By Bruce Cohen - March 23, 2015
MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), Bike Maryland and Bikemore are pleased to announce the signing of a Trail Stewardship Agreement with the City of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works (DPW) for the purpose of improved mountain bike access on watershed property, specifically Loch Raven Reservoir.
This agreement represents a new partnership between the City of Baltimore and volunteers to assist in the maintenance of natural surface trails while improving the overall quality of the Baltimore area’s drinking water supply. Together, DPW and MORE, the regional IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) chapter, will identify specific trails for improvements while closing or re-routing unsanctioned trails. Over generations, the trail system at Loch Raven was created by many user groups without consideration for the effects on the reservoir’s water quality. By using sustainable trail practices, volunteers will enhance the natural surface trails through Loch Raven’s scenic areas while minimizing erosion, which harms the reservoir.
In addition to trail maintenance, MORE and Bike Maryland will conduct education workshops on sustainable trail design and proper mountain biking techniques to reduce user impacts on the area. MORE will continue to host the annual Project Clean Stream environmental cleanup, which removes tons of debris from Loch Raven Reservoir. The 2015 event will be held on April 11 in Cockeysville, MD.
The agreement is scheduled for approval by the City of Baltimore’s Board of Estimates on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9 am. After which DPW will verify the first official single track route through Loch Raven reservoir open to all user groups including hikers and mountain bikers. DPW, MORE and Bike Maryland will provide more information on the trail system as it becomes available.
As this new era of partnership with the City of Baltimore begins, MORE and Bike Maryland ask all trail users to respect currently closed trails and refrain from use in wet conditions.
MORE and Bike Maryland wish to thank our partners during this process including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her staff, the Department of Public Works, Bikemore, REI, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, and the Mountain Club of Maryland.