'Dirt Church' replacement trails get bumpy reviews, but more work to come

Windsor's new $500,000 off-road bike trails are starting to take shape at Malden Park.

City staff says they're open for suggestions to improve the system

A look at Windsor's new off-road bike trails

CBC News Windsor

1 year ago
CBC Windsor's Stacey Janzer hears from former 'Dirt Church' riders about the city's replacement trail system. 2:20

A new off-road trail system designed in part to replace a handmade, hidden system is leaving some users of the former 'Dirt Church' wondering when more challenging slopes will take shape. 

The City demolished the unsanctioned system of jumps tucked behind Ganatchio Trail two years ago because they deemed it a liability risk.

A new system has been built in Malden Park with the first of the multi-phase, $500,000 project complete — but it's not taking off with riders of the former Dirt Church.

"They're not even up to snuff in terms of what was expected," said Bart Wnek, who is disappointed in the first phase of the project. 

Great for beginners 

More improvements are on the way, including designs that Windsor's manager of parks development says will appeal to more advanced users. 

"We have about four and half, five kilometres of trail right now at Malden and we still have to build the expert trails which will also come in 2020," said Mike Clement, who added the City is trying to appeal to both mountain bikers and BMX riders. 

Mike Clement, left, is the manager of parks development with the City of Windsor. Bart Wnek is Windsorite who doesn't love the new off-road system near the Ganatchio Trail. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Another Dirt Church user has turned to skate parks to practise his stunts, but praised the Malden Park trails as a place for those just starting out. 

"It offers a lot of opportunities for beginner riders to get started," said Julian Gauthier.

"Put a dirt jump progression place in to be honest it probably keep people safer because it gives them a place to progress safely."

With files from Stacey Janzer


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