Improvements are already being examined for a new mountain bike trail in Kilgore after city officials in October officially opened the trail along with a new dog park, completing its Creekside Trail.
City Manager Josh Selleck this past week told the City Council that the city wants to put Kilgore on the map with additional trail improvements.
During this past Tuesday’s meeting, Selleck asked the council’s approval to begin a fact-finding operation for a project that would add a “pump track” to the mountain bike trail and to kick off a marketing campaign to draw cyclists to the attraction. The operation will determine costs and necessary supplies for its completion.
The council unanimously approved the research.
During the construction of the mountain bike trail, volunteer workers wielding machetes, shovels and second-tier city construction equipment, cleared brush and constructed dirt tracks to be made permanent by frequent bicycle use. Along the way, Selleck said, volunteers found a suitable piece of ground with appropriate drainage channels for the construction of the “pump track.”
The track, a popular feature at other Texas bike trails, includes small humps and turns in a triangular section of trail. This allows cyclists to “pump” up their speed coming down the hills, as well as steep berms where riders can turn to dump speed and quickly change direction.
The project would also include the construction of a youth skills track, a “low-consequence dirt surface to learn to bike,” Selleck said.
He got the idea for the skills track when he noticed his children, who helped work on the trail construction, quickly became proficient at mountain biking, while other children their age didn’t have the same chance to learn and develop the skills. The new track would get more youngsters involved in using the trail, he said.
Additionally, the trail expansion could become part of a “great outdoors” marketing campaign, a first for the city. The aim of the campaign would be to position Kilgore as a “central rallying point” for an East Texas mountain biking adventure. Located between Tyler and Longview, which each have dozens of miles of trail systems, the city hopes to position Kilgore as an enjoyable stop between them for cyclists.
Creekside Trail opened in October 2018 and is the first phase of the Kilgore Trails System.
The 2.58 miles of winding paths takes walkers, runners and bikers through woods alongside Bighead Creek.