A new mountain bike trail is in development adjacent to Elkin Municipal Park and the already existent E&A Rail Trail, according to an update by trail developers last Monday during the Elkin Board of Commissioners meeting.
The mountain bike trail has been in the making for three years, said Dr. Bill Blackley with EVTA, during the presentation.
The trail developers, including Rob Libbert, have been working with private landowners of 50 acres off CC Camp Road near Big Elkin Creek, on which six miles of single track trail will be designed for bikes. “There are lots of elevation changes,” he said.
In exploring the trail route, Libbert and EVTA members discovered a brick bridge that connects the municipal park to the private property and they asked the commissioners for their blessings in incorporating the existing trail in the municipal park with the new bike trails, which are slated to wrap around the town’s reservoir to Big Elkin Creek.
The Tour de Vino has paid for all of the equipment needed to cut the trail, Libbert said, and also will pay for the signage and bridges needed for the project.
“The proposed MTB course will begin to the east of the first pedestrian bridge [on the E&A Rail Trail] and continue to town land at which point it will cross over onto private land. The MTB trail would then cross NCDOT land beneath N.C. 268 Bypass Bridge and onto town of Elkin land at the reservoir. The MTB trail would then travel east of the reservoir and link back to the E&A trail,” according to information provided by Adam McComb, Elkin recreation and parks director.
The EVTA requested the commissioners’ approval for allowing the placement of the trail on town land and execution of a Trail-Use Agreement, which already had been approved by the town attorney and recommended by the town’s recreation and parks advisory board, according to McComb.
“The EVTA will maintain this trail, install signage and work with Elkin Recreation and Parks Department on trail closures for maintenance and during use of the firing range. The inclusion of a MTB trail will not increase any insurance premiums nor cost the town any funding for installation,” he reported.
The commissioners unanimously approved the agreement to allow the trail on town property following a motion by Bob Norton and a second by Cicely McCulloch.
In other EVTA updates, Blackley reported bridge bids for the second footbridge on the E&A Rail Trail have been received, are in effect for 120 days and came in at $370,000 which is within the association’s budgeted amount for the project. The group hopes to receive the contract in the winter and begin work in spring or early summer of 2016.
The Insane Terrain race will be held Oct. 24 and will be run completely on the EVTA trails this year.
He also reported the Winston-Salem Foundation director and staff recently visited town to look at the completed trail project and have awarded another grant for a trail to connect Market and Main Street with a gravel dust trail that will be handicap-accessible. History signs with QR codes will be added on this portion of trail, and Rotary received a grant for two benches.
A second E&A Rail Trail group is being formed in Sparta with the goal of building a trail from Sparta down to Stone Mountain where it will connect with the work the EVTA is doing from Elkin north to Stone Mountain, Blackley said. Recently the North Carolina Rail-Trail director visited and walked the trails.
Blackley also noted that the Yadkin Valley Riders Club has received a $7,500 grant to help with building bridges on the Mountains to Sea Trail from Stone Mountain to Elkin.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.