Blue Ridge Pump Track Battle and “Grand” Opening

Blue Ridge Pump Track Battle and “Grand” Opening

Rocky Knob Park

Pump Track Grand Opening

Press Release

The Pump Track at Rocky Knob Park has recently received some upgrades designed to help riders pump the rollers, carve the berms and improve their overall bike handling skill and, in order to celebrate the completion of the track, a Grand Opening Ceremony will be help on August 29th at 9:30 AM, before the start of the Blue Ridge Battle Pump Track Challenge. Be sure to show up early to get some coffee from Bald Guy Brew and some cinnamon rolls from Stick Boy. The Blue Ridge Battle Pump Track Challenge, a pump track competition series, will begin at 10:00 AM. Riders can register on site.

A Pump Track is a special bicycle area with rollers, berms and other features where riders can learn and improve their bike handling skills.

The Pump Track at Rocky Knob is one of the first of its kind in the country to incorporate educational signs around the course to teach the skills necessary to be successful on the track. Sign topics include skills that range from novice to advanced, including: proper body position, pumping, bunny hopping, manualling, wheel lifts, and more. The educational signs were designed by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks Program, and the Pump Track was designated as one of their “TRACK Trails”.

Jason Urroz, Director of Kids in Parks, said of the partnership, “We’re excited to partner with the Boone Area Cyclists and Watauga County on this project. Rocky Knob is an amazing facility for mountain bikers. I’m glad Kids in Parks was able to help design educational signs that encourage kids and families to get out and be more active in our parks and on trails of all kinds.”

The Pump Track was made possible through a partnership with the Boone Area Cyclists and the Watauga Country Parks and Recreation Department. The track was built through collaboration between Terra Tek Trails and Elevated Trail Design, and was funded by the following organizations and private donors: Ray’s Weather Center, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cole’s Lawn Care, Coyote Kitchen, Destination By Design, Bald Guy Brew, the Tessien Family and numerous other individuals.

Kristian Jackson, a representative and volunteer for the Boone Area Cyclists, said, “We’re excited to have partnered with the Kids in Parks program on this project. Rocky Knob Park has developed a reputation with mountain bikers across the Blue Ridge as an excellent riding destination. The pump track, with these new educational signs, will provide riders of all skill levels an opportunity to increase their enjoyment of mountain biking.

Rocky Knob Park was created in 2009 when the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (WTDA) identified outdoor recreation as an important component of the county’s culture and economy. Two $5,000 grants were secured from the Bikes Belong Foundation and Specialized Bicycles. These grants were made possible through the WTDA’s partnership with Boone Area Cyclists (BAC), a local nonprofit organization working to promote and develop cycling opportunities throughout the Boone area. Watauga County, in partnership with the WTDA received a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to assist with the acquisition and development for Rocky Knob Park. Volunteers from the Boone Area Cyclists contributed over 3500 hours to date working with professional trail builders to create and maintain over 8 miles of multi-use trails and four skills areas.

An Appalachian State University economic impact study conducted by the College of Business and the Recreation Management Program in 2013 found the park contributed an estimated $2.8 million to the local economy that year alone.

In 2014, Rocky Knob Park was designated a National Recreation Trail system by the Department of Interior in recognition of the outstanding opportunities for recreation.

For more information contact Kristian Jackson at Jackson.kristian@gmail.com.

Super D Race Updates

Race Updates for the Rocky Knob Super D:

Course. The race course will include segments of Middle Earth and Rocky Branch Trails, approximately 1.2 mi., and 300 ft of elevation change. A map can be found HERE, and the race segment is also highlighted on the RKP interactive map. The start line will be near the powerlines at the “saddle” at the top of Middle Earth Trail, and the finish will be near the parking lot at the top of the entrance trail.

Practice Runs. The course is open to practice now, but won’t be taped until Saturday morning. Please use caution and be respectful of other trail users on the whole segment, but especially at the sharp left turn at the intersection of Rocky Branch, and also near the bottom.

Trail Closures. All trails will be CLOSED when the race is in progress, with the exception of Boat Rock and Ol Hoss Trails, which will be open (from the saddle only) all day. NO ONE will be allowed on the course when the race is in progress unless they are on the clock.

