AUGUSTA — The Bond Brook Recreation Area continues to grow, adding mountain bike racing to its variety of activities this Sunday in conjunction with the Bond Brook Tread Fest.

The Tread Fest is a day-long family celebration of the area’s accomplishments to date as well as a chance for bikers and runners to test the 15 miles of trails located off Bond Brook Road. The event includes an Octoberfest food tent, live bluegrass music by Matt Meyer and Gumption Junction, trail running and bike races for kids and a beer tent provided by the Liberal Cup.

Trail races of 5 and 10 miles will begin at 9:30 a.m. The area has hosted a series of weekly trail races in the summer the past two years on Thursday evenings. This year, the races expanded from six to eight weeks and drew an average of 40 runners per race.

Mountain bike races of 7, 13 and 20 miles will begin at noon on single track trails built and designed by the Central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association. Mathieu’s Cycle and Fitness will provide pre-race and course mechanical support for the races.

“As far as I know this might be the first real mountain bike race in southern Kennebec County,” said Mike Seitzinger, president of Augusta Trails. “We want to draw people from around the state.”

Augusta Trails have overseen the fundraising and development of the Bond Brook Trails, which are on 268 acres of city-owned land.

The organization serves as a link between other recreation trails in the area including the Kennebec River Rail Trail, Augusta Greenway, the Pine State Arboretum and the University of Maine at Augusta. Seitzinger said there are plans under way to connect many of these trails and expects the link between the Bond Brook and UMA trails will be completed by the end of next year.

For now the emphasis of the organization is the development of the Bond Brook area. A new access road from Bond Brook Road to the area was recently completed and will be open to traffic this Sunday. The area can also be reached from Mount Hope Cemetery near the Augusta State Airport. For the time being, the new access road will only be open for special events, Seitzinger said.

The area has also hosted Nordic ski races, including a 10k event two years ago. Two events last year were canceled due to lack of snow. Seitzinger said an Eastern Cup finals Nordic race is scheduled Feb. 16-17 at the area.

Future plans for the area include a warming hut/lodge and signage when the trails are completed. Students at the University of Maine at Augusta are currently working on a design for the lodge.

“From those designs we want to start building the lodge over time,” Seitzinger said. “We’re going to have to wait a couple of years to get the money.”

For more information on the races and Bond Brook Recreation Area visit www.augustatrails.org.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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