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Live From Santa Fe: Introducing the 2012 Model Trail Awards Winners

Posted on 10-11-12 from IMBA's World Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Contact: markeller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller), IMBA Communications Director

Okay ... this announcement is still a little rough around the edges. Look for a more gussied up version soon with full-length descriptions of the 2012 Model Trail award winners. Nonetheless, this is a complete and official list. Congratulations to the winners!

Each year, IMBA recognizes outstanding mountain bike trails and locations with these awards. The goal of the Model Trails program is to inspire and inform, so we all have more great places to ride.

2012 Ride Center Awards

  • Copper Harbor (Silver), MI, USA: Designated a bronze-level Ride Center in 2011, Copper Harbor wasted no time in adding additional trails.
  • Sun Valley (Silver), ID, USA: This world-famous ski area also has world-class mountain bike trails, from in-town pump tracks to epic backcountry singletrack.
  • Taupo (Silver), NZ: If the scenery wasn’t enough, the Taupo area has stellar trails for a range of riders topped with healthy serving of Kiwi bike culture.
  • Central Savannah River Area (Bronze), GA/SC, USA: The famous FATS trail system is at the heart of this Ride Center’s 150 miles of singletrack.
  • Mt. Buller (Bronze), Victoria, AUS: With a trail network by the renown Glen Jacobs, Mt. Buller sets the standard for mountain bike trail development at Australian ski resorts.

2012 Epic Awards

  • Bangtail Divide, MT, USA: Long climbs are always rewarded with long descents, and earning your turns is even more sweet after cresting the 22 switchbacks to the top.
  • Warner Lake/South Chilcotin Mountains, BC, CAN: “Epic” is the only way to describe a ride that starts with a float plane.
  • Bernina Express, Graubünden, SUI: Rocky, challenging trails that weave by cafes at mountain passes and down endless backcountry descents.
  • Switchgrass Trail, KS, USA: With over 20 miles of twisting trails, this destination has something for everyone, from beginners to hammerheads.
  • Colorado Trail (southern portion), CO, USA: One of the few iconic long-distance trails that allow mountain biking, the Colorado Trail does not disappoint.
  • Waldo Lake Trail, OR, USA: Circling its namesake lake, the beauty of the High Cascades await those who ride this loop.
  • Douthat State Park, VA, USA: Cresting both sides of the valley, this trail offers a hearty mix of rocky and fast singletrack that defines this region of the Appalachian mountains.
  • Big South Fork/All 5 Ride, TN/KY, USA: Deep forests, rocky faces, and views into river gorges compliment the fun, challenging trails on this ride.

2012 Flow Country Trail Awards

  • Sand Hog Trail, MN, USA: Part of the Cuyuna Ride Center, the Sand Hog Trail has brought a grin to many a rider from the Midwestern US.
  • Runca Trail, Laax, Switzerland: The first Flow Country trail in the Swiss Alps winds through forests thick with dense ferns, providing a fun, scenic experience.
  • The Flow Trail, MI, USA: Although the Copper Harbor Ride Center is overflowing with flow trails, this one was added specifically to appeal to beginner riders.
  • Flow Country Trail, Bischofsmais Bike Park, GER: Created by Diddee Schneider, one of Europe’s most famous builders, this fun and photogenic trail sets the standard for Flow Country trails.