Rocky Knob Park has been closed this winter. A gate was installed at the park’s entrance. Watauga County will reopen the park once the weather allows. We will post any updates here. If you have any questions, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at (828) 264-9511.
Photos by Timothy James, Ross Landino, and Wes Overvold
On April 25 Rocky Knob hosted the kick off race to the Southern Super D series. Eighty-one racers from 9 states competed on the mile and a half course. Not quite a downhill, but also not exactly a cross-country race, the Super D featured a point-to-point timed run with the fastest time winning in 9 categories. Racers tested their mettle over rocky terrain, through berms, and jumps.
We would like to thank all who helped make this event a success:
The Boone Area Cyclists who sponsored the race and provided invaluable volunteers as course marshals.
ASU Recreation Management students who volunteered as course marshals, parking attendants, and BBQ masters.
USA Cycling provided registration and event support. Jim Smalley, USAC Official, provided the professional timing.
Matt Adams promoted the race through his Southern Super D Series.
Boone Meat Center donated the pork. Kansas City Certified BBQ Judge and ASU Recreation Management faculty Roachel Laney smoked the BBQ.
Watauga County EMS provided medical support.
Ingles donated much of the food.
Mountain Khakis donated the awards for the fastest 3 times.
The next race is May 17 at Kolo Bike Park in Asheville.
Awards photos by Wes Overvold
Guest blogger: Micheal Hakala
Photos by TJ Kearns
After driving 6+ hours from Atlanta to Boone in what could be described as the start of the second biblical floods we finally arrived to our hotel at Beech Mountain. With that amount of rain I was thinking that there was no way we were going to get any solid riding in the High country that weekend and others in the group were kind of questioning it as well. Maybe it will clear up in the morning. Not so much.
We got on the trails after a stupid amount of rain and the sky kind of cleared up with Scott, Josh, TJ, Kristian, and his mini shredders in the making. First reaction was ‘holy crap these trails are perfect’. All that hand laid rock armor drained like a champ. After a few photos we started making our way up the mountain. As we climbed up towards PB & J all I could think about was how sick it was that these trails were nothing short of the hard work of some awesome trail builders and riders who wanted a place to call their own. You could tell the amount of love, planning, effort that was thrown into these trails when Kristian described the process and the amount of time and energy that went into them. I was getting fired up.
So after playing around and trying out the various features TJ let us know that he got the shots that he wanted and was ready to start climbing up to the top of the mountain. Granted climbing is NEVER something that I enjoy but this was different, we were in the High Country and if Kristian said it was worth it I would take him at his word. As we climbed yes my three broken ribs were hurting and I was engaged in that mental battle of ‘damnit why am I doing this, I can’t take a deep breath, etc. I mean if you’ve ridden and you are not just a complete animal you know what kind of games your head can play. Even with this whining I was doing in my head and probably audibly, this strange sense of peace and excitement came over me as I took a second to look where I was. I was riding through a cloud/mist/fog up a mountain in Boone, NC with my buddies on a trail that were built to perfection. Why the hell was I being a baby. Damn. Then we got to the top and that is when I feel like we truly got to experience these trail builder’s (more like trail artists) vision and ability to produce. Holy rocky, fast, flowly, alt-line, brappage-of-the-berm batman! Following TJ, Josh, and Scott down the hill was freaking awesome. Flying down the hill, doubling rock piles on the side of the main trail, lines up and around trees all while in this misty/cloudy/ High Country weather…holy hell…it just gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. The different line options, the perfectly sculpted berms you don’t even need breaks for, I mean common I have said it a million times Rocky Knob is freaking awesome. This is seriously a mountain biker’s play ground in the High Country. This place has it all. I you like to ride and want to experience what a properly constructed and maintained trail system looks like you HAVE to see and ride this place. I know that I am planning a trip sometime this fall because I need to experience the newly built pump-track. I can’t freaking wait.
Rocky Knob Fall Festival
Words by Bill Splawn and John Brundick
Photos by Sara Beeken
On October 11 and 12, Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park hosted its annual fall festival. The festival consisted of a pump track jam on Friday night, where riders were challenged physically and mentally by the series of competitions hosted. About 130 riders and spectators attended the event. The riders competed in, the longest manual, best trick, best style and Jr. shredders. All competitions were very laid back and for fun. Red Bull appeared at the event,and brought a long their signature DJ booth and played smooth jams all night.
