Redbird State Recreation Area 2019 Renovations
Redbird SRA to reopen Friday, Aug. 9
Aug. 1, 2019 news release
Redbird State Recreation Area (SRA), which primarily serves off-road vehicle (ORV) riders, will reopen on Friday, Aug. 9.
Redbird SRA has been closed to the public since March 11 in order to pave a former mining road, phase one of a project that will allow for construction of a new entrance and office building with a gatehouse. The new entrance will allow visitors better access to the property’s trails and has been part of a long-term plan for years.
Record spring rainfall delayed the early completion of phase one by six weeks.
Redbird SRA made several improvements during the closure. These included repair and establishment of multiple drainage areas on the most popular trails to provide a more sustainable surface. Staff also continued to work on 3 miles of new single-track trails for dirt bikers. These new trails will open to the public when complete.
Several volunteers helped with property beautification during the closure. These efforts helped add new amenities, including benches, landscaping, and a building enclosure.
The reopening allows for the annual fall night ride and hayride to continue as scheduled on Oct. 26. The new pavement will provide easier access to the hayride and kids area for the event.
The reopened Redbird SRA will resume its normal hours of sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. The daily ORV trail-use fee is $15 for registered ORVs, which includes entrance to property. Out-of-state unregistered vehicles can purchase an annual registration sticker for $20 and then pay the standard daily rate. Non-motorized use of the property is $7 per vehicle for in-state residents and $9 per vehicle for out-of-state residents.
The second phase of the project is in the planning stage. That project will move the current gatehouse to a more user-friendly location on the west side of the County Road 350 N railroad crossing and provide easy access for Redbird SRA’s recreationists who enjoy hobbies other than ORV riding, such as hiking, mushroom hunting, dog walking, bird watching and more.
- Why pave at Redbird?
The paving project has long been a part of the Redbird State Recreation Area (SRA) master plan. It will improve access to the main trail system and to the northern half of the property, allow EMS easy travel within Redbird, increase parking areas near shelters, and reduce dust. Only the wide gravel road is being paved. The off-roading trails you know and love will still be there and better than ever. View a basic map of the construction.
- What are the exact dates for the closure?
March 11, 2019 - August 9, 2019.
- Why are you closing the entire property for this construction?
The main reason for closing the property is to protect the construction site for paving the gravel road that is the main artery to the property. Any damage to the construction site could add significant costs and/or time delays to the project. Seventy-five percent of the trails at Redbird will be inaccessible during the construction. Also, Redbird property staff will be performing major rehabilitation on trails 0, 3, and 7. Further rehab will be conducted around the property to alleviate the damage left behind from the wet 2018 season.
- Are the property events still going to happen in 2019?
- Customer Appreciation Night Ride? No.
- Hi-Lift? No.
- Hall-O-Wheelin’? Yes.
- Is the property open for fishing, mushroom hunting, hiking, or other non-motorized vehicle activities?
No. In order to maintain safety and security, Redbird SRA is closed to all activities during this project.
- Where else can I off-road in the meantime?
- Why not spend the money on something else for the property?
These funds cannot be used for shelters, restrooms, etc. They are dedicated for road construction only.
- Why can’t we off-road in the north?
Much of the northern region of Redbird has been reclaimed after years of aggressive coal mining. More than $5 million of federal funds have been spent to clean up and revegetate toxic coal waste areas. This work remains very sensitive and cannot stand up to the tread and wear of off-road vehicles.