be a popular feature of the park next year.