Thursday, June 5, 2008

From the KC Star:

Northland events mark National Trails Day

The Kansas City Star

Northlanders can mark National Trails Day at several locations on Saturday and do it the old-fashioned way: By hiking, jogging or walking at a leisurely pace.

A new twist will be available beginning Saturday when the Earth Riders Trails Association and local enthusiasts cut the ribbon on a new mountain bike trail at Liberty's Stocksdale Park.

"We thought that would be an appropriate time to do this," said Clay Lozier, one of the organizers.

Ribbon-cutting for the new 2.75-mile trail will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by a complimentary lunch of hot dogs, chips and soft drinks served by Paceline Products, a Pleasant Valley business that caters to bicyclists.

Several Northland bicycle shops also will be on hand Saturday, Lozier said.

Of course, the real highlight is for outdoor enthusiasts to try out the trail. It winds its way through city of Liberty property in Stocksdale Park and an adjoining tract owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"I have ridden it and it's very nice," Lozier said. "People are encouraged to hike, jog or ride their mountain bikes."

A trail expansion is already on the calendar. "Next fall, we'll get after it and hope to add another three miles to it," Lozier said.

Earth Riders volunteers developed the trail through agreements with Liberty and the Department of Conservation. The new mountain bike path offers enthusiasts a new option in eastern Clay County. The next closest dirt-path trails are at Smithville Lake and in Blue Springs, Lozier said.

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