The Jackrabbit Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails will soon expand its mileage with the addition of approximately five miles of machine constructed single-track. The existing trail system offers close to 15 miles of trails that are considered by the mountain bike community to be beginner to lower intermediate skill level. The expansion project will add trails that will allow the cyclist to progress to the next level. Adding features such as rock cropping’s, short drop-offs, banked and bermed turns will create more technical sections to traverse. This, along with fast descents and the construction of ultimate flow trails is what professional trail builders Trail Dynamics is known for.
Creating technical features requires special mechanized equipment, and hence, an additional cost to the basic trail construction. However, it is the technical features that will create that dimension that presently does not exist on the current trail system. Knowing this, the Southern Appalachian Bicycling Association (SABA) has been hard at work with fundraising efforts to benefit this project. SABA has been collaborating with the Clay County Communities Revitalization Association (CCCRA) and the Tusquittee Ranger District of the USFS with the Jackrabbit trail projects since 2003. SABA recently donated $3000 to CCCRA to go toward creating technical features on the expansion project.
CCCRA has acted as the fiscal agent for this collaboration, and has been very successful in securing grant funding that will help with the basic trail construction, but help is needed to secure funds for the technical features. SABA not only helps with the fundraising efforts, but assists with trail clearing, finishing work and continued maintenance of the completed product. The USFS is the land manager of the Nantahala National Forest, where the Jackrabbit trails are located.
CCCRA and SABA Trail Committee member Joanna Padgett-Atkisson states “The goal since the beginning was to create one of the best trail systems in the southeast” and “this expansion project will add a dimension that doesn’t currently exist. I expect the Jackrabbit trails to become a destination site for cyclists, which correlates to longer stay time and positive economic impacts”.
It is anticipated that trail construction will begin this winter with a completion goal of summer 2021. SABA and CCCRA are currently seeking donations to benefit this project. Donations can be made to the Trails and Greenways Committee at www.cccra-nc.org