IMBA Awards Nine New Trail Accelerator Grants for Projects Across the Country
(POCAHONTAS COUNTY, W.Va, August 13, 2019) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is pleased to announce Snowshoe Highlands as IMBA’s newest Bronze-Level Ride Center™, and first Ride Center in West Virginia. The IMBA Ride Center designation solidifies the enthusiasm for mountain biking in Snowshoe Highlands, and recognizes it as one of today's exceptional mountain bike destinations.
“Snowshoe has a long and storied heritage in mountain biking. I was fortunate to get to race at Snowshoe Highlands back in the day, and they have never stopped pushing the envelope on amazing riding. I am honored to be a veteran of riding and racing at Snowshoe Highlands and to welcome them as IMBA’s newest Ride Center,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director.
The Latest Mountain Bike Community
Snowshoe is a staple in the downhill and lift-access riding world with some of the longest lift-assisted descents on the east coast. This IMBA Ride Center designation demonstrates Snowshoe Highlands is also making huge gains in progressive riding to benefit a broader riding community. In Pocahontas County’s Monongahela National Forest, riders will love lush green vegetation, babbling creeks and beautiful views while pedaling through classic east coast singletrack. Think challenging outslopes, slippery roots, rocky creek crossings and steep grades. Riding in Slatyfork and descents like Tea Creek Mountain are a mountain biker’s dream.
“Every day we are working toward growing the quantity and quality of mountain bike communities. Ride Center designations are as much about the process as it is the award, by helping community partners use the process as a guide and educational experience for creating and enhancing amazing places to ride mountain bikes,” said Wiens.
IMBA Ride Centers feature extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trailbuilders and local volunteers. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only trails to family-friendly riding, mountain bikers can expect the best the sport has to offer at an IMBA Ride Center.
Transformation through Partnerships
“The Snowshoe Highlands Bronze-Level IMBA Ride Center™ designation is an excellent example of the strong partnerships needed to realize the vision of a true mountain bike community. This work is transforming Snowshoe Highlands into an even greater place to ride mountain bikes,” said Wiens.
Local partners including Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, IMBA Local association Pocahontas Trails, the U.S. Forest Service, Snowshoe Mountain and West Virginia University Extension Service have been working for years on Ride Center designation.
“Five years ago Pocahontas Trails became the first IMBA Chapter in West Virginia. From the start the community support has enabled us to promote, maintain and improve our local trails all while preserving the rugged character Pocahontas County, Snowshoe and Slatyfork is known for,” said Eric Lindberg, president of Pocahontas Trails. “We are thrilled to be part of the effort leading to the IMBA Ride Center designation—the first in West Virginia—the next big step in making this a destination mountain biking center and the growth opportunity this gives to the community.”
“The IMBA Ride Center effort has been an amazing collaboration of community partners invested in mountain biking and the recreation economy,” said Cara Rose, Executive Director for the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “With this Ride Center designation, we will continue to leverage our high-quality trail experiences to enhance the tourism-based economy in our county and aim to make mountain biking a pinnacle segment of recreation that matches the existing winter recreation experience.”
Thousands of mountain bikers and fans will be visiting Snowshoe for the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals September 6th–8th, the first World Cup in the United States in four years. The Snowshoe Highlands IMBA Ride Center designation demonstrates the world-class mountain biking mountain bikers from across the country are in for this September.
About IMBA: The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, enhances and protects great places to ride mountain bikes. It is focused on creating more trails close to home to grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the U.S., so everyone has access to close-to-home rides and iconic backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has been the worldwide leader in mountain bike advocacy and the only organization focused entirely on trails and access for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the U.S. IMBA teaches and encourages low-impact riding, grassroots advocacy, sustainable trail design, innovative land management practices and cooperation among trail user groups. IMBA U.S. is a national network of local groups, individual riders and passionate volunteers working together for the benefit of the entire community.