Missouri's Ozark National Scenic Riverways is currently preparing a road and trail study that will, for the first time on the Scenic Riverways' history, allow mountain biking within the areas' boundaries.
This is a historic opportunity to create a major mountain biking resource in one of the most scenic areas of Missouri--and Missouri's closest equivalent to a National Park. More info/leave comments here.
Public meetings Wed/Thurs in Salem & St Louis County--or leave your comments online
- Wednesday, October 28, 5-8pm
Salem City Hall Auditorium
202 North Washington, Salem, MO 65560
- Thursday, October 29, 5-8pm
Holiday Inn St. Louis SW - Route 66
10709 Watson Road, Sunset Hills, MO 63127
Open house meetings will be 5-8 p.m. each evening. This will be the time to find out about the ONSR, learn about proposals for roads and trails, share your ideas, and offer suggestions.
Suggested comments below.
I support including a system of mountain biking trails within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Mountain biking trails should appeal to a wide variety of users and ability levels and should maximize opportunities to connect with local, regional, and statewide trail networks, including the Ozark Trail.
Below is a summary of comments the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation sent to ONSR. You are welcome use these points as the basis for your own comments.
This is a major opportunity to add mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian access in an area that has not traditionally had such access.
- We encourage the development of a major, world-class hiking and mountain biking trail network in ONSR and interconnected with surrounding natural areas
- Create mountain biking trails and segments of varying difficulty, catering to a variety of users and ability levels, a variety of lengths, and a variety of use types--occasional use, day use, multi-day visitors, extended tours, mountain bike touring/camping, etc.
- Mountain biking opportunities on singletrack trail and on unpaved roads should be thoroughly explored. In addition to singletrack opportunities a "gravel network" of mountain bikable roads and trails in the area--perhaps including roads inside and outside the boundaries of ONSR--would be of major interest.
- Opportunities to create connected networks of trails with neighboring natural areas and adjoining trail systems should be fully explored.
- Opportunities to create and connect major regional and statewide trail systems should be thoroughly explored for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails.
- On-road bicycling is an important feature of many national parks and offers an untapped opportunity in the area of ONSR. The nationally recognized TransAmerica Trail/U.S. National Bicycle Route 76 passes through ONSR and gives access to many of the scenic highlights of the region. ONSR should adopt a position working to maximize on-road bicycling opportunities in the region, work with agencies who own roads where on-road cycling can occur to improve conditions for bicycling and create new opportunities, and identify and promote existing and potential new on-road bicycling routes and tours within the ONRS region.
- We support a through mountain biking route on and along the Ozark Trail. The Ozark Trail section within ONSR is one of the major remaining mountain biking gaps in the Ozark Trail. The plan should create a route through the ONSR and adjoining lands to plug this gap in the Ozark Trail mountain biking system. Creating a mountain biking connection through the ONSR area to connect the Ozark Trail for mountain biking use is a project of regional, statewide, and national significance. This might be on the current Ozark Trail route through ONSR or another parallel route.
- We believe that developing a major regional tourism industry can be developed in this region, featuring multi-day mountain biking touring expeditions--similar to mountain bike adventure touring available in other states with major interconnected mountain bike trail systems.
- For practical reasons, mountain biking and equestrian uses of trails are often incompatible. In working to reduce conflict between different trail user groups, we encourage ONSR to follow national best practices in developing trail networks for use by mountain bikers, equestrians, and hikers; particularly in design of trail networks to avoid conflicts between different users. We also encourage ONSR to develop of separate trail networks for equestrian and mountain biking use wherever needed--particularly on trails that will receive significant use.