The popular Freund Canyon cross country mountain bike trail is intermittently closed due to upcoming logging operations in support of the Chumstick Fuel Reduction Project.
The first phase of the logging operation is to rebuild the old road bed, replacing the water bars with culverts and resurfacing the road with gravel to support equipment and trucks. This phase should be completed before the winter hits.
The trail closure is not absolute, as the trail will be closed from 7:00 am- 4:00 pm Monday through Sunday, so there’s plenty of time to catch a before or after work session. Icicle TV spoke to two of the key people involved with the Ski Hill trail project; the USFS’s TJ Broom and volunteer trail boss James Munley. Both expressed that this closure is not the end of mountain biking in Freund Canyon, but there will be some restrictions for the foreseeable future.
“We’ve known that the forest service has accepted a bid on logging the Freund Canyon area,” said Munley during a recent conversation. “Obviously we’re a little disappointed in the timing since we just got the first trail in the system open, but we understand that the overall health of the forest is the top priority. The Chumstick fuel reduction is important and this thinning project will mimic the natural process that make the remaining timber healthier.”
The logging outfit will take the Freund Canyon downhill trail out and return it to the original roadbed condition to facilitate the thinning of the timber in the canyon stated TJ Broom. In the meantime, users in off work hours need to be aware that the trail may be in a different condition than it was previously and riders should take neccesary precautions.
Broom explained that when it’s all said and done the hope is that Freund trail will be a much better trail. The Forest Service will continue to work with Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance, a Washington State biking advocacy organization responsible in part for the successful build out of the new connector trail at Leavenworth’s Ski Hill, to create a new and improved Freund Canyon Trail when the logging is finished.
With the groundwork in place and environmental assesments complete, the trail will be rebuilt to be more suited to mountain bikers and other users. Fruend’s water bars will be replaced by culverts and the trail will be designed with riders in mind. Overall, the goal will be to provide a better deal for the local users in the long run while helping to keep our forests healthy.
Mountain bikers on the new connector trail
Munley continued- “The temporary loss of the trail is a bitter pill to swallow, but everyone needs to keep their chin up and remember that this kind of thing is all part of the process. We’ve got some great new trail in town and some cool stuff coming out with the next trail to be built here in Leavenworth. We as users know what kind of trails the public wants and if we want those kinds of tails to be built the best thing is to get involved with the process”.
The new trail Munley refers to is the connector trail at Ski Hill, which is set to officially open to the public in a couple of weeks, and runs from the base area at Ski Hill to Fruend Canyon as the first part of an overall trail complex project.
Usually new trails are named by the builders. This time the builders are going to reach out to the community for a name for the new trail. There will be a grand opening ceremony October 13th at Ski Hill. The system is being built with 100% volunteer labor, but the equipment that is used is being rented, so a fundraiser is also in the works to offset the cost of rental and fuel. “We’re excited to invite the community to come on out and get involved and get excited about what will eventually be a tremendous resource for Leavenworth.” said Munley.
You can help name the new trail by clicking here: https://docs.google.com
For more details on Fruend Canyon Trail go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov