Bikers need to stop cutting trails in Odell Park: city councillor

A Fredericton city councillor is asking mountain bikers to stop cutting their own trails in Odell Park.

Coun. Stephen Chase said some mountain bikers have been cutting bushes and moving rocks to create what he calls an "elaborate system of trails."

The problem, said Chase: it's being done without the knowledge – or support – of the city.

"The primary concern from the city's point of view is that this is a public park," Chase told our newroom. "The only development activity that should be taking place in the park is that which is authorized by the city and done pretty much in accordance with the park plans."

Chase said some of the makeshift trails have become rutted, and when there's heavy rain, it can cause erosion and ecology damage.

The councillor, who is a mountain biker himself, said the city is not against mountain biking or cycling in the park, but it must be done on designated trails.

"I do understand why people might look at the park and say 'gee, this is a great place for mountain biking,' but the issue is that anything that's done on public lands really has to be done with the support and approval of the city," said Chase.

He said a "world-class" mountain biking facility is planned for Killarney Lake Park as part of the Odell Park and Killarney Lake Park master plans, which will be launched later this spring.

Chase said the city also plans to hold discussions with some mountain biking enthusiasts next week.