COUNTY TO REOPEN SAN-LEE PARK’S GRAVITY MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS IN OCTOBER

LEE COUNTY, NC – August 30, 2021 – Lee County Government and Black Diamond Trail Designs will begin work on the San-Lee Park Gravity Trails next week.

Black Diamond began placing equipment on-site starting August 27th and will use the mountain bike parking lot as one of the staging areas for the company. We ask the public to stay away from the equipment and from Gravity Park while work is ongoing.  Heavy equipment will be in operation and the area is not open to the public for safety reasons.  Weather permitting, we are hopeful that the trails will begin to reopen in October and work to be completed by Thanksgiving.

The County has addressed the land use issues with the surrounding property owners and will make adjustments to comply with their concerns and requests.  Changes to Gravity Park and single trails will need to be made to comply with the issues the property owners want to be addressed.  A survey has shown that trails will need to be moved and adjusted.  The work being done will address safety and liability concerns along with the land use issues.  Gravity Park will also have a dedicated return/emergency access trail that will not cross the downward trails.  With the land use issues and dedicated return/emergency access, the number of downward trails will be reduced from six to five.  The trails will be redesigned to progress from beginner- to expert-level runs.  The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) guidelines will be used for the reworking of the trails.  We believe the changes will provide a safe and fun experience for mountain bikers of all levels.

Other changes are also coming to the bike and hiking trails in the park. Blue Ridge Trail designs will begin addressing risk management, hiking and single-track issues in the near future.  Blue Ridge will be involved in the ongoing review of safety and maintenance on the trails as well.  The County is also in the process of working with a group of volunteers who are establishing a local IMBA chapter, who will be the sole volunteer group authorized to work on the mountain bike trails.  A Memorandum of Agreement will be developed that addresses future use, maintenance and trail changes by the group.

San Lee Park is a nature park first.  We have hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts in the park on a daily basis.  The redesign of the trails is being done to make sure all groups have a safe experience in the park.  Environmental and land protection issues are being addressed as well.  We ask for the public’s continued patience as we address these issues over the next three to four months.  We believe the current work will preserve our park for the long term and allow citizens to enjoy the beautiful nature setting for years to come.

For additional information and questions, please contact Hailey Hall, Communications Specialist at (919) 718-4605 or hhall@leecountync.gov.

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