County of Marin - News Releases - Stafford Lake Bike Park

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2015

Stafford Lake Bike Park to Open August 22

Innovative facility to be first of its kind in North Bay

San Rafael, CA – Strap on that bike helmet for a ground-breaking ride: The first phase of Novato’s Stafford Lake Bike Park, the North Bay’s first public bike park, is set to open August 22.

A mountain bike rider flies high over the Stafford Lake Bike Park during a jump.Public bike parks have been constructed throughout the nation in recent years (Provided by Bike List)

The Phase I opening event, presented by Marin County Parks at Stafford Lake Park, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be free to the public (waiving the usual $10 park admission fee). Visitors will have a chance to ride the trails, hear from honored guests, mingle with park sponsors, listen to live music, enjoy refreshments, and donate to the future park phases.

The key features of the Phase I bike park include a progression jump course, dual slalom track, and a perimeter trail. Still to come in the next few months are a kids-learn-to-ride area and beginner pump track, though there is hope that both will be finished in time for the opening. Future park phases, to be built pending further fundraising, would add advanced and intermediate pump tracks, a terrain park, downhill and flow trails, bridge crossings, progression trail with balance features, and a main event plaza.

“We are so excited to cut the ribbon on this long awaited project,” said Stafford Lake Bike Park Project Manager, Tara McIntire. “We still need to install various elements such as the entry plaza, gateway and other details. People will continue to see improvements as time goes on, but for now the heart of the park is built and it’s time for riding!”

So far, the bike park project has received $732,000 in donations and sponsorships in the form of more than 200 contributions, from large corporations to local kids. Marin County Parks received vital assistance from the Friends of Stafford Lake Bike Park, a nonprofit formed to support both construction and long-term maintenance of the bike park.

“This has been an amazing collaboration that shows how public-private partnership can succeed,” said Marin County Parks Principal Landscape Architect, Steve Petterle. “The Friends group ran into some serious barriers, but gained momentum as they garnered support and secured funding from local families, Marin businesses, and big-name bike brands. I still can’t get over the fact that we had more than 200 individual contributions. What an amazing collective effort.”

Although Marin is seen by many as the birthplace for mountain biking, it wasn’t until 2010 when the concept for a County-run bike park picked up serious momentum. Public bike parks have been constructed throughout the nation in the past few years, including Bay Area facilities in Pleasanton, Livermore, San Jose and Santa Cruz.

In-house, the Parks staff – namely Tara McIntire, Steve Petterle, former Parks Director Linda Dahl, and current Interim Director Ron Miska – worked closely to set the project’s parameters with the Friends of Stafford Lake Bike Park. The nonprofit Friends group helped raise initial funds, recruited help from the mountain biking and racing professionals, and reviewed early design plans for the park. In addition, the International Mountain Bicycling Association was involved through much of the construction process, acting as consultant and subcontractor, fine tuning features at the park.

Follow the park’s progress at

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Sponsors and donors of the Stafford Lake Bike Park:

  • Fox Factory Holding Corp ($100,000)
  • Santa Cruz Bicycles ($75,000)
  • Hellman Foundation ($50,000)
  • Violich Family Foundation ($50,000)
  • Mike’s Bikes ($50,000)
  • Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund ($50,000)
  • Bike Monkey ($25,000)
  • William H. Donner Family Foundation ($25,000)
  • Wilderness Trail Bikes of Mill Valley ($25,000)
  • Anonymous ($20,000)
  • Camelbak ($15,000)
  • Al & Cherry Baumann ($15,000)
  • Jerry J. Wilson Memorial Fund ($11,000)
  • Fireman’s Fund ($10,000)
  • Julia Violich ($10,000)
  • Novato Community Hospital ($10,000)
  • REI ($10,000)
  • Clif Bar Family Foundation ($8,000)
  • Hennessy Funds ($5,000)
  • Bicycle Trails Council of Marin ($5,000)
  • Jeff Smock ($5,000)
  • Karen & Charles Neff ($5,000)
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company ($5,000)
  • Megan Costello & Robyn Raschke ($5,000)
  • Tim Koogle & Pam Scott ($5,000)
  • Hagar Family Foundation ($2,500)
  • Hobbs Family ($2,500)
  • RAB Motors ($2,500)


Tara McIntire
Landscape Architect
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-4287
Email: Tara McIntire
Marin County Parks website