So there is a zip line course in Southern Illinois, I find that kind of hard to believe. I can see people in a touristy area on vacation spending 75-85 dollars a pop to do something like this, but here? It’s been around for a couple of years so it there must be people interested.
The owner has recently decided to expand into mountain biking, he’s had a couple of the major trail building companies give him estimates for a world class mountain bike park. Now he’s put up a crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to finance the construction of this park.
After reading the campaign I’m blown away by the cost to build trails. The first phase of the project will require almost 100,000 dollars. I can’t tell from the documentation but I’m going to make an estimate that this is about 3 miles of trail that wind back and forth over the same hill. No doubt these trails will be excellent, and I’m sure that I don’t really know just expensive it is to build trails, but… A friend of mine built one of my favorite trails in the Shawnee in his spare time. It’s a mile long, but no it doesn’t have any berms or places to grab wicked air, but its fun to ride.
If you donate 25 dollars to the campaign you get a day pass to the park, hence a day pass cost 25 dollars. I can completely understand the charge to come use private land in this way and in the scheme of things 25 dollars isn’t a bad deal considering the cost of building and maintain these trails and the cost of insurance. I wish Shawnee Bluffs success and hope they are able to make a go of this. I’m also reminded how thankful I am for the vast amount of public land in the Shawnee National Forest.