Buffalo’s new urban bike park at the Outer Harbor is well underway, with work crews leveling land, building mounds, and shaping the family-friendly attraction. The bike park was set into motion when the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s board awarded a construction contract for the Buffalo Billion-funded project this past April. The bike park was funded in tandem with an events lawn situated alongside the bike park, and a series of multi-use trails and habitat enhancements at the southern end of the Outer Harbor.
The project includes:
- A completed multi-use Greenbelt Trail, including pedestrian and bicycle amenities
- Two overlook locations
- An urban bike park with skills features and off-road trails
- An events lawn for passive and active recreational purposes
- Three habitat restoration areas
In the lead image, the bridge/tunnel can be seen, which is marked as the “Bridge Over Greenway Nature Trail Extension” in the above rendering. The broader scope of the project includes an area for food trucks, public seating, a kiosk, overlooks, and a great lawn.
As for the bike park, there are a number of different tracks and facilities under construction, for different skill levels, and types of riding. A few of these varying course characteristics were discussed in an interview with Joe Crumlish from the Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association (WNYMBA). In that interview, Joe talked about how the bike park would fit in with the natural Outer Harbor landscape by saying, “Being in tune with nature is what we do. This is not the Lancaster National Speedway. This is not gonzo downhill mountain biking. This is for everyone, all ages and abilities. These are primarily introductory recreational trails where people can practice. We want to bring the same excitement to the Outer Harbor that the Slow Roll brought to Buffalo. Heck, someone could ride a Reddy Bike on this trail if they wanted to. At the same time, there would be cycling events held on occasion, but for the most part this is a laid back riding environment.
“It’s a great place for people to go and participate in a healthy activity. It’s accessible to everyone. It gets people outdoors, and would put Buffalo on the map for having such an amenity. There’s even a beginner’s pump track and a slider track (for kids). We can maintain rain gardens, milkweed patches, and bird habitat, and at the same time incorporate trails, map boards, picnic tables, and a shelter with bike amenities.”