St. Charles County Parks opened the largest asphalt pump track in the nation at the Youth Activity Park in Dardenne Prairie on June 24. Nearly 600 guests of all ages attended to “test ride” the 30,000-square-foot track that features beginner, intermediate, and advance sections. This “all wheels” course is open year-round to BMX, mountain, and strider bikes; scooters; skateboards; and inline skates.

Not a biker or skater? Spectators are welcome to come out and watch from the sidelines.

The track is expected to draw riders from across the globe, including Tommy Zula, professional BMX rider and 2019 Redbull UCI Pump Track World Champion, who says he is excited to visit. Designed by Velosolutions, the world’s premier pump track designer, this looping track consists of a circuit of paved rollers, including a jump line, banked turns, and features designed to be ridden by riders “pumping” instead of pedaling or pushing.

The pump track is open daily until sunset. Lighting is expected to be installed by this fall, which will allow guests to ride the track until the park closes at night. Youth Activity Park hours are from 12 to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 12 to 10 p.m., Friday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday. Guests 12 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Helmets and a participation waiver are required.

The Youth Activity Park pump track is designed to be ridden by riders “pumping” instead of pedaling or pushing. (Alex Noguera)

To keep guests safe during the pandemic, the following health and safety measures have been implemented at the park:

  • Temperature screenings are mandatory for all
  • Social distancing is required
  • Those who are ill should not enter the park
  • Wearing a face covering is encouraged
  • Washing hands or using hand sanitizer before, during, and after leaving is encouraged
  • Sharing of equipment is not allowed
  • Personal water bottles are encouraged; water fountains are temporarily turned off

In addition to the new pump track, the Youth Activity Park is undergoing a redesign and redevelopment that will consist of a series of upgrades over the next several months. Improvements may include a water playground and water play area, picnic shelters, playground, bike playground and skills course, and a ninja warrior-inspired gym suitable for children ages 4 to 12.

Photos: Alex Noguera is a contributor to Terrain Magazine.