Indiana DNR starts to open State Parks!-
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004

    ... and if we just ... Indiana DNR starts to open State Parks!

    Press Release found on the HMBA web-site. May be newsworthy for some in the mid-west.


    Begin Press Release

    Jonathan Juillerat
    Indiana Bicycle Coalition, At-Large Director
    Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Advisory Board
    International Mountain Bike Association, Central Indiana Representative

    Sometimes during a ride, you can just cruise along and get in the zone. The trees just seem to roll by, and you feel like water flowing in a trough. Other times, you hit those spots that you have to really work for. These are the ?gut check? moments of the ride. We?ve all had them, and if you are still riding now, you have learned that the parts of the ride that are the most work can also be the most rewarding. Those of us in Indiana that ride mountain bikes are about to have a ?gut check? on our collective ride into the future.

    The past several months have been quite interesting for Hoosier mountain bikers. In October, the International Mountain Bike Association released their annual report card ranking for all fifty states. Indiana was ranked dead last, with an embarrassing grade of D+. There was some debate about whether or not we deserved that dubious distinction. Whether or not it was deserved, almost everyone agreed that the situation for mountain bikers in Indiana needed to be improved.

    The good thing about the poor ranking was that it got people?s attention. Nothing travels like bad news, and before long you could hear the collective moans of Indiana mountain bikers all the way from the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Michigan. As a result of the last place IMBA ranking, Indiana mountain bike advocates representing the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association and the Indiana Bicycle Coalition met with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director, John Goss, to discuss the state of mountain biking on Indiana state properties.

    As a result of that meeting and other discussions with the Indiana DNR, the DNR has graciously granted us access to two gems of the Indiana State Park system. It was decided that mountain bikers would be given access to Versailles State Park in the southeast part of the state and to Brown County State Park near Nashville. These are two of the most visited and most beautiful parks in the state. It was obvious that the Indiana DNR was serious about acknowledging and addressing the needs of our form of outdoor recreation. Mountain bikers have had access to five state forests and one reservoir property for a few years now, but those opportunities, although they were strides in the right direction, never came close to approaching the potential of mountain bike trails at Versailles and Brown County State Parks.

    Currently there are no trails on the land that the DNR has given us access to in these two parks. There are only large stretches of extremely beautiful, hilly Indiana landscape. The trails aren?t there?yet. That?s where you come in. If you are a Hoosier that enjoys riding a mountain bike we are going to need your help. Small groups of advocates and trail builders have been working for many years to get us to where we are now. We?ve come into a windfall, and everyone will have to play a part to bring it to fruition. The DNR has given us access to this land with the understanding that the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association and the Indiana Bicycle Coalition, in concert with other mountain bike groups, will design, build and maintain sustainable trail systems at both of these locations. Also, expectations are that the trails that are built should not only be the best in the state, but should be some of the best trails in the Midwest.

    The type of effort that these projects require will not be accomplished by a small group of advocates and trail builders. Everyone will have to pitch in. Some of us will get our hands dirty building trails. Some of us will attend meetings. Some of us will spread the good word and get others involved. Some of us will join the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association or Indiana Bicycle Coalition. We will all have to ask ourselves what our part will be to take mountain biking in Indiana to the next level. It?s time for our ?gut check? as Indiana mountain bikers. We?ve been given some tremendous opportunities, and we have to prove that our sport and the participants of our sport deserve them. I know that we can succeed by all working together to achieve or goals.

    If you?re not sure how to get involved in the effort at Versailles or Brown County State Park but you want to help out, please read below and contact the individuals listed. For updates on these projects and general information about mountain biking in Indiana please visit the Indiana Bicycle Coalition website at and the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association website at

    Versailles State Park
    By Richard Ries, Mountain Bike Chair, Indiana Bicycle Coalition

    The area being considered for mountain bike trails is in the extreme northwest corner of the park, where the old 4H camping area was located. This is probably the most beautiful area of a park that is extraordinarily scenic to begin with. The opportunities are great, as the terrain in this corner is ideally suited for trails. The challenge will be creating access. There?s a creek to cross, and there?s no easy way to keep visitors within park property as they drive from the gate to the proposed parking area.
    Versailles State Park has a lake, canoe and paddleboat rental, fishing, a swimming beach, a large outdoor pool, camping, cabins, hiking trails, miles of horse trails and a horseback-riding concessionaire. Adding mountain bike trails to this property will make it the most well rounded recreation destination in Indiana.
    I?ll be sending reports to be posted on IBC?s Web site. For more immediate and detailed information, check my Web site: You can also call me at 812-265-6313 or drop me an e-mail at [email protected]. The official Versailles State Park website can be found here (

    Brown County State Park
    By Jonathan Juillerat, At-Large Director, Indiana Bicycle Coalition; Advisory Board, Hoosier Mountain Bike Association

    In addition to Versailles State Park, Indiana mountain bikers will also be given access to Brown County State Park near Nashville. This is especially exciting news as Brown County is Indiana?s largest and most popular state park. Brown County property managers have designated a large area of land primarily in the northwest corner of the park for future mountain bike access. Currently, there are only a few existing trails and facilities in this area. Almost all of the future trails will be new construction, and they will be built from scratch through volunteer efforts. Members of the Indiana Bicycle Coalition and the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association have already begun to work with park officials to begin the planning phase of the project.
    The initial plans envision a large system of trails comprised of multiple interconnected loops. Trail designers will include trails for different abilities from beginners to advanced riders. The goal of the project is to build the very best mountain bike trails in Indiana, and to build something that mountain bikers of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy. Mountain bike advocates that are already involved in the project stress that the Brown County project will be long-term and it will take a tremendous amount of volunteer effort. Anyone who is interested in helping with the Brown County trail building project is encouraged to contact Jonathan Juillerat of the Indiana Bicycle Coalition and Hoosier Mountain Bike Association via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (317) 513-3017. The official Brown County State Park website can be found here (

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Great News

    Brown County is a beautiful place that I know to have great MTB potential. Yes, I'm a born and bred Hoosier who is happily residing in Arizona...but my memory of fall in Brown County is only superseded by fall colors of the NY Hudson River.

    Thanks for posting this article.


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