, 2022-07-09 08:11:56,
By JONAH LOSSIAH
One Feather Staff
Mountain bikers may rejoice. There are new trails coming to Cherokee.
Five years after the completion of the original Fire Mountain biking trail system, EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) Operations and EBCI Project Management have started work to more than double the trail network on the Qualla Boundary. The project is slated for a 2-million-dollar investment that will see 12 to 15 miles of new trails and much more.
“We just signed a contract with IMBA, the International Mountain Biking Association, to do what we’re calling Fire Mountain Expansion. Although it is not attached to Fire Mountain, it will be along the same lines. Mountain bike trails, a state-of-the-art asphalt pump track, a top track, a skills park, and a bicycle playground. We’re trying to lower the entry point,” said Jeremy Hyatt, Secretary of EBCI Operations.
With new mountain biking projects popping up across the region, they want this to stand out and help make Cherokee an outdoor destination.
“There won’t be a thing like it in western North Carolina. There won’t be anything like it in this region. We’re going to do it right. It’s going to be an incredible park area for cycling activity,” said Secretary Hyatt.
Hyatt said that they are looking to cover their bases with this project. It will help to lower the entry point for new bikers, while also offering even more challenging rides for those with more experience.
“When I talk about lowering the entry point. This is going to be a perfect opportunity for our community, kids, and families, to come out and take their little guys on the strider bikes all the way up to full-grown adults being able to utilize this. They can enjoy this area together as a family,” said Secretary Hyatt.
“With these trails, we’re going to be trying to up the amplitude. More gravity-type trails. Bigger jumps, bigger features. But also, there will be multiuse trails incorporated into this so people can walk.”
The site of the pump track is set to be near the welcome sign off Highway 441, by the Barclay building parking lot and Native Brews. Hyatt…
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