The City of Hickory and the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance invited the public to attend a ribbon cutting for the Lake Hickory Trails on Friday, June 1, at 11:00 a.m., at the beginner loop trailhead. The ceremony celebrated the completion of the Lake Hickory Trails, a system of mountain biking trails at Hickory City and Rotary-Geitner Parks, which include a 1.8-mile beginner flow trail, a 4-mile intermediate loop, a pump track for both advanced and beginner riders, and an advanced jump line for more skilled riders.
In early 2017, Hickory citizens, Kirk Brittain and Brad Stevens, approached the City, seeking to adopt the trails between Hickory City Park and Rotary-Geitner Park, and spearhead an effort to improve the existing trails so that mountain bikers of all skill levels could enjoy them. Brittain and Stevens are both members of the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance (The Alliance), a 501(c)(3) chapter of SORBA, the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association. The project and funding were run through The Alliance for its expertise in this arena, and non-profit status.
Brittain and Stevens raised over $100,000 locally from corporations, small businesses, and the public to fund the project. Some of the major sponsors include the Broyhill Family Foundation, HSM Solutions, Rock n Road Bicycles, Defeet International, Vesco Toyota Lift, Corning, and the Beaver Foundation. Professional trail contractors, Terra Tek Trails, were hired to build the trails to create what is now called the Lake Hickory Trail System.
“We are very excited for the completed mountain biking trails to be open for citizens to enjoy. The Lake Hickory Trails offer some of the best mountain biking in the state, and are sure to be a popular destination for both local and regional bikers,” said former City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod.
“Our goal was to fully utilize the excellent terrain and features available at the existing trails to create a mountain biking trail system crafted for riders of all skill levels, a trail system to attract riders from all around to Hickory. We are very proud of what has been built through this partnership with the City of Hickory and the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Association,” added Brittain. “The word is already spreading about these trails, and I can’t wait for others to discover all they have to offer.”
In addition to the recreational enhancement, Brittain and Stevens also see the opportunity for economic development. “We’ve already heard from riders around the region who plan on coming to Hickory to ride the trails,” said Brittain. “Hopefully, they’ll stay here, eat and drink here, and also support the local bike shops. It will also be a great space for organizers to hold races and events, which will bring even more people here.”
Consider supporting the trails by sending a tax-deductible, direct donation to the Lake Hickory Trail System Fund at www.LakeHickoryTrails.com. Every donated dollar goes to building, supporting, and maintaining the Lake Hickory trail System.
For more information about the Lake Hickory Trails, please contact the Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Department at (828) 322-7046. For trail status updates, follow the Lake Hickory Trail System Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LakeHickoryTrails/. To find out more about The Alliance, please go to www.ridenwnctrails.com for details about the work being done in Northwest North Carolina.