New mountain bike trails are coming to Bainbridge Island, thanks to an anonymous donor.
The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation has purchased 10 acres of land next to Strawberry Hill Park after receiving a $1 million donation, according to Mary Meier, the foundation’s executive director. The gift was made to buy the land for mountain bike use, expand the existing dog park and for land conservation.
The property will be transferred to the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District to oversee planning for the project. The Park District will also build the bike course and manage the parcel as a public park.
The donation follows a heated debate over a proposal for new mountain bike trails in Grand Forest North. Mountain bike enthusiasts have called for more places to ride, while opponents have argued the land should stay in its natural state.
But now the proposal is tabled with the recent donation.
“The Park District was working with the mountain bike group and the Parks Foundation to find alternatives to Grand Forest North,” Meier said in a statement. “We were able to accept this generous donation and make this happen.”
The parcel is just west of Strawberry Hill Park and has existing trails and land contours for mountain biking. It is also contiguous with the current Strawberry Hill dog facility.
The three Grand Forest properties will go through a new master plan process for trails use.