MASON CITY, Iowa - Iowa isn't known for tall mountains or ocean-side beaches, but there are plenty of bike trails around, a network that is continually growing. Now, a North Iowa doctor is looking to add more miles to that system.
Dr. Henry Diggelmann is not only a physician, but is also and avid cyclist, and volunteers his time mentoring and coaching competitive youth cycling. He's noticed an increased interest in biking - mountain biking in particular - and is working to build about 5-6 miles worth of trails in Mason City. So far, 1 mile of a loop near the Mason City Dog Park and along the Winnebago River has been completed.
"We've already identified a couple of other places of where trails will go in and we've even got input from the City of Mason City on where they would see trails."
However, it will take some money to complete the build-out of the multi-phase system. So, his group is raising money; while $15,000 is the target for phase 1 of the system, about $150,000 is needed for full completion.
"To get some of these additional trails built, we will actually have the need for professional trail builders to come in and work with us. We looked at what Duluth has done for their trail system, and a couple of different communities in Minnesota, and it turns out it's extraordinarily expensive to get trails built. We took a class to try to be able to do it ourselves, but there are some technical aspects we need help with."
While the core focus will be on building trails in Mason City, Dr. Diggelmann hopes to expand into constructing similar trails in other parts in North Iowa.
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