Chattahoochee Bend Park to include bike trails
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Long-awaited mountain bike trails will soon be included at Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
A trail building day will be held Saturday starting at 8:45 a.m. Volunteers are needed.
Plans include building up to 13 miles of interconnected trails throughout the park. The trails were scouted and flagged by riders trained in the International Mountain Bicycling Association trail building standards. The course has been reviewed and adjusted by an IMBA trail specialist, park management and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
At the end of the work day, Park Manager Tim Banks will guide a bike tour in the park, and volunteers are encouraged to bring their bikes.
“We’re excited about getting started with the bike trails,” said Steve St. Laurent, president of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park. “Having trails will provide a trail system on the southwest side of Atlanta, a big benefit to mountain bikers from all over our state.”
Friends board member Vicki Kaiser is an avid mountain biker and is organizing the trail efforts. She predicts the trail system will be a big draw.
"Cyclists will come from all around the region to ride these trails, just as the road bikers come to Coweta to ride on the quiet country roads,” she said.
The trails will be single track, with interconnected loops offering multiple experiences for riders of all abilities. The park’s Trailhead 2 will serve as the entrance point for the trails, and plans are to add facilities for mountain bikers.
“There will be a bike maintenance bench with tethered tools and compressed air. A bike cleaning station will also be available,” Banks said. There will also be maps, changing stations and summer showers.
“We are working with SORBA (the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association), IMBA and our Friends organization to garner community support, funding, volunteers and event sponsorship for the new trails,” Banks said.
The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend will be hosting a meeting with SORBA and IMBA representatives May 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. Those interested in the new trails are encouraged to attend.
Saturday’s bike trail workday will involve clearing the corridor of ground cover, debris and flora, pruning back or removing small trees and other obstacle plants, and cutting into side slopes to create a sustainable trail surface. Work will focus initially on the largest, most challenging of the loops, which will be accessed from Trailhead 2 in the south-center of the park.
The park currently has more than 11 miles of hiking trails, and a series of equestrian trails are planned. All trails are built by volunteers.
Volunteers should come equipped with boots, work gloves, water and insect repellent. Heavy tools will be provided at the park, although volunteers can bring their own tools including rakes, gas-powered blowers, machetes, pruning shears, shovels or other yard tools.
Refreshments will be provided.
For more information, and to RSVP, please e-mail Kaiser at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend visit www.bendfriend.com.