Lake Salinda mountain bike trail approved

By: 
Becky Killian, Staff Writer

Jared Kearschner and Andy Nice work on the new trail at Salinda.

Officials have approved the installation of a mountain bike trail at Lake Salinda.

The approval came during the Tuesday, Nov. 13, meeting of the City of Salem Board of Public Works & Safety and Common Council.

Dr. Jared Kearschner, of Salem, and Andy Nice, a Salem native who now lives in Louisville, made the presentation, saying the area is underserved when it comes to bike trails. Enthusiasts must travel south to Louisville or north to Brown County to mountain bike.

The trail – which would roughly be four to six miles long – would draw bikers to Salem and showcase the area’s natural beauty, Kearschner said.

The men explained there would be no cost for the project. Volunteers can install the trail using mostly hand tools. No large trees would have to be removed, only brush and saplings. They added it would make an excellent Eagle Scout project.

The men are familiar with the necessary signage that includes the standard rules and liability disclaimers. They assured city officials that the trail can safely be used for multiple purposes including jogging and walking, with Kearschner saying multi-use trails are “extremely common.”

“I think Washington County could be one of the best places in Indiana to ride,” Kearschner said.

Nice said he grew up around Becks Mill Road and there’s not much to do in that area. He became involved in mountain biking after he moved to Louisville. Both men touted the health benefits the area youth could enjoy from the activity. The hope is the trail will spur a whole new generation of mountain bikers.

“There’s never been anything like this in the county,” Kearschner said.

Both the Board of Works and the Common Council approved the idea. The men were instructed to get approval from Ronnie Voyles, the city’s building commissioner, when the trail is marked and before any vegetation is removed.

Attorney John Mead, who was at the meeting for another matter, spoke in favor of the trail, agreeing there are no other Washington County trails that are ideal for mountain biking.

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