ROCK SPRINGS —Western Wyoming Community College (Western) will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Mustang Loop trail system at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20.
The Mustang Loop is multi-use, and the main access is located off the west side parking lot at the College. This celebration is open to the public and bikes or walking shoes are recommended. A BBQ meal that includes a pulled pork sandwich, Carolina coleslaw, baked beans and a drink will be available for purchase. First 100 Western students can eat free by show of ID!
Randy Dale was instrumental in getting the bike trails built at Western. Shortly after moving to Rock Springs in 2019, Dale learned that there were no bike trails within Rock Springs proper.
“I’ve been mountain biking for 25…30 years, a long time. When we came to town it was like, are there any places to ride around here?,” Dale explained. “Oh yeah, you have to go to Wilkins Peak. Wilkins Peak? …But that’s 15 miles from my house.” When Dale asked if there were any closer trails he was directed to a couple of ‘outlaw’ trails in the mountains. Dale rode those trails but explained, “…certain parts are really scary.”
But it takes a community to make a project come to life, and this trail system is just one example of how Sweetwater County community members unite, said Western Public Relations Specialist Mikayla Larrow,
Dale met with Bike and Trike owner Jason Medler, to discuss the idea of a trail system and together the two put together a presentation for Western’s Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees agreed to provide the land for the trail system and the Sweetwater Trails Alliance (SWTA) was created by Dale and Medler. In partnership with local businesses, organizations, and the state of Wyoming, SWTA worked throughout 2021 to layout and build the trail system.
While designing the trail Dale and SWTA felt it important to make the initial trail Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) accessible for riders and ensuring all experience levels were put into the plan. This first, green coded trail is 42 inches wide throughout and designed for everyone’s recreational usage. In the Spring of 2022 four additional connector trails were added, two are coded blue and the other two are coded black.
Volunteers helped build the trail system quickly during the past one and a half years. With countless man-hours and equipment, the trail system has come together. During the summer of 2021 Boy Scout Troop #4 finished the trail bridges and Sunroc donated 300 tons of road base to keep the trail available even during wet conditions. The all-season availability of the trail will be a benefit for Western students and the community. For a full list of donors visit westernwyoming.edu/mustangloop.
Additionally, Western will be debuting three Trek fat tire bikes for students to check out from the Game Room for use on the trail system.
“We’re so excited and appreciate these new resources that students can use all the time! Having this trail on campus, especially near housing, makes it super easy to take a break from studying and get outdoors,” states Alex Riley, student government president.
The Mustang Loop trail system is multi-use and open to pets. To learn about trail etiquette, visit the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s page: https://www.imba.com/ride/ride-vibes.
To learn more about the Mustang Loop trail system or the ribbon-cutting ceremony, visit: http://westernwyoming.edu/mustangloop. For general information about Western call 800-226-1181.