Getting to the Start. There are a few options: 1. get to the start-line by following the Rocky Branch and Middle Earth trails in the signed direction. This will not be an option when the race is in progress. 2. The course will be closed for 20 minutes prior to the start for participants to ride or walk it backwards from the bottom. 3. Hike. We encourage you to hike up the back side of the park, entering behind the pavilion and riding or pushing your bike up the powerline clearing. This route can be taken while the race is in-progress.

Registration and Check-In. Registration opens at 9am at the Rocky Knob parking lot, and will conclude at 10:30. Please allow plenty of time to get to Rocky Knob on the early side.

Racer Meeting. We will meet at the parking lot at 10:45 am. Be there!

Food. As a race participant, your entry will get you pizza from the Farm to Flame Food Truck. The truck will be at Rocky Knob until 1:30. You’ll be given a ticket at registration to get you your free slices. You’ll be able to pick up your slices after you finish your first run, or we we’ll have it boxed up for you if you prefer to get it later.

Weather. Rain is likely Saturday. We are hopeful for a two-run format, but if the trail conditions are deteriorating, then we will only do one run. This will be announced after the first run, so make it count! In the event of a massive rain event, any decision on a cancellation or postponement will be made by the race staff by 8am Saturday morning, and updated on the Rocky Knob Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to check those sites before you leave if it is questionable.

That’s all we have for now, see you Saturday!

Southern Super D Race Course

Southern Super D at Rocky Knob Race Course:

Race course – 300 ft of drop in 1.25 mi

RN trail

Announcement:  

All trails of the lower trails will be closed to the public on Saturday, April 25, while the race is in progress (between 11am and 2pm), but the upper trails (Boat Rock and Ol Hoss) will be open, and accessible from the power line trail that starts behind the pavilion.

Rocky Knob and the High Country Recreation Summit

5 years ago, the original Summit announced the Watauga County Recreation Master Plan.  Part of that plan called for the creation of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park!  Through Rocky Knob and Boone Area Cyclists, the mountain bike community has grown since, and has created a vibrant culture for mountain bikers in the high country.  If you want to continue this growth and have your voice heard, the High Country Recreation Summit will be conjoining on April 23, 2015 from 6-9pm at the Boone United Methodist Church.  This Summit is an opportunity to push biking and outdoor recreation in Watauga County, for the future.  We look forward to seeing you there!!

2014 Statistics – 10,000 cars visited Rocky Knob and 5,000 bikes kissed Rocky Knob’s trails between Memorial and Labor Days in 2014.

Rockyknob final

High Country Recreation Summit – April 23, 2015

HCRSposter-1

Press Release

 What: The High Country Recreation Summit: “Elevating Recreation in the High Country”

When: April 23, 2015 6:00-9:00 PM

Where: Boone United Methodist Church

 Appalachian State University (ASU) Recreation Management program in partnership with ASU Council for Outdoor Recreation Educators (CORE), Destination by Design, and the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority are pleased to announce the 2015 High Country Recreation Summit. In 2010, Watauga County Tourism Development Authority hosted the first Outdoor Recreation Summit to launch the Outdoor Recreation Master Plan. The plan unveiled key projects such as Rocky Knob Park, Watauga Gorge Park, and the Middle Fork Greenway. This summit has two objectives. Objective 1: revisit the 2010 Boone Area Outdoor Recreation Master Plan to celebrate and recognize accomplishments towards the goal of that plan. This objective will feature presentations from the government, non-profit, and private enterprises that cooperated in the implementation of the recreation plan. Objective 2: provide an opportunity for members of the public to discuss recreation in the High Country and identify opportunities for recreation expansion. Materials will then be collected and synthesized by CORE for presentation to county officials. The vision of these efforts is to elevate recreation in the High Country.

All community members, recreation enthusiasts, and recreation stakeholders are invited to attend the summit. The Summit will begin with a half-hour social featuring hors d’oeuvres. Recreation vendors and interest groups are invited to set up free booths for this social. The Summit will be emceed by Eric Woolridge (Destination by Design and author of the Boone Area Outdoor Recreation Master Plan). Presenters will include Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, High Country Recreation, Boone Area Cyclists, Middle Fork Greenway Association, and High Country Pathways. Following the presentations, attendees will be invited to participate in two breakout sessions to identify opportunities for recreation in the High Country.

Contact: Kristian Jackson, Sr. Lecturer, Recreation Management, Appalachian State University, jacksnkl@appstate.edu

Vendors contact: Edgar Peck, Director, Physical Activity Program, Appalachian State University, peckel@appstate.edu