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North Carolina Mountain Bikers Celebrate New Trail at Uwharrie

Riders at Uwharrie grand opening

It was a picture-perfect day, the kind you want to write home, post on Facebook, Tweet, and blog about. The sky was a cloudless, brilliant, baby blue that made you sit up, take notice, remembering just why you enjoy mountain biking so much, rivaled only by the yellows, reds, and oranges of autumn’s leaves that surrounded you. The temperatures were as delightful as the visual display, not too hot, not too cold, and the humidity just right. Movers, shakers, and mountain bikers of every stripe gathered at the Wood Run Hunt Camp to usher in a new chapter of mountain biking in Uwharrie National Forest, beginning with the Ribbon Cutting of the new, improved, state-of-the-art Keyauwee Trail. The festivities, kicked off with North Carolina barbeque served by Hamilton’s Barbeque, included the ribbon cutting, speeches, door prizes, a stakeholder walk-through, and, of course, trail rides.

The ceremony attendees were a veritable Who’s-Who of mountain biking devotees and allies. Peruse this list, and I think you’ll agree that we had a star-studded mountain biking celebration:

  • IMBA Trail Solutions: Rich Edwards, Trail Solutions Manager and Manager for the Uwharrie Phase 1 project. Stephen Mullins, Trail Specialist, Project Manager for the Uwharrie Phase 1 project. These guys made sure a great trail experience was delivered.
  • Trail Dynamics: Ed Sutton, Trail Builder. Ed and his crew were on the ground building what you ride.
  • SORBA: Tom Sauret, Executive Director of SORBA and IMBA Regional Director in the Southeast. Robin Allen, SORBA Communication Director.
  • Tarheel TrailBlazers: Jim Grover, former club President. Brian Bristol, visionary. These volunteers were the catalysts that got this project off the ground and completed.
  • First Bank: Angela Krol, Vice President, First Bank Albemarle Eastgate Office. Anglea was responsible for First Bank stepping up and donating the funds for the grant match. Angela also enjoys riding the trail.
  • US Forest Service, Uwharrie National Forest: Terry Savery, District Recreation Staff Supervisor. Rodney Smith, Recreation/Timber Specialist
  • North Carolina State Parks : Darrel McBane, State Trails Program Manager. Darrel oversaw the RTP grant.
  • Bearded Bikes of Albemarle. The local bike shop was on hand with rentals and a showing of the 2012 Scott trail bikes.
  • Approximately 160 mountain bikers, including the Dirt Divas, Tarheel TrailBlazers, children and adults.

During the ¼ mile trail walk, led by Rich Edwards and Stephen Mullins, stakeholders, including Terry Savery, Darrell McBane, and Tom Sauret, not only experienced the trail, they were also educated about trail layout and features. Drainages, insloped, turns, grade reversals, and such were pointed out, and their location, erosion control properties, and construction techniques explained. Darrell and Terry both think it’s a great trail, and a great addition to recreation in North Carolina and the forest.

Riders spent the afternoon enjoying their new playground. And, enjoy it, they did. The TrailBlazer forum is rife with comments such as these:

The new bike trails are incredible. I still can't believe trails of this quality are now here in our backyard. The potential of Uwharrie is unlimited!

All in all good work out there. I hope they take it to the next level and utilize all those rock outcrops throughout that mountain.

Rode out at Uwharrie, and the new single track is awesome. This trail is fast becoming a favorite. Anyone who hasn't been out there yet, I recommend heading out and trying it out

Wow! If you weren't already a fan you will be now. The new stuff is fantastic and really well laid out. A surprising numbers of kickers! It is really easy to get up some serious speed and catch good air.

OMG...The work they did rocked! Not only did I like the old Uharri,e but I love the new Uharrie

Check out photos of the trail.