Mountain Bike, Apr. 7, 2019

Bike rack at Squires Student Center, April 7, 2019.

Blacksburg will soon be home to a brand-new mountain biking park. The Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Skills Park will be located on the current Gateway Trail on Brush Mountain, off Meadowbrook Drive.

“The construction of this park has not begun yet but will start very soon,” said Dean Crane, director of Blacksburg Parks and Recreation.

The construction will follow a brief six-to-eight week construction plan process depending on the weather.

There will be no admission cost and the park will be open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset in accordance with the rest of the town’s parks. The park will include 3,560 feet of downhill trails with beginner and intermediate obstacles which include but are not limited to berms, rollers and a few tabletops in varying degrees.

There are different trails within the mountain bike park. Each trail provides a different experience for the levels. The Huckleberry Trail will be a flat asphalt trail, while Pandapas Pond will be more challenging with obstacles of varying degrees.

According to the Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Skills Park website, the primary purpose of this project is to “establish an off-road experience in a structured setting that provides various riding opportunities and experiences to the public.” Upon completion of construction, this park will be self-supervised, meaning that there will be no staff members present during the park’s hours.

Three decades ago, the Gateway Trail began as a private property horse trail but has since developed into a multi-use trail that benefits the local community.

The community effort to make this plan a reality has definitely not gone unnoticed. Over the past few years, fundraisers have been held at community events and on an Indiegogo fundraising website. According to Crane, this plan has taken several years, as he has worked alongside the Town of Blacksburg to turn a conceptual idea into an actual project.

The public is encouraged to visit the Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Skills Park website for more information. Using this website, the public can sign up to volunteer or donate to the park. Currently, there are no volunteer opportunities, but as the park progresses within the next six to eight weeks, there will be many opportunities for the community to give its time to volunteer for the park.

Some of the volunteer opportunities would be completing tasks such as grooming the trails, planting trees, installing new facilities, painting jobs and much more. According to Crane, there are projected service days as an idea in which members of the town can all come together to work to keep the park in great shape.

There is already a construction plan in place and there is a concept plan located on the website.

After several years and much planning, the Town of Blacksburg is finally making this conceptual idea a reality for the town and its residents.

“There’s nothing like this currently,” Crane said, “so I think it will be a great addition to the mountain bike community and Blacksburg.”

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