Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
1615 Bus. Loop 70 West
Map of Cosmo Park
This challenging mountain bike course was designed by the 1996 Olympics key course designers. The trailhead is east of Antimi Baseball/Softball Complex in Cosmo Park. A large boulder marks the trailhead. The site for the trail is approximately 75 acres. The trail is 4.1 miles in length with the majority of it being constructed to a three foot width. The trail is a memorial to Rhett Humfield Walters who was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident in April of 1996.
If you would like to host an event on the trail, please fill out a Park Special Use Application.
There are two other mountain bike trails in the Columbia area that are not managed by Columbia Parks and Recreation, but may be of interest to mountain bike enthusiasts. Below are links to the managing agencies' websites:
The "Rhett's Run" Trail idea originated in May of 1996. The trail was proposed as a memorial to Rhett Humfield Walters who was killed in a motorcycle accident in April 1996. In February 1997, the Rhett Walters Memorial Trail Committee began working with the Parks and Recreation Department to develop a proposal for a public mountain bike trail. The committee's goal was to design a challenging mountain bike course and to build it in a location that would allow the greatest amount of use for all ages and abilities, as well as minimize the impact to the area and the environment. With this goal in mind, the Committee approached the City of Columbia, seeking the City's support for and involvement with the project.
The following is a brief time line of the events occurring since February 1997 and September 1998 during the planning process for the trail.
1. A planning committee be established to develop detailed plans for the facility.
2. Once planned, the trail be flagged in the field.
3. The Commission and all interested members of the public be given the opportunity to walk the proposed layout of the trail.
4. Final recommendation to the Council be withheld until the proposed layout is determined to be acceptable.
Throughout the entire process outlined above, one of the primary concerns was the impact of the proposed project on the natural environment of Cosmo Park. The route was reviewed by the City Arborist, and it was his opinion that the trail construction would not cause damage to the trees in the park. The final design document addressed these environmental concerns, examples include:
The trail was designed by Brian Stickel and John Bailey of Mountain Designs, key course designers for the 1996 Olympic mountain bike courses. (Collectively, they have designed or consulted on national, world cup and world championship courses.) The trail was designed not to intrude upon the wetlands in the far north end of the park and was routed along the hillsides just south of the Bear Creek drainage area.
Actual construction of the trail began in August 1999. A dedication ceremony was held October 30, 1999. The entire project was financed with funds raised by the Rhett Walters Memorial Mountain Bike Trail Committee.