Starting July 1st, the Indiana DNR plans to start charging to ride the mountain bike trails at all Indiana state parks including Potato Creek. $5 per day or $20 annually. This fee is in addition to gate fees and/or season passes.
There is a glimmer of hope. The mountain bike fee needs to be approved by the Natural Resources Commission. If you have an opinion about the proposed fee for mountain bike use at Potato Creek, please email your state representative and the chair of the NRC.
The only thing that may sway a decision is a flood of messages, respectfully voicing our opinion to our local legislators. This is important because the DNR has made their decision and they won’t be swayed by opinion. Contacting the park or park personnel isn’t going to get us anywhere at this point. It has been passed to the NRC, who needs to vote on it. Your state representative can influence this if they hear enough concern.
Here are some items you can mention in your email:
The mountain bike trail at Potato Creek was built by volunteers from the local mountain bike club, NIMBA, at no cost to the state.
The mountain bike trail is maintained by NIMBA volunteers who have spent in excess of 1,000 hours over the last 4 years, keeping the trail ride able. The additional annual mountain bike fee will make it impossible for NIMBA to find volunteers willing to maintain the trail at Potato Creek.
NIMBA has invested over $2,000 in trail maintenance at Potato Creek for materials and equipment over the 12 months.
NIMBA organized rides and events bring over 750 visitors to the park. The mountain bike trail has thousands of rides by park visitor each year.
Mountain bike riders in the Michiana area have at least 8 other trails within 45 miles that have a minimal or no gate fee to use. They will simply bypass Potato Creek with its high use fees and the park will lose the gate fee revenue that it currently receives from riders.
Once the volunteers no longer maintain the trail at Potato Creek it will quickly become un ride able and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will have squandered an asset that cost them nothing.
Please take a few minutes and email or call the legislators in your area. We certainly don’t want to lose Potato Creek and all the park has meant to the local mountain biking community!
Find Your Legislator https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
If you have any questions about NIMBA activities or suggestions for our group contact us.