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


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


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,

Vendors contact: Edgar Peck, Director, Physical Activity Program, Appalachian State University,



Rocky Knob Interview Series – part 3

Rocky Knob Interview Series – part 3

Hunter Budd

Interviewer: Nate Greener

Interviewee: Hunter Budd

Tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up outside of San Francisco, went to high school in Connecticut, and ended up at App because of mountain biking.  My parents always encouraged me to pursue anything outdoors, even if it made my mom nervous. I was a bit of a handful as a child and I think that was their way to getting me out of their hair without sticking me in front of a TV. I picked up mountain biking and snowboarding at a pretty young age, that quickly evolved into building features and trails. I was working as a cook for a while and was really unhappy with it, all I wanted to do was build and ride so I decided to make it a reality. I now work for Beech Mountain building terrain parks as well as teaching both mountain biking and snowboarding.

How long have you been mountain biking?
I grew up on Mt Tam and my dad was a mountain biker; some of my earliest memories are from a kids seat on the back of an early 90’s Specialized RockHopper. When I was in 7th grade I got kicked off the baseball team because I skipped practices to ride and I started racing downhill 6 months later.

Whats your favorite trail at Rocky Knob?
I’m going to have to go with Rocky Branch, it’s the original and I think it’s still the best.

Why do you mountain bike?

Mountain biking has shown me a ton of special places and introduced me to lots of extraordinary people, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without mountain bikes.

Describe your bike setup?
My trail bike is a Santa Cruz Tallboy, my downhill bike is a Santa Cruz V10, and I’m working on a Santa Cruz Jackal for pump tracks and dirt jumps.

What’s a favorite memory of riding?
Once I was in Tahoe without a bike, helmet, or shoes; my plan had been to hike, fish, and hang out with friends. One of my friends found this plan unacceptable and insisted I take his bike, helmet, and shoes. I wasn’t planning on riding at all and ended up getting to go on some amazing rides.

What type of riding do you prefer?
My ideal ride could be done without a chain and would wear your pads to the metal. I really enjoy steep technical riding but if you try hard enough you can make any trail fun.

What keeps you coming back to rocky knob?
It’s a trail system that can be ridden in a lot of different ways, someone who has never ridden a bike can enjoy Rocky Knob but at the same time an expert rider can find things to keep them on their toes. Rocky Knob is also one of the only legal places to ride in the area so a pretty large community has developed around the park. Sometimes during the summer there will be group rides with upwards of 20 people, it’s always a good time.

When riding whats your favorite word or adjective to use?

The most common things you’ll hear from me on a ride are “I’m dying” or “you won’t do it”.

What advice would have for someone wanting to get into mountain biking?

Start out with a used bike or a mid range hard tail, you’re going to break a lot of parts early on so you don’t want to get something expensive right away. Try to steer away from bikes that are very specific to certain disciplines, don’t get a downhill, dirt jump, or xc race bike right away. You won’t know what kind of riding you want to do until you’ve been at it for a while so you want to start with something that can do a bit of everything. If you’re every unsure about what product you should buy or how to ride something just ask for help, we all were knew to mountain biking at some point.

Hunter Budd 2

Rocky Knob Interview Series – part 2

Rocky Knob Interview Series
By: Nate Greener
Interviewee:  Jason Hightower

Bike 2

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a fifth year senior at Appalachian State as a Geography major. I grew up in Raleigh and I have always had a love for the outdoors. I am also an Eagle Scout. Besides mountain biking I also enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, and anything in the outdoors.

How long have you been mountain biking?
I have been mountain biking since the beginning of high school so about nine years. I started in back yards and found local trails branching out from there.
What’s your favorite trail at Rocky Knob?
PBJ trail since it is the perfect mix of challenge with ability to get big air.

Why do you mountain bike?
The adrenaline rush paired with a great exercise. In the high country I have the ability to ride most of the year as well.

Describe your bike setup?
I have 2 bikes. One is a Transition Trail-or-Park hard tail (only front suspension), designed for riding jumps and skate parks. The other bike is a Giant Reign full suspension designed for riding mountainous trails.

What’s a favorite memory of riding?
Working with the Boy Scouts at Camp Durant where I was able to start and run the mountain bike program for three years. Working with kids for a week at a time and giving them great experiences, they will remember for a lifetime.

What type of riding do you prefer?
Mostly trick riding, BMX, and catching big air.

What keeps you coming back to rocky knob?
It is close and they are best trails around. It is also about the only legal area in the county to ride. It is well designed and everyone riding goes there.

When riding what’s your favorite word or adjective to use?
Gnarly, I find myself using it to describe a lot of things from a sick jump to a bad fall.

What advice would have for someone wanting to get into mountain biking?
Just get out there and give it a shot start with a cheaper bike. Start on the beginner trails it is just about getting to the stretch zone and pushing your limits.