IMBA, working alongside staff from Big Bend National Park (TX), has started designing a new shared-use trail at the park, near the Panther Junction Visitor Center. The build will continue for several months — no mountain biking or other uses are allowed until construction is complete.
Joey Klein, a veteran IMBA Trail Specialst, was on site last week. He sent the following report and photos:
I just had an extremely positive week at Big Bend!
The Lone Mountain Loop will be a 2.8-mile shared use trail targeted at family-level riders and hikers. The loop begins just across the highway from the Panther Junction Visitor Center, which is also the staff headquarters/lodging. In all of my years with IMBA I have never seen residents so eager to have a new trail in their backyards — the energy is palpable!
Crews will soon begin corridor clearing and doing some of the easier bench cuts. We expect temps will be in the 90-100s as summer just kicked in this week. Our first day we wore ski hats and jackets, by the 3rd day we changed to full "hide from the sun attire!" Trail construction might ease up for those mid-summer 100+ temps and resume in the cooler months of next fall.
There's also excitement here for developing additional riding outside the bounderies of Big Bend National Park. Families are begging for options like a pump track and dirt jumps. They've already got the Fresno-Sauceda Epic, but better in-town options (especially for families) would be a huge hit.
As usual, local advocate Jeff Renfrow has been tirelessly shepherding everything. He has attended nearly 50 meetings since this began and should receive a medal for his selfless devotion and patience.
Thanks for reading!