Update April 18, 2018: Slow Start to Spring Bring
Record snowfalls and unusually low temperatures have slowed the arrival of spring in Marathon County. The late arrival of spring may also delay the opening of several popular recreation facilities. Many outdoor venues can be seriously damaged and may not fully recover for the entire season if use occurs in cold or wet conditions. Park and Forestry patrons should pay close attention to posted opening dates for facilities, and avoid use of these facilities until officially opened by the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. Recreation opportunities and facilities that will be potentially affected include: mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV trails, baseball and soccer fields, boat launches, and disc golf. Other delays may also occur in the startup of park water systems, restrooms, and spring cleanup. If you have any questions regarding the opening dates of park facilities please contact the Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department at 715-261-1550, or review the website at www.co.marathon.wi.us/parks.asp. The website will be updated periodically as park officials determine firm opening dates of facilities.
Update April 12, 2018:
A reminder the bike trails remain closed. There shouldn't be any use on the trails at this time of the year. Please stay off the trails to minimize damage to this one of a kind trail system.
Fall, 2017 was a great start to riding at Sylvan. The Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department is very grateful to all the leadership and hard work of CWOCC to make Sylvan Hill – Mountain Bike Park a reality.
See you a little later in Spring, 2018, when conditions allow the trails to open.
Sylvan Hill Park Bike Trails
On August 31, 2017, the newly developed Sylvan Hill Park Bike Trails opened for public use. This loop trail system has around three miles of trails with four downhill options for riders with different skill levels.
This bike park includes a pump track, a small skills area to help riders hone their abilities and the large loop system circling the park.
To access the trail system riders should park in the trailhead parking lot at 3298 Coates Lane, Wausau. This lot is located at the top of Sylvan Hill in the very southeast corner of the property.
Some of the trails require advanced riding and jumping skills. There are signs explaining difficulty levels, and 'filter' features at the beginning of the more difficult runs. If a rider can traverse the filter jumps, they should feel comfortable riding the rest of that run.
Sylvan Bike Park Trail Map (666kb pdf)
Sylvan Hill Park is multi-use and includes a number of hiking trails. Bikers please be courteous and yield to all pedestrians. At this time there is a donation box at the trailhead but no required fee; there will likely be a fee required in the future.
The Plans Behind The Trail System:
In 2014, the Central Wisconsin Off-road Cycling Coalition (CWOCC) requested that Sylvan Hill Park be allowed to become a mountain bike park.
CWOCC is the local chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Locations that offer a variety of quality mountain biking facilities within 15 miles of a community that provides the necessary support services can qualify for designation as an IMBA Ride Center. There are currently about 15 IMBA ride centers worldwide with two in the Midwest. One is Copper Harbor, MI and the other is in northern Minnesota. These ride centers attract over 30,000 riders annually. Wausau has the opportunity to become the next IMBA Ride Center due to its existing facilities, existing support services for outdoor recreationists, appropriate land opportunities for future facilities, and a dedicated local mountain biking community. CWOCC has developed a master plan to achieve ride center designation and Sylvan Hill Park has been identified as having great potential to become a high quality multi-faceted mountain bike park.
Sylvan Bike Park Plan:
During this process a public meeting was held in October, 2015 where the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department presented the plan and took public comments.