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Introducing LOCALIZED, a New Bike Park in Afton, MN!

Have you been hearing the buzz of that new trail over in Afton? Maybe you have seen the sneak peek images on the Pathfinder Trails Instagram account? Well, Freeride MN had the chance to interview the creators of this new skill-developing park.
Michael Seffren
Michael SeffrenPublished on August 6, 2023
Michael Seffren

Have you been hearing the buzz of that new trail over in Afton? Maybe you have seen the sneak peek images on the Pathfinder Trails Instagram account? Well, Freeride MN had the chance to interview the creators of this new skill-developing park.

**Interview with the Visionaries @ LOCALIZED - Olivier and Julia**

We had the chance to sit down with the incredible visionaries behind this new mountain biking haven: Olivier and Julia. These two have been passionate about cycling for years, and they saw an opportunity to bring their community together through recreation and conservation. Their journey began six years ago when they purchased a piece of land in Afton, Minnesota, with a grand plan in mind.

*Olivier*: "I've been cycling since I was a kid in Belgium. It's always been a part of who I am. When Julia and I got together, we realized we shared the same dream of creating something special for our local community."
*Julia*: "Minnesota is a place I've called home my whole life. We wanted to give back to this beautiful state by creating a space where people can connect with nature, embrace their love for mountain biking, and build lasting memories."

**The Partnership with Pathfinder Trails**

Creating a mountain bike trail system is no small feat. That's where the expertise of Pathfinder Trails came into play. Pathfinder Trails, a renowned MN based trail-building organization, was brought on board to design and construct the trail system. With a team of dedicated professionals, including expert mountain bikers, they worked closely with Olivier and Julia to bring their vision to life.

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**The Park's Exciting Features**

The park, aptly named by the non-profit organization LOCALIZED, is a 60-acre paradise for mountain bikers. Thanks to the skilled team at Pathfinder Trails, riders can expect an extensive network of trails ranging from beginner to expert levels, spanning a total of approximately 6 miles. The system also includes a dedicated skill area, perfect for both young riders and those looking to warm up before taking on the more advanced trails. This park could be considered a sessionable trail versus standard loop. The trail system was described to look like the shape of a hand with the outer loop connecting all the tips of the fingers. There is 1X loop trail, 1X double black diamond dirt line for BMX or full-squish MTB, 1X black board walk with 3 big drops, 1X blue line, and 1X green line.

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*Olivier*: "We wanted to make sure there's something for everyone here. Whether you're a first-time rider or a seasoned pro, you'll find a trail that suits your skill level and gives you a sense of accomplishment."

We must mention the black jump line, designed by Pathfinder Trails' expert team, which offers an adrenaline-pumping experience for seasoned riders. These thrilling high jumps are sure to test your skills and push your limits!

**Opening Date and Beyond**

The team is eagerly preparing for the grand opening, and they're targeting a fall opening date. However, with compliance requirements and final touches, it may extend a little. Rest assured, this new park is going to be worth the wait!

LOCALIZED's primary objective is to provide free access to the park for the community. However, as with any endeavor of this scale, fundraising is necessary to maintain and improve the facility continually. So, while they aim to keep it open and accessible to all, they also encourage support from the mountain biking community to help sustain this wonderful project.

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**Calling All Minnesota Mountain Bikers**

So, to all the Minnesota mountain bikers out there, mark your calendars for the opening date and get ready to experience the trails crafted with passion and care. But remember, be respectful of the neighborhood and the park boundaries, ensuring a harmonious relationship between the park and the community. The nearby neighborhood is very sensitive to the new development. To keep this park open, respect to the surrounding neighbors will be imperative.

If you're curious and excited about this project, stay tuned into FreeRideMN and our social media channels for more updates.

The future is looking bright for the Minnesota mountain bike community, with this amazing park on the horizon. Come together, ride together, and let's embrace this new adventure together!

*Our gratitude also goes out to Pathfinder Trails for their expert trail-building skills and LOCALIZED for creating this fantastic community space. Images courtesy of Olivier Vrambout*

Keep riding, keep exploring, and we'll see you soon on the trails!

Michael Seffren

CEO - Freeride Indoor X Freeride MN