Midsummer Trail Report: Beginning to End

Jared Harris in the rocks.

Summer is stoke season at Rocky Knob: the trails climb sweet and rip hard; the lush forest provides a solitude of pleasant temps; new faces, out of towners, and first-time locals all share the same smile and enthusiasm; and volunteers continue to march toward the completion of these trails. There’s much to report, so here it is:

The Big Picture

You may have noticed the trail head structure, the pavilion, and a pile of giant hemlocks destined to be the kids’ adventure playground. The parking lot area will be transformed into a public gathering space befitting some of the best trails around, complete with an artistic landscaping and pavement.  A pump track is underway for the parking lot area too. We will need much more rain before we can shape it. Stay tuned.

The Trails

Rough-in of the hanging bog bridge.

The skinny exit to the hanging bog bridge.

The lower mountain (Rocky Branch, Middle Earth, the Skills Areas, and the PBJ) are near peak conditions. We have opened a new trail (really the complete Boat Rock Loop). With major efforts from a few Dirty Thursdays, the Boat Rock Loop gained over another mile. If you’ve ridden Boat Rock, you will notice the Trail Closed Signs are missing near the connector trail (now dubbed The Boat Rock Bail Out). This extra mileage adds another major climb to Boat Rock and provides additional downhill through incredible terrain. Consider riding the new DH a little defensively your first time down. The trail is a little more aggressive in places.

Feature Teaser: Paul Stahlschmidt tests the new roller. Caution — this feature is not open yet.

Elevation Profile of the Boat Rock Loop

Benchmark Trails returned this early summer to fine tune some of their trails and  wrap up their work on their wood structures. The crew added two more structures: a bridge over a hanging slab bog and a wooden roller feature through a boulderfield.

Beginning to End

A few of the 22 All-Star volunteers from last week’s Dirty Thursday ready to rip the first ever summit to parking lot train.

Last week’s Dirty Thursday marked an important occasion: Twenty-two volunteers began finishing the final trail originally planned for Rocky Knob. This trail, called “Ol’ Hoss” (named for Doc Watson’s guitar), will provide the most formidable climb on the mountain. It departs the Boat Rock Loop on the east side of the mountain a climbs to the summit of Rocky Knob at 4000 feet. From the summit, riders drop a rock chute, ride a wooden roller feature into a berm, and rail several giant berms before regaining the Boat Rock Loop.

Road Gap: Dawson airs his table on the newest PBJ feature.

Dirt dogs: Moto, Dawson, and Mike Cole shaping the new pump track.

Even though we are nearing completion of what we set out to accomplish three years ago, we will continue to add to and improve our trails. For example, we have added new features to the PBJ trail to provide  a short loop to session. After the first step-down is a new left hand optional step-up to hip jump/wallride that sends you back up to the top. We highly recommend checking this out before attempting. More new features will be appearing soon.

Look before you leap and enjoy the stoke season.

Chad O. at home on the PBJ.

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