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Cyclists Blazing a Trail in Harrisburg
From the Cabarrus Neighbors Section of the Charlotte Observer, September 30th, 2004

Biking Group Volunteers to Build Path in Town Park

By Lena Warmack, Staff Writer

A mountain bike trail could appear in Harrisburg Park this winter if
the Town Council agrees to a contract with a volunteer development and
maintenance group.

The proposal calls for a 1-1.5 mile trail along an 8-acre wooded area
of the 38-acre park, Parks & Recreation board member Tony Kaus said.
The recreation board budgeted up to $5,000 for materials and expenses
for the project.

About 10 volunteers would clear the area for the trail, said Rick
Hoffarth, a member of the Tarheel Trailblazers, a regional cycling club
based in Charlotte. "We're promoting mountain biking, and we do that
by building and maintaining trails," Hoffarth said.

In exchange, Harrisburg would agree to protect the trail from
development, he said. "We're just trying to protect our investment of
volunteer labor and time," said Hoffarth, who lives in Harrisburg and
approached the Parks & Recreation board at Monday's meeting.

Hoffarth said the 300-member regional organization has built more than
25 miles of trails at four Mecklenburg County parks. Because it would
be short, Harrisburg's trail would be accessible to riders of all
levels, Hoffarth said. He also said the trail would be ideal for short
track races. If approved by the town council next month, the project
would start this fall and take four weekends to complete, Hoffarth
said.

"The town of Harrisburg might get known for (it)," Kaus said.

Recreation board member Amelia Turner, who agreed to pass the plan on
to the town council for final recommendations, said the trail would
bring more people to the Harrisburg Park. "If you're a biker, then it
means you've got a place for people to recreate, it's a good thing,"
Turner said.




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