Burke- Linville Gorge
Recently, Pisgah National Forest’s Grandfather Ranger District approved the Mortimer Trails Project. Planned in coordination with local partners, this project will increase the sustainability of the trail system and add 10 additional miles of mountain biking and hiking trails to the Wilson Creek Area in Caldwell and Avery Counties.
This decision is the culmination of years of community-driven collaboration and volunteer work. In 2015 the Grandfather Ranger District began a partnership with the community of local mountain bike users and volunteers to improve maintenance of Wilson Creek trails. Over the next 5 years an amazing amount of volunteer effort went into maintaining those trails. This volunteer work was made possible through a strong partnership with the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance, a chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA).
In addition to the mountain bike community, a larger group of partners contributed to the project. These partners represent the local community of users, hiking groups, and watershed protection organizations working in the Wilson Creek area. Organizations include the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail, Trout Unlimited, and Wild South.
Photos: Whiteblaze Marketing
“The Mortimer Trails Project is a great example of how we can do more together,” said Lisa Jennings, Recreation and Trails Program Manager for the Grandfather District. “The partners put the hard work into making this project a reality. We are excited to bring more mountain bike trails and provide a better experience for users in this special piece of Pisgah.”
Work will begin this winter to construct new sections of trail on Yancey Ridge, Schoolhouse Ridge, and Jackson Knob Trails. This work is funded through a Santa Cruz Bicycles PayDirt Grant awarded to the Northwest NC Mountain Bike Alliance and a NC Recreation and Trails Program Grant awarded to the Grandfather District. Additional work will take place on surrounding USFS roads through a partnership with Trout Unlimited.