Oak Mountain State Park opens new trail for mountain bikers

Published 1:03 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Members of the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) took part in a group ride at Oak Mountain State Park that served to christen a new biking trail on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The new trail, named “Room Service,” is a one-and-a-half-mile multi-use trail that provides access to a valley behind the park’s Wildlife Center and that connects two pre-existing trails referred to as the Slingshot and the Centipede.

While it is being billed and optimized as a mountain biking trail, visitors to the park will also be welcome to utilize it for general hiking.

“The new trail will be an amazing addition to Oak Mountain State Park,” BUMP President Chase Draper said. “It creates a much-needed mini loop for beginner and intermediate riders who want to venture out but aren’t ready or don’t have time to do the full loop around the park.”

Officials have designated the trail as suitable for beginners with adequately developed bike-handling skills and trail-riding experience.  In terms of difficulty, they have labeled the trail with an easy-to-intermediate ranking and have installed signage to help mountain bikers safely navigate the trail.

“Oak Mountain State Park has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the best places in America for mountain biking, and this new trail can do nothing but enhance that reputation,” said Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “We’re thankful for partners like the Shelby County Commission and BUMP, who help make Oak Mountain State Park even better for visitors.”

Plans are already in place to involve the new trail in a number of upcoming events at the park throughout the coming seasons. Organizers have already confirmed that the trail will play a role in the upcoming Chainbuster Race, the Xterra North American Championship and the 30th annual Bump N Grind which is set to occur this June 7-9.

Construction of the new trail was managed by FlowMotion Trail Builders, a company based out of Anniston with funding provided by Discover Shelby and the Shelby County Commission, and joins the already more than 30 miles of mountain biking trails present at the park.

“Discover Shelby is proud to partner and fund one of Oak Mountain State Park’s newest trails, Room Service,” Shelby County Tourism and Events Manager Kendall Williams said. “As the tourism arm of Shelby County, Alabama, we take the resources from our visitors who stay in hotels and reinvest them to improve the quality of life for our residents. One aspect of this is improving existing and building new trails for our residents to enjoy throughout the year. These world-class trails allow us to recruit and support top-notch events that bring in athletes from all across the United States and the world.”

Visitors to Oak Mountain State Park, those seeking more information or those who are interested in booking space at the park, are encouraged to visit Alapark.com/parks/oak-mountain-state-park for more information.