Trail Ramblings: Have You Been Checking Too?

I know I’m not the only one riding more often than I normally would through Densmore Park to check on the Connector Bridge. Actually, the bridge is finished, as far as I can tell. It’s the access trail that we’re waiting on now. Later next Sunday afternoon we’re expecting the bridge to officially open. Because of the pandemic, a large, public ceremony is not possible. There will be a chance to attend the dedication virtually. Check out GPTN’s Facebook page for more information.

So close, yet still so far.

There’s another bridge we’ve been waiting for, too. Last Friday I had a day off and the weather was fine so I rode up to the Platte river to check on it. The Lied Bridge Platte River Connection on the MoPac is not yet officially open to the public, as far as I could tell. The access trail is not open, but the barriers to the bridge entrance have come down on the south end.

It looks open to me.

This makes me think that it’s at least accessible? The railing has been repaired and replaced, and the ice-breakers, structures on the supports of the bridge that had been peeled away by the ice, have been replaced. The barrier at the north end is still up though, so you can’t go further. There’s no connection to the MoPac on the other side yet. I expect that the heavily damaged access trail from that side has not yet been repaired. From what I could see, it had been previously obliterated by the flood and a large amount of sand left in it’s place. I think a sand beach could be a nice attraction there. The riverbank under Highway 50 and next to Heron Bay, a few miles down river at Louisville also got a large amount of sand they had to dig out of before re-opening. The last time I was there their kitchen was still basically outdoors on their own beach. I hope the official re-opening of the Lied Bridge is not far off.

There’s no exiting the bridge at the other end.

The weather this week looks like it couldn’t possibly be any finer for riding bikes. And it would probably be the best possible activity you could do to keep election stress at bay. The trails are in great shape, so go get some before the weather turns more seasonal a week from now. And remember, vote bike!

Speaking of trails, if you’d like to ride some new ones, try out Omaha and Council Bluff’s trail systems sometime. Sunday I sampled parts I hadn’t yet been on with a knowledgeable local guide (thanks Chris!), certainly the best way.

Standing Bear Lake Park has a floating bridge for use by cyclists and walkers, with a kayak/canoe launch. Photo Credit: Pat Schoening

I don’t know their trail systems well yet, but I know their trail system connections are improving, making it possible to navigate the metro area better. I’m waiting for the day I can ride up the MoPac past Schram Road, which is where the MoPac ended last time I rode it that far. From what I understand it’s supposed to go to Chalco Hills Recreation Area and connect with that trail system. It’s only a few miles, but crossing major highways makes it a challenging goal.

We even fit in a little of Tranquility mountain bike park on the way. Photo credit: Chris McClenny