Campground Rehab Figures into N.C. Bike Trails Project
For nearly three years, a crew of volunteers and workers toiled deep in the woods of the Sauratown Mountains in North Carolina, clearing brush, moving rocks and cutting back trees and bushes to create a six-mile mountain bike trail that would draw people from around the region.
The result of their labor will be on full display Saturday (March 10) with the Doubleshot, a unique bicycle race that will serve as the inaugural event for the Moore’s Springs Trails. The trail network was built on 300 acres of state-owned land on Moore’s Spring Road, just a few miles west of Hanging Rock State Park, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Zach Lail, the manager of Mock Orange Bikes, has ridden the trails several times.
“It’s a new trail so it’s built really well,” Lail said. “It’s a good, fun ride without being too difficult.”
Tony McGee, the driving force behind the Moore’s Spring Trails, sees the trails as more than a recreational opportunity for mountain bikers. The county, which once depended on tobacco to fuel its economy, is trying to establish itself as a destination spot for people who enjoy spending time outdoors.
Besides its proximity to Hanging Rock, the new trails are near the Dan River, which draws fishermen, tubers and paddlers each year.
As part of the mountain bike trails project, McGee and a team of volunteers refurbished the Moore’s Springs Campground, just across the road from the trail system. The campground is also on state property and had been closed for the past few years.
“We hope that we are building a foundation for a new type of business up here, taking something old and historic like the campgrounds and repurposing it,” McGee said. “It has been a labor of love for me but we want it to be valuable for the community as well.”
McGee is the executive director of StokesCORE, a nonprofit organization that studies ways to boost the local economy.
Joan Allen, the owner of the Danbury General Store, said her store has benefitted from the influx of people coming into Danbury to enjoy the outdoors.
“We have bicyclists come through here all the time,” Allen said. “It most definitely impacts our business.”
At Saturday’s race, bicyclists will ride two laps, or 12 miles, on the single-track mountain bike trails then ride 13 miles on the road, ending at the bath house at Hanging Rock State Park.
The combination of mountain and road biking makes the Doubleshot unique, Lail said.
About 75 riders are expected to participate. The race begins at 9:30 a.m. at Moore’s Springs Campground.
“We see this as a signature event for Moore’s Springs,” McGee said.
He is lining up other events, including a six-hour race in October.
McGee and his crew of volunteers, which includes dedicated mountain bikers and people merely interested in lending a hand, are currently working on a trail system at the campground.
“We want this to be a hub for folks to do all sorts of activities without having to travel far,” McGee said.