Rocky Knob Kick-Off meeting July 29
The Rocky Knob Park got a little closer to fielding bicycle tires with the selection of a renowned design company and a scheduled meeting to share information with the cycling community.
The Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) selected Trail Dynamics LLC of Asheville with a contract to design and construct a mountain biking trail, with the assistance of Boone Area Cyclists, at the park.
TDA director Wright Tilley said the selected firm has built trails in the DuPont State Forest in Brevard and in Lorton, Va., and the firm's CEO will be in town later this month to discuss the trail with volunteers and cyclists.
"Phase one will be two or three miles of trails, suitable for beginners," Tilley said. "The more advanced trails will come later."
Tilley said while no large events or competitions will be organized until the trail is ready, the TDA has already received a number of inquiries. Outdoor recreation has become a foundation of the TDA's regional tourism promotion strategy.
The park is also counting on the community and local cyclists, whose input has helped guide pursuit and development of the 185-acre site east of Boone. Volunteers who want to help should contact the TDA and undergo training to help with trail work.
On Thursday, July 29, at the Broyhill Inn, the TDA will host the Rocky Knob Trail Kick-Off meeting. Eric Woolridge, outdoor recreation planner with the TDA, will provide an update on the current development and construction schedule of Rocky Knob Park. Also speaking will be Woody Keen, CEO of Trail Dynamics and president of Professional Trail Builders Association.
In addition, Boone Area Cyclists will have a volunteer trail building workday the weekend of July 31 to Aug. 1. More details will be available at the Trail Kick-Off meeting and at http://www.BooneAreaCyclists.com.
TDA chairman Rob Holton pointed out the trail will be dual purpose, offering hiking and biking during most months of years. In winter, the trails can be used for cross-country skiing.
County maintenance crews are developing about 1,500 feet of road and parking at the entrance on U.S. 421. Construction began on June 1, and Watauga County and the TDA have received $515,000 in state and private grant funds for the park.
When finished, Rocky Knob Park will provide seven to nine miles of trails. In addition, the park will offer an adventure playground, numerous shelters and picnicking areas and a bike skills area.
More information about Rocky Knob and other Boone area outdoor recreation planning efforts is posted at the TDA planning blog: http://www.BooneAreaOutdoors.com.