Up North: Fall leaves provide challenges at Lester Park

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Lester Park is known for its hiking, skiing and biking trails. Along with the beautiful colors come fall. However the falling leaves become a safety hazard that volunteers help eliminate.

COGGS, or The Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores is a leading non-profit mountain bike organization. One that is committed to trail up keep and development in the Twin Ports area.

“We work on the Lester Trail system, which is really Lester Park up through Vermillion Road, essentially. We work once a week every Monday we get together and do some type of project or multiple projects if we’ve got enough folks show up to work,” said Curtis Cline a COGGS trail Steward.

While those fall colors may look nice, the leaves do eventually fall. Making the trail upkeep extra challenging come this time of year.

“We’ll get the leaf blowers out and clear the trails off, which makes for better riding. Then also will help the trails open earlier in the spring. Without that bed of leaves down the trails will be able to dry from the spring thaw more quickly to get stuff opened up,” added Cline.

For fellow trail steward Nathan Shaw, sharing trail stories and racing his students from Duluth Denfeld at Lester Park, are memories he won’t soon forget.

“I have some students that I talk to every day about mountain biking, give them tips. They give me tips and we’ve done a couple of races together and they just lay waste to all of us old guys, it’s awesome,” exclaimed Shaw.

Autumn days, with the beauty they hold, are a good time as ever to grab the bike and hit the trails.

“It’s really nice to ride out here with my son who’s ten, because we can do the green stuff and he can warm up. Then we can do the more challenging stuff so he can work on his skills. So it’s like a perfect bit of everything where we can all do a ride together and not feel like we didn’t get the ride we wanted,” concluded Shaw.