Work will begin just after Labor Day on the Gravity Mountain bike trails at San-Lee Park and will last through much of the fall.
Trails at the park have been closed since the spring after a serious injury occurred.
Black Diamond Trail Designs began placing equipment at the mountain bike parking lot on August 27 and will use that location as a staging area for their operations over the next several months. The trails will remain closed to the public during construction because of the heavy equipment that creates potential safety hazards.
During the spring and summer, the county has worked with the surrounding property owners to make adjustments that will address concerns that they have raised, as well as an effort to increase overall safety and take up potential liability concerns. The modifications at the park will create a dedicated return/emergency access trail that does not cross any of the downward trails.
Black Diamond Trail Designs will also be working with single trails within the park, redesigning them so that they progress from beginner to expert-level runs that follow International Mountain Biking Association (IBMA) guidelines. The overall goals of the project are to make the trails safer, provide for a progression of challenge based on rider ability, and address the concerns expressed by neighboring property owners.
If weather permits, some of the trails will begin to reopen by October and all the work should be completed by Thanksgiving, but there are still more improvements to come for the other biking and hiking trails.
Blue Ridge Trail Designs will be involved in an ongoing review of safety and maintenance on the trails, as well as addressing risk management along the hiking and single-track trails. The county is also working with a group of volunteers to form a local IBMA chapter to serve as the sole volunteer group authorized to work on the mountain bike trails in the future. A Memorandum of Agreement will be developed to address future use, maintenance, and trail changes made by the chapter.