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Advanced Rock Armoring School in Sedona

Photo credit: Lars Romig & Joey Klein

Another trail network in Sedona will soon gain recognition in the official trail system, thanks to the hard work of the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC), the Red Rocks Ranger District (RRRD) of the Coconino National Forest and a host of dedicated local partners. This process will create lasting bike access to the Hogs area trails, a popular venue for advanced-level riders. The process is similar to the successful efforts to protect access to Highline and Hangover — iconic and challenging trails that have also been authorized through cooperation between VVCC and the Forest Service.

The USFS reviewed the Hogs trails and decided to move them through the NEPA environmental review process, a necessary step to create public access. Working in partnership with the agency, the VVCC has provided valuable expertise on trail design and construction. They stepped up their commitment by providing funding — namely a $5,000 grant secured from People for Bikes. IMBA allocated an additional $2,500 from the IMBA Trail Building Fund.

Part of the approval of the Hogs trails states that they must be brought up to a sustainable standard. Joey Klein, an IMBA Trail Specialist, recently conducted a technical rock armoring training, a valuable technique for creating durable trails. The weekend clinic included a theory session, though most of the time was spent on the trail, assessing a site, completing the work, and training volunteers from the VVCC and Friends of the Forest (FOF). The end result was a sustainable section of trail that maintains the technical feel of the Hogs network.

Several local bike shops supported the effort. Big thanks go to Over the Edge, Absolute Bikes and Bike and Bean for contributing refreshments during the work sessions, as well as funds for signage on these soon-to-be-legal trails. Additionally, Sedona Reál Inn very generously donated lodging for Joey while he was in town.

All in all, this project showcases mountain bike advocacy in action, with local volunteers, businesses, land managers and national advocacy partners working cooperatively to support legal, technical trails. Bringing the Hogs area trails into the oficial trail system is another great step in the evolution of mountain biking in Sedona. Everyone involved — including but not limited to the USFS, VVCC, FOF, People for Bikes, Absolute Bikes, Bike and Bean, Over the Edge and Sedona Reál Inn — deserve a ton of thanks! Also, anyone who contributes to the IMBA Trail Building Fund can take pride in helping support projects like this. We look forward to continuing to work with these partners on more trail projects in the coming months and years.

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