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News and Events from the South Central Region—May

New Wolf Creek Trails Under Development for Missouri, Including Technical Riding

Mark Twain National Forest Poplar Bluff Ranger District is developing a 21-mile mountain bike trail system, with 12 miles already completed. U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Doug Oliver has shared interest in adding an additional 9-10 miles of technical riding to go along with the beginner and intermediate trails in phase 1. Partners for this project include the USFS, People for Bikes, Missouri Recreational Trails Program (RTP), Americorps, Poplar Bluff Parks and Recreation, as well as local volunteers who are in the process of forming a solid club.

Very few mountain bike trails dot the landscape in southeast Missouri, and the Forest Service realized the need for this type of recreation after it was brought to their attention by local mountain bike enthusiasts. The target date for completion of the entire 21 miles is June 2014. IMBA Trail Solutions will be consulted for the future technical trail development.

IMBA South Central Regional Director Steve Schneider met with land managers and local advocates. He said, "All the right folks are taking care of business to create a destination for trail users to come and enjoy in southeast Missouri. Riding these trails was a very pleasant experience, and they are located just a couple miles from downtown Poplar Bluff."

Arkansas Bike/Pedestrian Summit A Success!

Arkansas trail users gathered for the first ever bike/ped summit at the Old Statehouse Museum in downtown Little Rock, May 9 and 10. The keynote speaker was Andy Clark from the League of American Cyclists, who shared positive energy to uplift national rankings and stimulate awareness in the area about cycling safety, education, and marketing the value of cycling in general. Breakout sessions included talks from Pat Hays, former N. Little Rock mayor, as well as Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, Arkansas Recreational Trails Program Director Kim Sanders, and Bike/Ped Executive Director Paxton Roberts.

This summit coincided with the grand opening of the Arkansas Cycling Museum Exhibit, called Different Spokes. Nearly 100 people gathered and shared ideas to plan the creation of a stronger awareness for cycling and overall wellness in Arkansas. The two-day event was topped off by group rides on the Arkansas River Trail and on trails in Burns Park. Fellow Arkansans are working hard to help the state climb up the ladder in national rankings for cycling, get more people outside, and educate folks about the natural experiences available in this state.

Oklahoma Earth Bike Fellowship Joins IMBA

We extend a warm welcome to the Oklahoma Earth Bike Fellowship (OEF), which recently voted to become an IMBA Chapter. Said IMBA RD Steve Schneider: "OEF is a solid club with potential to develop many more miles of trail in Central Oklahoma. They have a great membership, sound leadership and a list of sponsors willing to help them stay focused. OEF is the leader in mountain bike advocacy in Oklahoma, and the future just got better!"

Subaru Sharing the Love at Arkansas Outdoor Party

Mayfest in the Mountains was recently celebrated by Hazel Valley Ranch, IMBA Chapter Ozark Off Road Cyclists, Fayettechill, Adventure Subaru and Phat Tire Bike Shop. These partners threw down great food and beverages to complement fishing, archery, mountain biking, Frisbee golf, rock climbing, camping, and all around family friendly fun for more than 300 people. Q and A throughout the weekend event reminded participant of the strong work IMBA and Subaru put in locally for all constituents looking for natural experiences outside.

Hazel Valley is a beautiful 400 acre ranch nestled in the lush Ozark Forest on the White River. The Ranch collaborates with many partners to help get people outside comfortably enjoying nature. Thanks to Adventure Subaru and Subaru of America for sharing the love!

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