The state Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced the official opening of eight miles of mountain-bike trails in Wilmington. These are the first trails in the public Forest Preserve designed for biking, but they also can be used for hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing.
The trails were built to the specifications of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and are rated easy, moderate, and hard. There also are plans to construct another seven miles of bike trails a few miles away.
The Explorer published a story on these trails five years ago when they were still being developed. At the time, I took a ride with Bert Yost, one of main promoters of the trail system. After our ride, I climbed to a couple of nice lookouts on hiking trails accessed from the bike network. And after the hike, I took a swim in the Ausable. All in all, a nice day. You can read the story by clicking on the PDF files below. Beware that some of the information is outdated as the story was written before work was complete. You can also click on DEC’s map of the trail system.