Oak Mountain bike trails ready for Phase III expansion

Published 1:43 pm Friday, September 2, 2011


The third phase of expansion of the Mountain Bike Trail System at Oak Mountain State Park is scheduled to begin in the fall.

Phase III will add almost 16 miles of new single-track trail to the system, increasing trail variety and total single-track length to 25 miles.

Connector trails will transform a single loop trail system into a highly sought after “Stacked Loop” trail system by creating seven different loops of varying difficulty with several entry points. It will allow beginners a chance to build their skills over time and the ability to advance to longer, more challenging trails. It also will disperse riders and prevent trail congestion as park use increases.

Individual sections of the trail will have distinct personalities, textures and skill levels. New trail sections will include an intermediate skill level back country trail with stunning park views and access to features currently inaccessible.

Other new sections include a high-speed expert skill level “flow trail” with jumps, drops and other special features, and a new trail specifically designed to attract and enhance race events.

A handicap access trail will provide a wheelchair-friendly path connecting a proposed Peavine Falls Road parking area to a scenic overlook that includes original CCC fire pits built in the 1930s.

A Pump Track and Skills Park will also be constructed near the recently renovated BMX Track. The pump track will be a continuous loop one can ride by pumping over rollers and berms.

A Skills Park is an area set aside with purpose-built obstacles for beginner to advanced riders that will allow users to learn new skills in a fun, safe and structured environment.

Construction of the first seven miles of the new trail, as well as the Pump Track and Skills Park, is planned to start this fall. It will take about six months to complete.

The project will be constructed by BUMP volunteers in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Shelby County. Some part will be built by a contractor through the county’s department of facilities and general services.

Funding will come from three sources: Shelby County, a federal/state recreational trail program grant and BUMP.

Phases I and II or the project have already been completed.

Phase I, completed in 2010, expanded the original 17-mile long mountain bike loop to 22 miles. Added were beginner and intermediate level single-track trails around Double Oak Lake.

Phase II, recently completed, provides a single-track alternative to the Red Road jeep trail and includes the advanced level “Boulder Ridge” trail on top of Double Oak Mountain.