Work continues on Detroit’s mountain bike trail

SCA Detroit's Schcari Wade says making a difference for Detroit is "important because I live here." / Photo: Digging Detroit

The new hiking/biking trails at Rouge Park on Detroit’s west side began in 2004. Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) members Harvey Santana (who just won the state representative Democratic primary for the 10th district) and Todd Scott (myself) helped kick off the project. REI gave a generous grant to the project and volunteers helped build the trail.

It wasn’t completed, and after a change in project leadership, everything stalled.

Detroiters Chris Frey and Jason Friedmann re-started this project and by partnering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), have really taken this to the next level.

Digging Detroit posted an excerpt from the SCA’s Conservation Quarterly, The Green Way. It’s called SCA Crews Drive Motor City Makeover and here’s a portion of it.

Many SCA stories are about changing a student’s life.  Others focus on changing the fortunes of a national park.  This one is about changing the mindset of an entire city.

It’s August.  A blazing sun stokes the temperature into the 90s.  The heat index is well into the triple figures.  The mosquitoes are omnipresent and voracious.

Welcome to Detroit, where a crew of local high school students is cutting a new trail through Rouge Park.  The soil is dry and hard as a half dozen teens spread out, Pulaskis in hand, to grade a stretch they cleared the day before.

SCA Detroit is part of a nationwide, community-based SCA program that provides outdoor summer jobs to underrepresented youth.  Some 80 students participate in the Motor City alone, and they have much in common.   The majority are in their second or even third summer with SCA.  They constantly refer to the camaraderie spawned by their diligent teamwork.  And a common theme runs through their reasons for being there.

This is a clearly a great story on so many fronts.

It’s more than just building a trail.

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2 Responses to “Work continues on Detroit’s mountain bike trail”

  1. Shane Says:

    Thanks for picking this up Todd! This, like many other great stories need to be told more often. Thanks for your support and the work you do!

  2. Chris Says:

    Thanks, Todd! The SCA has been a fantastic partner, and we are very excited about the work done and more to come.

    A personal thank you to Todd for helping bridge the gap, connecting Jason and I with the Friends of Rouge Park ( and the SCA.

    Come ride the trail!

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