Cannonball Single Track Trail Improvements 2022

Last Updated: 08/02/2022

Project Update:


Construction is expected to begin August 17th and be complete by Nov 1st 2022!

Parks Division will construct a section of bike optimized single track trail in 2022.   This trail was first identified for construction with the MadBAT planning project in 2020 and has been referred to as the "Shred to School" trail due to it's proximity to Leopold Elementary.  The proposed segment runs parallel to the paved Cannonball Bike Path from Post Rd to Hwy 151.  The proposed trail will run on the south side of Cannonball Path on lands owned by City Engineering and City Parks Division.    Funding was secured for construction in 2022 in part by the PARC and Ride grant program from Dane County.  This project will connect to the asphalt pump track and skills loop in Aldo Leopold Park to be completed in 2022.

A similar trail was successfully planned and implemented in Bentonville, AR in 2018.  A short video of the trail can be seen here.

Parks has hired IMBA Trail Solutions to serve as the design consultant on the project.  Design is now complete, the project has been bid, and City Parks has hired Rock Solid Trail Contracting to build the project.

Trail construction will vary between three types, the details of each are as follows.  Trail types and locations can be seen on the draft plan set below.

Traditional Width Enhanced Trail (~1200 LF)
Traditional Width Enhanced Tread Trail is constructed as a rolling contour traditional cross country style singletrack and will be topped with crushed limestone to reduce erosion, maintenance requirements, and increase all weather usability.  It contains few technical riding elements and uses native natural material found on site.  Trail tread can be slightly elevated and cross sloped to avoid erosion.  Natural stone drainage features are installed at trail low points.

Mountain Bike Optimized (MBO) Natural Surface Trail (~2500 LF)
(MBO) Natural Surface Trail builds on Traditional Trail but uses rolling contour and lift and tilt design and construction methods.  It uses a medium frequency of rollers, berms and table top and rollable gap jumps at approximately 3-5 features per 100 feet of trail. The tread will be natural surface constructed out of native materials such as dirt, stone, and wood.  MBO trail also utilized Technical Trail Features (TTF's).  TTF's are pre manufactured items constructed by a bike park feature manufacturer.  These can include elevated trail, berms, and jumps with wood decking.  All TTF's include an optional ride around option.

Chip Seal Trail (~3300 LF)
Chip Seal Trail is constructed similar to MBO trail including TTF's but with an all weather chip seal surface.  Chip seal is placed similar to traditional road chip seal with small stones rolled into an adhesive mixture and forms a weather proof "cap" on the trail tread.  Chip Seal trail is proposed to be constructed in the Aldo Leopold Park segment due to it's potential for high use and all weather ridability.

This project will not impact traffic on Cannonball Path.  Users may see caution signs on the path warning of machinery working in the area.

Some tree removals are anticipated as part of the project.  City forestry and arborist staff are currently evaluating tree removals on site.  All tree removals will be limited to trees that are in poor condition, pose a safety hazard, are already dead, or are an invasive species.  Care will be taken to protect all mature healthy trees during and after construction in accordance with the City's tree protection and "No Root Cut" policy.

All disturbed areas not part of the final trail tread will be restored with a mix of native vegetation including a "short prairie" seed mix.

There are proposed tree removals as part of this project.  Parks and Forestry Arborist staff evaluated all trees in and around the trail corridor.  Approximately 45 trees were identified for removal due to condition and safety concerns.  This includes trees that are already dead, partially dead, contain structural defects such as holes or decay and pose a safety concern.   There is also a large amount of invasive species such as honeysuckle and buckthorn that are proposed for removal.   No mature healthy trees are proposed to be removed and all trees to remain are to be protected during construction.   A draft planset showing all trees for removal is shown below.

 Below are some preliminary planning documents for the project. 
Chip Seal
A finished section of Chip Seal Trail in Bentonville, AR

Cannonball Singletrack Project overview.  Trail extends from Post Rd (west) to Hwy 151 (east)
Trail details
Trail construction details show materials and methods


Berm and roller
Typical construction details show berms and rollers


Tree Removals 1


Trees 2
Tree Removals Page 2


Tree Removals Page 3


Tree Removals- Page 4