The Big Marsh Bike Park is a new type of eco-recreation to Chicago and is the first park of its kind in the Midwest. It is designed for all ages and skill levels – from toddlers to professional biking enthusiasts and provides a variety of trail choices and program including BMX, mountain biking, and Cyclo-cross. The bike park is generally located on the southern 40 acres of the park on slag fields where good habitat restoration is difficult and cost prohibitive. The bike park is modeled after the highly successful Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado which opened in 2011 and attracts an average of 500 cyclists a day in the summer.
Big Marsh Park is now home to two new, state-of-the-art pump tracks, built by renowned builder Velosolutions. These two tracks together provide 33,000 square feet of excitement for beginners and experts alike.
"A pump track is designed for all things on wheels. From mountain bikes to bmx’s and skateboards, a pump track is a playground for all wheels. By combining rolling jumps with turns they are accessible for all. Teaching the basic skills of carrying momentum, balance and speed by using your arms and legs to pump your bike/board/scooter around the track." -Velosolutions
These pump tracks will be open alongside Big Marsh Park's hours from dawn to dusk. They are the largest asphalt pump tracks in Illinois and the only free, public pump tracks in the Chicago area. The pump tracks were donated by Friends of Big Marsh, following private donations and a campaign to continue developing the bike park, and Big Marsh as a whole, into a regional destination and community asset.
Supporting the Big Marsh Bike Park is the Ford Calumet Environmental Center (FCEC), which opened in 2021. This environmental center features classroom spaces open to school and community groups, and an informational exhibit depicting the history of the southeast side natural areas.