Preparation work has been in progress at Eau Claire’s Pinehurst Park, located at 3523 Delbert Road, as the new ski season arrives. A non-profit group, that calls themselves OutdoorMore Inc., has put work into the park starting in 2013. OutdoorMore Inc. has put lights on the cross country ski trails at Pinehurst, created a terrain park, and have made many other improvements to the local tubing hill. They call this the “Pinehurst Project”.
Pinehurst Park was recognized in the past as a great local hill to sled down, but OutdoorMore Inc. has spent the last 8 years fundraising, and making plans to create more attractions at the hill. Andy Wians, spokesperson for OutdoorMore Inc., shares that their mission is to get the people in the Chippewa Valley outside more, hence their name.
“There are mountain bike trails for people to use, which have grown to be very popular over the years. We have a whole section of cross country ski trails too, where people can snowshoe or ski on,” Wians says.
The hill also included a beginner area for skiers or snowboarders, a rails section and a jump section. This gives people a chance to use the hill at all different levels of experience.
“We don’t have a lift installed yet, but we are hoping to have it in by this winter, spring at the latest,” says Wians, “we have most of the funding for it and the approval.”
The hill has also been landscaped to prepare for the lift installation. The lift will be a shared paddle-tow lift, so snow tubers can use it as well as skiers and snowboarders. The hill is divided into two sections for the different winter activities.
All of the work that is put into the park is done through volunteers, and donations. Wians says that the biggest goal right now is to obtain more funding for the hill, “We need more lights on the ski hill, and would like to be able to start renting out tubes.”
Currently there is no fee required to use the park or the facilities offered, such as the ice rink or warming hut.
Tim Prince, a student at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and local of the Chippewa Valley shares that he is excited to go back to Pinehurst once the lift is installed.
“I grew up going to Pinehurst to tube with my family. It has awesome to see the parks developments, and finally have a lift installed,” says Prince.
Prince believes that the lift has been a long time coming, and that the community will respond well to it.
“Walking up that hill was always a pain, so I think a lot of people will go out once the lift is installed because of all the excitement that has building up for years,” says Prince.
People who would like to donate to the development of Pinehurst Park can do so by going to the website www.PinehurstPark.org or connecting with the OutdoorMore Facebook page.