Dale Griffin Bike Trail Supporters Get Peek at Designs

By Brett Edwards | bedwards@wtwo.com

Published 07/31 2014 10:21PM

Updated 08/01 2014 08:35AM

A group from Oakland, California who specializes in bike trails is designing the Dale Griffin Memorial Bike Trail.

The world class facility will be the first of its kind in Vigo County.

And Dale Griffin's parents couldn't be more excited for people to take advantage of the trail.

It was an activity that brought the Griffins together as a family... mountain biking.

"We started doing that with him and it was just a great activity to do as a family," said Dona Griffin, Dale's mother.

"It was the last thing that we did with him before he deployed out for Afghanistan," said Dale's father, Gene.

In 2009, Dale Griffin died serving overseas.

His passion for mountain biking inspired his parents to try to bring a bike trail to Fowler Park, where Dale used to be a lifeguard.

"We are just overwhelmed by the community support, their enthusiasm for it, and the economic development that we see coming from it over the next few years," said Mr. Griffin.

The trail is just over a year from completion, as the Vigo County Parks Board is currently in the design phase.

Supporters got a peak at the designs Thursday night.

Nat Lopes is a part of a group from Oakland, California called Hilride, who specialize in bike park designs.

Lopes says Fowler Park is unlike any he's ever seen.

"I've had the opportunity to travel to all fifty states, nine Canadian provinces, fifteen different countries around the world, and this is one of the most unique sites to build a project like this," said Nat Lopes.

Vigo County Parks Board Superintendent Kara Kish says the 16 mile trail will be a big draw for the area.

"The facility itself is going to be like nothing else within one thousand miles," Kish said. "The components that are going to go into this park are very rare to find, and the wilderness area at Fowler Park lends itself perfectly."

Gene and Dona griffin say a bike trail in Vigo County is something Dale would be proud of, which is why it's so important to them.

"Dale's goal was to make a difference. That's the reason he went into the military," Mr. Griffin explained. "And that's constantly in my prayers everyday is that we'll continue that desire in our hearts as he did. That's what we see happening here in the most unusual and incredible way."

The Dale Griffin Memorial Bike Trail will be endorsed as a Bicentennial Legacy project, given that it will be culturally inclusive, providing riders from all ages and skills with a wide range of riding opportunities.

Kara Kish says the trail should be finished by 2016.

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