JANESVILLE — Work began last week on a new set of trails for mountain bikers in a largely wooded and underused portion of Palmer Park.

The project has an estimated budget of $250,000 and is spearheaded by the Janesville Velo Club. Private donations as well as support from the Janesville Generations Fund have jumpstarted the financing plan.

The new trails are expected to be open by summer.

Interest in a new area for mountain bikers has grown as users of the old bike path, known locally as the “Crazy Eights,” and users of the city’s leash-free dog exercise and training area have increasingly competed for the same space.

Now, dog owners and bikers will have their own separate spaces.

The project could have as many as six sections, with three or four of them part of the first-stage of the project.

People can donate any amount to the Velo Club for the project by making an online donation or sending a check in the mail care of The Palmer Park Mountain Bike Trails Capital Campaign, addressed to the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 8125, Janesville, WI, 53547-8125.

Online donations can be sent to the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin’s donations web page at cfsw.org/donate by clicking “donate online” and selecting the Palmer Park mountain bike trails project.

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak of Janesville is founder of the Janesville News Report