Date: June 13, 2013
One of Andrews University’s best-kept secrets is the Andrews Trails, more than 11 miles of walking, running and single-track mountain biking trails that are quietly tucked away on the northwest side of campus. There are two main access points: the Pathfinder Building lot or the parking lot along Campbell Drive, the road leading to Timber Ridge Manor.
“The trail systems are a valuable asset for our students, employees and community,” says Dale Hodges, director of the Office of Campus Safety. “They are already heavily used by mountain bikers, walkers, hikers and even some University classes. We routinely monitor the trails, and look forward to installing a permanent parking lot and trail signage to make the trails an even better recreational option on our campus.”
Bruce Jones, a long-time community member, is one of several biking enthusiasts who routinely ride the Andrews Trails. He remembers the trails from his days as a young boy in Pathfinders, when he frequently explored the areas surrounding the Pathfinder Building. “But the trails really started to take shape in the 1990s. People really began to take an interest and started to take care of the trails too,” Jones says. Many of the routine trail riders are also volunteers who regularly monitor the trails to ensure fallen limbs are cleared.
There is a 10-mile single-track mountain bike trail and a two-mile loop ideal for runners. “It’s a very challenging trail, not because of jumps, but because there’s a lot of elevation gain. It’s aerobically challenging,” says Jones.
Transportation and Campus Safety will be working over the summer to install a permanent parking lot in place of the dirt parking area along the entrance to Timber Ridge Manor. The development of trail signage is underway, which will include a map kiosk at the entrance and trail markers. There will also be points of interest markers for places such as the Andrews Observatory, the Bowl and the Corkscrew.
The trails are open to the public and are closed from dusk until dawn. A PDF trail map is available for download at: andrews.edu/life/rec/area_recreation/outdoor_recreation.html. For more information, visit the Andrews Trails Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-TrailsAndrews/267043633400712?fref=ts) or contact the Office of Campus Safety at 269-471-3321.