Have you hiked the Devil’s Dip? Roanoke Park trails open Saturday

Get the map and check out the new trails at Roanoke Park Saturday at the grand opening.

Have you visited Devil’s Dip, the Layover, Gnomes Glen?

They’re the new trails in Roanoke Park and they officially open this Saturday at 10 a.m.

The trail builders who have hacked out the paths through the park will be around to take folks on guided tours all morning, and they’ll have the new trail maps and even be grilling up a lunch at noon. (See details below)

We asked  Brett Shoffner, one of the trailbuilders, a couple of questions about the trails.

Now that the trails are open, how do you anticipate people will use them? Are they especially made for biking, hiking, walking or all three?

The trails were designed and constructed using the International Mountain Bike Association/ US Forest Service guidelines for multi-use, natural surface singletrack.  This means that hikers, runners, and riders can enjoy the trails together safely.  I anticipate thousands of laps being completed by people from every user group.

What has been the hardest part of building the trails? What would you say has been most successful?

The hardest part was the physical labor needed to hand construct all 2.5 miles of trail.  Swinging a pick-axe or a trail building hoe through extremely rocky soil on very steep side-slopes is not easy work, but it can be done without machines.  I’ve built trail in pretty tough conditions at a number of places, but some sections at Roanoke are right near the top of most challenging.

The invasive plant species in Roanoke are like nothing ERTA (Earth Riders Trails Association)  has ever had to deal with before.  We’ve cut out plenty of honeysuckle, but I’ve never had to cut trail through wintercreeper before.  Hopefully our work will give a good starting point for the continued ecological restoration of the Roanoke Park grounds.

Will work continue in Roanoke park after the official opening? If so, what?

Oh ya!  We have a very small section of trail to complete that will add some mileage in the northwest corner of the park.  Ecological restoration will continue with more efforts to eradicate invasive species and reforest the urban woodland and park glade areas.  I’m getting ready to start designing more for the series of rain gardens that will extend from the Community Center to the Volleyball Court (We put in the 1200 sq. ft. bioswale last year near the parking lot).

Basically, the surrounding neighbors are committed to seeing the Roanoke Park Master Plan and all it’s individual pieces come to life.  It’s happening, slowly but surely – the trails, bioswale, and new curbs/sidewalks are all projects that have been done specifically because of the Roanoke Park Master Plan.


  • Meet at 10:00 am at the Westport Roanoke Community Center before heading out to enjoy the trails.
  • Guided tours with trail builders will be happening all morning.
  • Trail Maps will be available for you to take home
  • Brats will be grilling trailside! (Lunch around Noon.)
  • Please RSVP on the Facebook Event Page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/115723455301132
  • •Or RSVP to Brett at bscm8@umkc.edu
  • •Say THANK YOU to Earth Riders Trails Association with a donation so they can continue their good work. The Roanoke Park Conservancy will be matching donations (up to $200) made between 10 and noon on June 1.

Comments are closed.