By Sam Boykin | Photography by Meredith Jones
Posted: Monday, Jul. 02, 2012
Already one of the areas most expansive and popular mountain biking destinations, Lake Norman State Park will open a new nine-mile trail this month. For about a year nearly 40 volunteers with First Flight Bicycles and the Tarheel Trailblazers have worked on the project, which will be an extension of the existing 22-mile Itusi Trail.
Its going to be a fantastic resource for cyclists in the area, says Jeff Archer, owner of First Flight Bicycles, a retail shop in downtown Statesville. Archer is also a member of Tarheel Trailblazers, a volunteer organization with more than 450 members that helps build and maintain over 75 miles of multi-use trails in the region.
The new nine-mile extension will consist of three loops, including the five-mile Wildlife Loop, which will feature plenty of jumps and tight turns, but easy enough for beginners to enjoy.
A $75,000 Recreational Trail Program federal grant helped pay for the new trial, including money to hire a contractor and purchase earth-moving equipment like a small excavator and ditch witch.
Archer said they were able to get a lot done with the grant money thanks to all the volunteers, including local Boy Scout troops and students at Mt. Mourne School.
This has really been a group effort, and when its all said and done were going to have more than 30 miles of trails at the park. Thats a pretty impressive accomplishment.For details go to www.firstflightbikes.com