Lee County Government, the Parks and Recreation Department, Back to Dirt Conservancy and Black Diamond Designs announced Friday that the San-Lee Gravity Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, December 11.
“After a thorough evaluation of the Gravity Park trails, it became clear that there was a need to update and maintain the trails so that riders of all skill levels could have an opportunity to enjoy this important community asset,” said Lee County Manager Dr. John Crumpton. “The bike trails at the park bring riders from all over the Southeast and Eastern United States to Lee County. Those riders who visit Sanford and Lee County provide an important economic benefit to our businesses and the citizens of Lee County benefit from being able to use the park as well as enjoy the new business created by the biking community. We truly believe that by improving our assets, we will increase the value of the park to the community thus increasing recreational participation locally and by visitors to Lee County, creating even more economic growth.”
San-Lee Park, located at 760 Pumping Station Road in Sanford, will open at 8 a.m. and the official ribbon cutting for the mountain bike trails starts at 9 a.m. at the campground.
During the ceremony, there will be a safety briefing before any mountain bike riders may ride the trails. Back to Dirt Conservancy, Black Diamond Designs and Bike Skills NC will lead beginner’s and intermediate rides at 10 a.m. and noon, then the Black Diamond team will certify a limited number of expert riders’ abilities and lead them down the expert trails at 2 p.m.
LCG encourages all riders and residents to come out for the event not just to ride, but to enjoy the park and its emphasis on incorporating recreational activities into the natural landscape. Lunch will be available courtesy of Back to Dirt Conservancy beginning at 11 a.m. The event will highlight improvements to the updated trails and offer booths sponsored by local vendors.
“I want to thank the mountain bike community for their patience as the County worked through what we needed to be done in order to make the trails safe and friendly to riders of all abilities,” Crumpton said. “A big thank you goes out to Donn Otte and his volunteers who worked to create an incredible mountain biking community that supports San-Lee Park. We also need to recognize Black Diamond Designs for the incredible work they have done in applying technical redesign of trails to address maintenance access and the need to offer a variety of trail features to maintain family friendly usage while also challenging advanced riders. This is an incredible asset to have in Lee County and we are very excited to see riders coming back to the park. Lastly, I want to thank the newly formed Back to Dirt Conservancy for their commitment to building a larger biking community in Lee County and future assistance in maintaining the biking trails in the park.”
Now that the Gravity Park is complete, the County will also evaluate the single-track trail and walking trails around San-Lee Park and begin making improvements on them this winter.