The following press release was shared with the Bloomingtonian:
For immediate release: July 29, 2023
New Mountain Biking Trail Opens at Versailles State Park
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Southeast Indiana Mountain Bike Association (SIMBA) today announced the opening of a new mountain bike trail at Versailles State Park.
The was constructed by SIMBA, with help from a $200,000 Next Level Trails (NLT) grant. The award was announced in March 2021 as a part of the second round of NLT.
“Versailles State Park solidifies its position as one of the top destinations for mountain biking in southern Indiana, and the recent construction of a new trail only reinforces its recognized standing,” said DNR Director Dan Bortner. “Thanks to Next Level Trails and SIMBA, we have not only created a significant connection between the park and the town, but also expanded the already extensive trail system.”
The recently opened Potato Peeler Trail is a 5-mile loop west of the existing mountain bike trails at the park between Finks Road and Hassmer Hill Road. It is the second of two trails constructed with NLT funds. The first opened in July 2022, connecting the town of Versailles to the Busching Bridge and the park entrance.
As part of the governor’s Next Level Connections initiative, NLT is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. The now $180 million program is administered by the DNR and facilitates critical trail connections within and between Hoosier communities. To date, NLT has awarded $150 million to 75 projects across the state.
In May, Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced details for the fourth round of the NLT grant program, which will dedicate an additional $30 million to connect communities through more hiking, biking, and riding trails across the state.
The fourth round will award up to $22.5 million to regional projects and up to $7.5 million to local projects. The application period for the fourth round began on July 1 and ends on Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. CT. Eligible applicants include units of government or 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Applicants are limited to one application per round.
Including the new trails at Versailles State Park, 22 NLT projects are complete, opening over 75 miles of new trail to the public. An additional 40 trail miles are under construction.
Mountain bike trails in Versailles State Park are multi-use. They are open to hiking and trail running as well as bicycling. Riders should obtain a $5 daily or $20 annual pass before using the park’s mountain bike trails. Passes can be purchased at gates, the park office, or ShopINStateParks.com.
More information about the NLT is at on.IN.gov/NextLevelTrails.
To view more DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.