LEE COUNTY, NC – June 30, 2021 - On April 6th, Lee County Government decided to close Gravity Park and evaluate it from a risk management standpoint. That evaluation is almost complete. The one overarching issue that has come to the forefront in our analysis is that the mountain bike trials can no longer be sustained by a volunteer-only group. As the landowner and manager, it is now necessary for the County to play a bigger role in maintaining and developing the trails. The County must be involved to manage the level of risk and protect the taxpayers of Lee County.

The evaluations of the trails and the solutions to reducing the risk to an acceptable level are taking longer than anticipated. We do not foresee re-opening Gravity Park until we complete the changes that need to be made to the trails.

While evaluating the trails, we began using a GPS system to map each trail. During this process, we became aware that as many as four mountain bike trails leave County property and go onto adjoining property. This major issue has to be addressed before we can finish our plans for the trails. We are in the process of contacting the adjoining owners to speak with them about the issue.

The evaluation of the trails was long overdue. Since the County was not involved in the development of the bike trails in the park, we did not realize the complexity of what has been built. Now that we know what is there and the risk that it presents to the public, we have a duty of care to ensure the safety of the citizens using the park. Therefore, these changes must be made before the trails can reopen. The Gravity Park will remain closed until all work is completed.

Once we have heard from the adjoining land owners and finished our trail evaluations, we will provide another update. Updates related to San-Lee Park will also be posted to the new San-Lee Park Facebook group under the Lee County NC - Parks & Recreation page.