Skip to main content

For more information, please contact

Steve Cotter
Natural Resources Manager
City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department
cotters@bloomington.in.gov
812.349.3736
 

Wapehani Mountain Bike Park Reopens for Use After Transformation

Bloomington, Ind. - The Wapehani Mountain Bike Park on Bloomington’s southwest side will reopen March 9 following the successful removal of the Weimer Lake dam and the planting of more than 400 native trees in the former lake bed. Established in 1990, the park, located at 3401 West Wapehani Road, had been closed since July 2018 to allow for the transformation of the property. While the trail that crossed the top of the dam no longer exists, most of the trails are again usable for mountain bikers. A replacement trail will be constructed to reconnect the trails on the north and south sides of the Park.

"We extend a sincere thanks to the mountain biking community for their patience through this project," said Steve Cotter, Natural Resources Manager, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. "Mountain bikers have, over the past six months, protected the integrity of the trails by respecting the park closure. We truly appreciate their willingness to help us protect the city's only mountain bike park."

The City of Bloomington Utilities Department opted to transform the park’s lake when a 2015 inspection report by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources recommended the removal of the dam.  CBU contracted with Associates Four Services to remove the Weimer Lake dam, drain the lake, and plant trees and native plants in the former lake bed, which will revert to wetland habitat. A tributary of the west branch of Clear Creek, which fed the former lake, is resuming its natural channel through the reclaimed land. The project’s cost, including the re-paving of the access road to take place later in the spring, was $654,576.

“Spring is nearly here, so it’s a great time to discover, or rediscover, one of Bloomington’s loveliest but less well known parks!” said Mayor John Hamilton. “The newly established wetland habitat will provide new opportunities for birdwatchers and nature lovers of all kinds.”

Weimer Lake, also referred to as Wapehani Lake, was constructed in 1909. The Hoosier Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1954 signed a 100-year lease from the city for what was then known as "Camp Wapehani." The Boy Scouts returned the Camp Wapehani property to the City in 1979, after the newly constructed State Road 37 bisected the property. The former Camp Wapehani became the Wapehani Mountain Bike Park in 1990, under the management of the Parks and Recreation Department. The mountain bike trails that wind through the park are also frequently used by hikers and trail runners, and the park is known for its spring wildflowers as well as wildlife viewing opportunities.
 

###

Photo caption: Map of Wapehani Mountain Bike Park. The trail across the former dam is temporarily closed.  The black "expert" spur trail extending east from the base of the dam no longer exists.