9-26-20 Trail Construction Update

Wow – Looks like I got behind on these for a couple of weeks!

Despite the lack of blog posts, the builders have still been busy!

Starting from North to South:

Working near the Silver trail area, the two Flow Track Crews continue to make good progress on their trails. Matt and his crew are still moving to the north, while the other crew has finished a black loop, and is making their way back to the south. Once the two crews meet up they will keep working their way to the south to complete the system. Also in the North System is Driftless trails, the one man army led by owner/operator “Frenchie”. Frenchie is responsible for creating all the green connections at the start of that system. He has gotten a few segments completed, and is making good progress on the rest of them. Now that we are starting to see longer sections get completed out here, we will work to start signing and mapping these trails.

The mountain continues to be a hot spot of activity. Elias and his Rock Solid Crew continue to blaze more gravity trails down the side of the mountain. Their flowy blue trail looks incredible, they are doing a great job of making the trail appealing to not only blue riders, but I believe more advanced riders will really enjoy it as well. They are currently about 2/3 of the way down the mountain. At this point it is unclear if we will be able to ride that trail this season or not. Weather will dictate more than anything if this is possible.

Pathfinder is making progress on their two trails, but has been learning the hard way just how difficult it is to build at Giants Ridge. Their production has been slowed down considerably by equipment breakdowns. The granite at the Ridge is not nice to equipment! Despite these challenges, they are now getting to some really cool terrain, which will be fun to see how it turns out. The second pathfinder crew is also working on the “techy” blue trail. You can see from the pictures some of the rock work they did this week. We hope this trail will help to provide a little more of a “tech” option for our riders. Unfortunately neither of these Pathfinder trails will open this season, there just isn’t enough good building weather left this year, so everyone will have to wait until next season to ride those.

Finally the Rock Solid XC crew is consistently working down to the south. They hit a rocky section this week, which has slowed them down a little, and forced them to work for their dirt a little more, but they have worked here enough now to be able to still build good trail even in these challenging conditions.

“Reality Check” – In the last few weeks Scott (Project Manager), myself, and Benjamin (Mountain Ops Manager) have come to the sad realization that we aren’t going to be able to complete everything we had originally hoped to build. This is particularly true with the xc trails. The main reason is the expense that comes along with building high quality trail in very challenging terrain. While this is disappointing, I see a silver lining in that we stayed true to our goal of making the trail high quality, rather than trying to push for mileage. I would much rather have a fun and lower maintenance trail, than a trail that has constant drainage issues and isn’t very exciting. While we won’t hit the goal of 20 miles of xc trails, we will have some really high quality trails to ride, and room to grow in the future if need and funding dictate.

With all of that said, thanks for reading, and for supporting the Giants Ridge Bike Park! We have really enjoyed having all the awesome bikers here all summer, and we hope to finish the fall out strong. The bike park will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 10-5 until October 18th (weather dependent). We hope to see you out here on two wheels!

Thanks,

Benji Neff

Giants Ridge Director of Mountain Sports