Berthoud offers unique park options, providing a perfect fall afternoon at the park
Going to the park in Berthoud goes beyond swing sets and walking paths with plenty of options like a bike park, an adaptive park and a park with plenty of space for community events.
Berthoud Bike Park, which will have its grand opening and ribbon cutting Sept. 9, features lots of options for mountain bike riders and those who like to do tricks on the dirt.
The park, 1223 Meadowlark Drive, takes up 20 acres of the future 80-acre Richardson Park that will feature a baseball field complex, a multipurpose field, pavilion structures and picnic benches, and potentially a regional playground and regional waterpark — that part of the park will be developed over the next three to five years. The bike park will cost $2.5 million to build, including equipment, infrastructure, restrooms and a parking lot.
“There aren’t a lot of bike parks in the area, the region. … A lot of people are cheering us on to get it done,” said Jeremy Olinger, deputy town administrator for the Town of Berthoud. “The uniqueness of it is we got a lot of jump lines and a lot of stuff for all ages. We put in lots of different tracks and lines that are going to service different skill levels.”
Bikers who like to ride the trails or do tricks can select from two extensive jump/flow lines, a quarter-mile dual slalom track, one mile of XC mountain bike trails, a bicycle playground and an approximately 20,000-square-foot Velosolutions pump track. The park will be open dawn to dusk, just like Berthoud’s other parks.
In the north section of the park, there will be three jump lines for beginning, intermediate and advanced riders called the field hopper, the smoke jumper and the barn stormer. The barn stormer will consist of a wood shed in the middle of the line, where riders can ride a hill onto the side of the barn and jump down another hill.
“They’ll have different amenities and different things on the jump lines,” Olinger said. “Some of the hills are more aggressive as you go up and advance in skill level.”
The dual slalom will have two identical tracks side by side with jumps and progressions for mountain bikers to race each other. The XC mountain bike trails will be flat, meandering pathways looping through the park with a few small hills and an occasional second lane with more advanced features like wood beans, logs and boulders to simulate mountain riding.
As the park progresses south, there will be an entry-level bike playground for children ages 4 to 8. It will feature an asphalt bike track with small hills and custom-designed objects to ride through and under, such as a steel mountain structure and a 12-foot multi-colored cylinder. There also will be an asphalt pump track for pumping hard and coasting down hills and on the turns.
Another park, Berthoud Town Park, 200 Seventh St., will be updated in two phases. In the first, the swimming pool will be removed and a splash pad installed, the playground enlarged into a community playground, and trails and picnic benches and pavilions added. Once the baseball fields open at Richardson Park, the fields at the Town Park will be removed to create an open space for community events with a stage and auditorium area.
“It’s kind of like a city park experience,” Olinger said.
The Berthoud Adaptive Park Project still needs funding for the first public inclusive and fully accessible playground, which will be in the Farmstead development. Lauren Bowling, whose son Miles, 6, has special needs, partnered with Longmont nonprofit Can’d Aid to raise the funds and get volunteers to help with the project to add ADA-accessible components into the existing playground.
“It’s needed because the closest assessable playground is a 40-minute drive in any one direction,” said Bowling, project ambassador. “Making a safe space for everybody to access should be integral to every playground. … We have built inclusion into every aspect.”
Bowling is working with Can’d Aid to create as many accessible and inclusive options as budgeting allows. So far, the two have raised $586,000, which will cover the cost of ground cover and a main play structure with a farm theme and lots of ramps and slides and areas for interactive play. They hope to raise another $400,000 for a wish list of items that include a double zip line for racing, multiple types of swings, a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and an interactive dance and play arch. The project also is being funded by $500,000 in in-kind donations of land, infrastructure, equipment, material and labor.
The plan is to have the playground finished by summer 2024 with the groundbreaking in the fall.
“Depending on our funding, the amount raised, will determine how much equipment we can have done by next summer,” Downing said.
By Shelley Widhalm | Longmont Magazine