|New portion of Red Trail Mountain Bike Trail now open at Shawnee Mission Park|
This brings to about 3.25 miles the total length of the Red Trail, a portion of which first opened in 2010.
“It is really cool. It’s in a beautiful part of the park that few people have seen,” said Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses Bill Maasen. “This is the first public use to see some of the remote areas of that property.”
The dirt and rock surfaced trail, which winds through the woods, is designed for single-track mountain bike use and also has allowable hiking and trail running as secondary uses. Equestrian use is not allowed on this trail. Trail users should also be aware that there are no water sources or restrooms on or near the Red Trail.
Portion of the Red Trail carry a “most difficult” or black diamond rating.
“You should be cautious when using it and you shouldn’t over ride your abilities,” Landscape Architect Jim Wilson said. “There are difficult obstacles right at the beginning of it to give you a warning of what the trail surface is going to be like. So if you’re scared off by what you see in the first 200 feet of the trail, it’s only going to get more difficult.”
The trail was built by volunteers with the Earth Riders Trail Association. An additional portion of the Red Trail is still planned, tentatively expected to open next year. Once finished, this will complete the trails designated for mountain bikes in the Oak Ridge area. Also planned are future hiking-only and equestrian designated trails.
There are three ways users can access the Red Trail. One is by parking near the gate near the top of the hill on Ogg Road and running west on the gravel road to where the Red Trail crosses. Another is to use the Orange Trail trailhead near the tennis courts in Shawnee Mission Park and follow this to the Red Trail. The third is to start from the northwest corner of the Shawnee Mission Park Lake Dam and follow the Violet Trail to the Red Trail.