DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Mo. – The nation’s largest pump track opened Wednesday in Dardenne Prairie.
A pump track can be used with nearly anything with wheels – skateboards, scooters, or bikes.
“It’s a track that allows you to get momentum by going over bumps and coming around curves; the idea is that you don’t want to peddle,” said Ryan Graham, director of parks for St. Charles County.
The 30,000 square-foot track was built inside the Youth Activity Park. The track is made of asphalt instead of dirt in order to allow riders to get right back on after inclement weather.
Admission is free at the Youth Activity Park through 2020.
“It’s great, you know? It’s here in our backyard,” Graham said. “But we also want to bring people in from other areas around the United States to come here, to ride and experience it.”
The track has already brought in people from out of state. Matt Hoggan moved his family from Colorado so his son Richard could easily access the country’s largest pump track.
“I would not have moved here, if this was not here,” Matt Hoggan said.
“I feel like I have a very lucky family,” 8-year-old Richard said. “It’s really fun. It’s like my dream.”
Former professional dirt bike racer Ryan Brown and current coach also tried out the track Wednesday. He said he hopes the pump track will get more kids into bikes, skating and outdoor activities and in turn, bring more revenue into the community.
“It’ll bring revenue and income here, people are going to travel from out of state, this is the biggest pump track in North America,” he said. “Bring your kids, shoot adults come out and have fun too, we’re all kids at heart, we want to have fun.”
“It keeps kids active, it gives them someplace to go, it exposes them to new things,” Matt Hoggan said.
And some kids, had a unique way of describing how much they enjoyed the track.
“It’s kind of like I’m in an airplane, watching TV, playing games, but 20 times better,” Richard Hoggan said.
During an unprecedented summer with COVID-19 still impacting operations across the St. Louis region, Graham said this outdoor activity is ideal.
“It’s a very good COVID-19 activity, people being able to social distance pretty good, they are on their own bikes, they had their temperature taken when they came into the facility here,” he said.
Graham said this is the first phase of development for the park, which opened in the early 2000s. He said in the future, they plan to bring in splash pads and other amenities.