Saturday morning was a whole different setting with Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day. Twenty-Four youngsters showed up with their bikes in hand, ready to learn necessary skills to ride the pump track and trails at Rocky Knob. The Boone Area Cyclists held a skills clinic to educate the kids on pump track safety and showed them how to have fun while riding. By the end of the day, there was a noticeable improvement in the kid’s riding abilities.
In addition to the Kid’s event, Magic Cycles provided an impressive demo fleet of Santa Cruz Bicycles for all visitors to take to the trails with some of the nicest bikes on the market. Group rides were provided with instruction from the Appalachian State Cycling Team, many of whom showed us their impressive skills at the Pump-Track Jam the night before.
To close the full weekend of festivities, the ASU Recreation Management Program Planning group coordinated a full luncheon and raffle to raise money for the improvement of Rocky Knob Park. The BBQ lunch came loaded with Bandana’s coleslaw, Stick Boy Cookies, Jimmy John’s sandwiches, Black Cat burritos, and a variety of items courtesy of local grocery stores including Earth Fare, Ingles, Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods. The lunch raised $250 for the pump track and ASU Recreation Management Program’s Scholarship.
We would like to give a thanks to all of the sponsors who helped contribute to the event: Bald Guy Brew, Tsuga, Mountain Khakis, Bell, Giro, Yakima, Spy Optics, Black Cat, Ingles, Lowes Food, Harris Teeter, Earth Fare, Jimmy Johns, Stick Boy, Specialized Bikes, Roachel Laney (BBQ), ASU Recreation Management, Boone Area Cyclists, Magic Cycles, International Mountain Biking Association, Red Bull, Bandanna’s BBQ, Beech Mountain Resort. Rocky Knob would also like to give a special thanks to Appalachian Mountain Brewery who raised $350 for the pump track.
The weather is looking amazing for Fall Fest at Rocky Knob.
The Fest starts Friday evening at 5:00 with a Pump Track Celebration. We’ll have light food, coffee from Bald Guy, music, and informal fun events. Afterwards, head over to Appalachian Mountain Brewery for Port-O-Pie Pizza. They will donate a portion of sales to the Pump Track (5:30 to 10:00).
On Saturday we’ll kick of the morning at 9:00 with Take A Kid Mountain Bike Day and Stick Boy treats and Bald Guy Coffee. Bring the kids with their bikes for some fun riding. Santa Cruz Bikes will be on hand with their demo tour as well. Check out their new 27.5 trail bikes. We’ll have BBQ at lunch ($7 for plate a raffle ticket) Raffle prizes include a Double Down rack from Yakima, Bell’s (fantastic) Super helmet, goods from Tsuga, special Bald Guy Rocky Knob Roast, Mountain Khakis, stuff from Vans, and Spy. Extend the goodness of the day with Appalachian Mountain Brewery. On Saturday night they’ll will have Burnin Wood BBQ here with bbq ribs, and kabobs. Food will benefit the pumptrack (5:00-10:00pm).
What you need to know:
- The pump track is open when it is not raining.
- Riding the pump track during or after rains, or whenever it is wet, will damage the track. Please ride elsewhere. The RKP trails are usually good to ride after a rain. If the sign says CLOSED, stay off.
- Wear a helmet.
- Take your turn and give other riders space to ride. The track is really a track within a track. Many, many options of lines exist. Use caution when many riders are at the track. Encourage riders to ride in the same direction.
- Watch out for the youngsters. Children will be riding too.
- Inform a BAC member or the trail boss of any issues with the track. Please do not alter the track in any way.
- Watch from the start area.
- Educational signage will be installed in the near future.
- Never ridden a pump track? We will hold a few clinics this fall. Stay tuned.
This pump track has become a reality funded the generosity of local businesses and individuals. With their support we have created a unique dirt experience that will add new dimensions to your riding.
A big thanks goes out to Terra Tek Trails and Elevated Trail Design and the small army of talented volunteers for the construction.
If you are still interested in supporting the track, we are still in need of funds for signage and maintenance. You can donate online here.
Be sure to thank the following supporters:
Double Black Diamond Level
Ray’s Weather Center
Cole’s Lawn Care
Bald Guy Brew
Destination By Design
Boone Area Cyclists
Single Black Diamond:
Barry D. Greenblatt
Joshua J. McMann
Paul A. Stahlschmidt