Marshfield Area Ski Touring Foundation Works to Fix Damaged Trails Before Snowfall
Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The Marshfield Area Ski Touring Foundation is looking for the community’s help in rebuilding the trails at Marshfield School Forest after a year of heavy damage.
MASTF is a nonprofit community organization that has worked closely with the Marshfield School District to develop and maintain the ski and winter bike/snowshoe trail system at the Marshfield School Forest.
Used by the community year-round for hiking, mountain biking, winter biking, skiing, and snowshoeing, parts of the trails were damaged by last year’s logging project and severe storms that swept the region in July.
The Marshfield Mountain Bike Club helped develop the bike trail system over the past four years and uses the School Forest for training. Many of the trails the mountain bike club relies on became impassable due to large ruts and puddles.
“The affected trails were primarily created by team members, their parents, and other community volunteers. The storm and logging cut our amount of single track tails almost in half,” said Rachel Krentz, coach. “Multiple volunteers have worked hard to get over half of the damaged trails back into rideable condition, but there is still some major re-routing that will be needed for some of the trails.”
To get them back into shape in time for winter use and continue constructing new trails, MASTF has started fundraising and will work to redevelop the trail system using professional resources. For the first phase of development, it has set a fundraising goal of $18,000, each foot costing approximately $2.30.
“What we want to do is reopen some of the bike/snowshoe trails before the snow flies so they can be used again this winter,” said Mark Haferman, vice-president. “We had a beginner loop we built around the pond, and some has been recovered through volunteers from the Mountain Bike Club, but the remainder will be a lot of work.”
Construction costs include the removal of brush and logging debris, plus trail excavation. The goal this year will be to reopen the popular beginner trail and some of the other winter bike trails. Next year, the foundation will work to get the ridge trail reopened and also develop new bike and snowshoe segments that essentially parallel the existing ski trails.
By maintaining a bike trail system — which also serve snowshoers and hikers — local riders can enjoy the sport without needing to drive a long distance. “To have a set of trails in the community is just amazing,” said Haferman. “We can winter bike and go mountain biking in the summer without having to drive an hour.”
The foundation hopes to conclude fundraising by the end of October and is also applying for grants to cover costs. Construction on the trails will begin as soon as funds are available.
Donations toward the project can be made online at this link or with $5, $10, and $25 donation cards at The Sports Den located in downtown Marshfield.
More information about MASTF and the Marshfield Mountain Bike Club can be found at their Facebook pages.