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IMBA Trail Professionals Creating 'Gateway Trail' Systems Across the Nation in 2010

For Immediate Release 2-1-10

Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
markeller [at] imba [dot] com
303-545-9011 x115

Working in locations across the United States, IMBA Trail Solutions staff is helping shape the next generation of trails. A variety of innovative projects, including the youth- and family-friendly trails systems IMBA calls "Gateway Trails," are scheduled for completion in 2010.

Mountain biking has been identified as one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities among youth (Outdoor Foundation, 2009). IMBA's trail development work in urban areas helps meet that demand. These trail systems also contribute to reducing the risk of obesity and inactivity facing today's families. Gateway trails offer opportunities for kids to get outside and exercise close to home.

Trail Solutions team leader Chris Bernhardt says, "The demand for Gateway Trails has grown steadily. The concept behind these projects is to bring mountain biking recreation closer to millions of potential riders, as they can be built in small parks at a reasonable cost, and with a minimal environmental footprint."

Working with local communities, the IMBA Trail Solutions program established four Gateway Trail systems last year. In 2010 they will complete 15 projects that incorporate elements of the Gateway Trails concept.

Ready-to-Ride Gateway Trails

Big Gem Trails (Shenandoah, VA)

Partner Organizations:
Town of Shenandoah Parks and Rec. Dept., Page Valley Cycling, Ironwood Trails

  • Page Valley Cycling combined a grant from Bikes Belong with IMBA Trailbuilding Fund dollars to help fund construction.
  • Sustainable design with an emphasis on shared-use trails in a town park.

Draper Corner Canyon (Sandy, UT)

Partner Organizations:
City of Draper

  • Worked with local riders to design and build 3 miles of new trail to help alleviate pressure on existing shared-use singletrack trails.
  • Trail features and optional lines allow for beginners and experts alike to find appropriate challenges.

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park (Rapid City, SD)

Partner Organizations:
Black Hills Mountain Bike Association, Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park Foundation, City of Rapid City, Trail Arts

  • Built over 8 miles of new trail, all easily accessible from the city.
  • Established an advanced-level freeride and jump trail; returning in 2010 for additional construction.
  • Developed signs and other risk management measures.

Laurel Hill (Lorton, VA)

Partner Organizations:
Mid Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Fairfax County Parks Dept., Trail Dynamics, B4, Ironwood Trails

  • Extensive weatherizing and rock armoring of trails.
  • Installed a new connector trail that improves access to the entire trail system.
  • Provides a sustainable riding option during wet winter months in the heart of the DC Metro area.

Rocktown Trails at Hillandale Park (Harrisonburg, VA)

Partner Organizations:
Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, Harrisonburg Parks and Rec. Dept., B4

  • More than 4 miles of stacked loop system, pump tracks and dirt jumps.
  • Site of new kids' time trial series.
  • Winner of 2009 Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation "Best New Trail System" award.

Sandy River Basin (Sandy, OR)

Partner Organizations:
Northwest Trail Alliance, Bureau of Land Management - Salem

  • 20 miles of trails built and designed in partnership with the Salem District of the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Constructed 5 miles of mountain bicycle-specific trail including a short loop that provides an introduction to back-country riding.

Wissahickon Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Partner Organizations:
Friends of the Wissahickon, Philadelphia Mountain Bike Association, Fairmount Park

  • Working under the guidance of the Friends of Wissahickon friends group.
  • IMBA design setting the new standard for sustainable shared-use trails in densely populated urban environments.

Gateway Trail Systems in Development

Betsy Bell (Staunton, VA)

Partner Organizations:
Queen City Cycling

  • Creating a shared-use trails plan for municipal park.
  • Established 3-4 miles of beginner-intermediate levels trail to get people on their bikes close to home.

Gateway Green (Portland, OR)

Partner Organizations:
Northwest Trail Alliance, Friends of Gateway Green

  • Planning and design for new Gateway system in urban area.
  • Gravity-fed skills area and race courses, singletrack in the woods, and kids’ skills area -- all adjacent to an existing bike path.
  • Strong focus on youth and family riding because of surrounding residential neighborhoods that are underserved by parks.

Lincoln Mountain Bike Trails Master Plan (Lincloln, MT)

Partner Organizations:
Montana Mountain Bike Association, Lincoln Ranger District (US Forest Service), Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Great Divide Cyclery

  • Concept plan for destination mountain bicycle trail system.
  • Plans for 50-80 miles of sustainable singletrack.
  • Projected local economic benefit from tourism revenue.
  • Strong focus on beginner- and intermediate-level singletrack near town to encourage visitors and residents to begin mountain bicycling.

Forest Park (Portland, OR)

Partner Organizations:
Forest Park Conservancy, Northwest Trails Alliance, City of Portland, RTCA of NPS

  • Providing Parks and Rec. Dept and local advocates with strategies for establishing shared-use, singletrack trails in Portland’s largest park.

Powell Butte Parks (Powell Butte, OR)

Partner Organizations:
Northwest Trails Alliance, City of Portland

  • Planning assistance to Parks and Rec. Dept and local advocates for redesign of a shared-use trail system in a popular city park.

Valmont Bike Park (Boulder, CO)

Partner Organizations:
Boulder Mountain-Bike Alliance, City of Boulder Parks and Rec Dept., Alpine Bike Parks, Alta Planning + Design

  • Extensive cycling facilities, including race courses, gravity-oriented trails and a large youth skills areas.
  • Working with leading trail designers and construction teams from around the nation.

Lacks Creek Trail Planning (Arcata, CA)

Partner Organizations:
Bureau of Land Management, Redwood Community Action Agency

  • 10+ miles of trail designed on the California coast.
  • Stacked loop system with backcountry flow trails.
  • Includes family-friendly trails to introduce new riders to mountain bicycling on singletrack.

Crystal Bridges Singletrack and Park Springs Park (Bentonville, AR)

Partner Organizations:
Walton Family Foundation, City of Bentonville, Friends at Slaughter Pen Trails, Progressive Trail Designs

  • Planning and design of unique art-inspired 1-mile singletrack trail next to paved bike path, construction in 2010.
  • Family-friendly beginner/intermediate trail with skill features, adjacent to downtown and a major new museum.
  • Planning and design of 1.5 mile Gateway Trail System in Park Springs Park, construction in 2010
  • Urban location connected to schools and neighborhoods, includes environmental education and scenic creekside trails.