Rocky Knob Festival Oct. 12
Within a short walk or drive from downtown Boone, mountain bike
enthusiasts can find a natural escape into the great wilderness at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park on
“Within a few minutes of downtown, you are into beautiful terrain,” park promoter Kristian Jackson said. “The park is on the north side of a mountain, so you can spend a short bit of time out there, and it feels like you are in the middle of a natural forest somewhere. It’s a lot of escape for a place so close to Boone.”
In addition to miles upon miles of mountain bike trails, the park also has a kids’ adventure playground and a picnic pavilion, as well as a bicycle pump track.
The park was created in part by the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority.
To celebrate the community’s efforts in creating such an awe-inspiring destination, organizers are preparing for the Rocky Knob Festival, to be held Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As a prelude to the weekend festivities, the park is also holding a special grand opening for the venue’s latest attraction, a bicycle pump track.
A pump track is a dirt course constructed as a loop system. Unlike similar tracks, a pump track allows riders to utilize their upper body and core muscles to create forward momentum without peddling, Jackson said. Riders will also be partaking in jumps and other tricks on the course.
“The track has become really popular and has increased the value of the park pretty dramatically,” Jackson said. “This adds a complete new dimension to it.”
Jackson said the original vision of the developers was to have the pump track where it is currently located, but a lack of government funding resulted in its fruition coming about in a different way.
“The county said no, initially, and we had to go through the fundraising process and got several on board within a couple of months,” Jackson said. “It was pretty cool to see the support.”
On Oct. 12, park organizers invite younger riders to participate in Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, sponsored by International Mountain Biking Association. “That’s something that is done throughout the United States,” Jackson said.
Riders from Appalachian State’s cycling team will also be on hand for guided bike rides, Jackson said.
At noon, a barbecue and raffle will be held to benefit Appalachian State University’s Recreation Management Association scholarship.
And while the park has been open for more than a year, the Oct. 12 bash will serve as an official opening. “It has become a community destination for bikers, definitely worth a visit for all the challenge it has to offer,” Jackson said.
Although the event is free admission, the park will be accepting donations to benefit the pump track. The cost for a plate of food is $7. For more information, call Jackson at (828) 773-6858.