For years French Lick Indiana was know for Larry Bird and a good golf course. Well, not too long ago they re-did the hotel and added a casino and then a new golf course. The resort has been putting a lot of money in there property adding improvements and things to do for their guests other then sit at a one armed bandit waiting for the lights and sirens to go off. There has been whispers and some talk about the resort wanting to have a world class mountain bike trail built on their land that might bring in some big races and riders to the area. After concept layouts and information posted about the long term plan on 20 miles or more were read it made me very interested. I knew that French Lick was not too far a way from home and if they are going to be laid out in a similar fashion as Brown County, this could be golden. We don’t have a lot of trails in the area that are not horse trails. I have 1 trail that is 20 min. from home. Other then that I am looking at 1 hour or more to the nearest places. Most of the good stuff is 2 hours away. So, to hear that we could be getting some sweet single track was music to my ears.
Turns out that this week I was privileged enough to get a preview look at what trail is built. Well, I got much more then just a look. I actually got to ride everything that was there. WOW!! This place is going to be great! The trail needs to have some bikes on it before it really settles in to what it can be, but even as rough as some sections were I could tell just how sweet this loop will be. Turns out there is only a little more to cut before the first loop will be ready to open. I know there are more touch up things to do on some sections, but it was everything that I was hoping would be there. Nice flowing single track that keeps you on your toes. Some good whoops to let the tires float off the ground and some very interesting land features to ride past.
To give you a better idea of the trail, just imagine riding from HP to the camp ground at BCSP, but use more elevation to get there. There are not all the rock bridges, but I think some will be added. There is currently two rock sections that can be rode and plans for a few more features. The best news on the whole project is that the resort wants to keep adding more trail once the first 5-6 mile loop is done and it sounds like they are looking for as quick of a turn around that can be done.
Now, the only issue to be figured out is how much will it cost to ride? We all keep our fingers crossed that it is not like the other attractions in the area. The golf course is way out of my pay scale as is most of the restaurants. But, there is hope that they have listened to what it needs to be to get the riders there. So, I will keep my fingers crossed that it is no more then a park entry fee and a good cheep season pass will be available. That is because I have found out that I can leave Jasper and be at the trail head in 35 min. even with traffic!!
I will still love Ferdinand and will continue to ride there, but this place has the potential to bring a lot more bikers in to the picture and let the sport grow for the area. I will just hope that it does not grow too bad and be crowded. We will have to wait and see.