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New Trails Opening Across Arkansas

PHOTO: IMBA Region Director Steve Schneider (center) presenting a donated Trek bike to the U.S. Forest Service (right), thanks to Phat Tire Bike Shop, its owner Chris Brosh (left) and the Ozark Off Road Cyclists.

Arkansas State Parks Woolly Hollow and Lake Ft. Smith both had grand openings for new, multi-use trails on June 7, National Trails Day. Enders Fault Trail in Wooly Hollow offers 9.2 miles of singletrack utilizing natural features, great lake views and fun stream crossings. IMBA Chapter Central Arkansas Trail Alliance President Bruce Alt was on hand to help with ribbon cutting and helped lead a ride after the ceremony. Wooly Hollow is 45 minutes north of the Little Rock, AR.

The Boston Mountain Trail in Lake Ft. Smith State Park also officially opened June 7. This trail system has 4.5 miles complete of a planned, 10-mile system. Crews are currently on-site working on phase two with completion set for fall for 2015. Leaders from IMBA Chapter Ozark Off-Road Cyclists (OORC) participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony and led a ride for OORC members and state parks staff.

The Upper Buffalo Mountain bike trails near Red Star, AR, officially opened June 16. This event was hosted by U.S. Forest Service (USFS) District Ranger Tim Jones and IMBA South Central Region Director Steve Schneider. The 33 miles of new trails were a partnership among the USFS, OORC, Progressive Trail Design and The Walton Family Foundation. As part of the celebration, a 15-mile ride through the “pristine Ozark experience” was led by local OORC members who will be forming an IMBA-National Mountain Bike Patrol group in the near future to help with usage issues and trail rearconnaissance for maintenance needs.

“There is no other trail system like this in the Ozarks in terms of a true ‘outback experience’ ride,” said Larry Davis, OORC Rides Coordinator.

In Ft. Smith, AR, a 1.5-mile beginner trail in Chaffee Crossing was opened June 19. Local volunteers built this trail, led by Mike Milton, working with Chaffee Crossing Development Group. “Energizing young kids to get out and ride was the driving force behind this project," Schneider said. The family-friendly trail is close to Ben Geren Park, which already offers about 14 miles of intermediate singletrack.

Mountain Bike Group Growth in Missouri

Your IMBA Region Director recently traveled to Warsaw, MO, and the Kansas City metro area to discuss the IMBA Chapter Program with local bike clubs. Club leaders, along with city and local foundation officials, met with Schneider to discuss fundraising, future trail development, potential bike parks and many other mountain biking topics.

“Mountain biking in this part of Missouri is stellar. Not only that, but these clubs have strong leadership and are focused on solid visions for the future,” Schneider said. “We agreed that some form of IMBA partnership would help all parties realizes their missions and move strongly into the future.”

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