We're excited to host the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance meeting on Friday, December 9th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm(ish). The meeting is open to members and non-members. We’ll make a quick loop at Cub Creek before the meeting and then get down to business.
“During this meeting, we will take care of some quick annual business, provide some information on the state of the Alliance, and then have plenty of time for conversation…It really has been an exciting year for us; we have much to share and want to hear from you about the trails you ride.”
What is the Northwest NC MTB Alliance?
The Alliance is one of the most important outdoor organizations in our area.
“Northwest NC MTB Alliance is a chapter of SORBA...promoting land access, trail preservation, and new trail development on federal, state, and local lands in our region.”
SORBA is the largest non-profit mountain biking organization in the Southeast. As a chapter of SORBA, the Alliance supports trails and trail-building efforts and promotes mountain biking in northwest North Carolina.
“We operate in the geographic area of Northwest NC’s mountains and foothills, including the communities of Boone, Hickory, Lenoir, Marion, Morganton, and Wilkesboro.”
Anchor Coffee is a supporter of trails and mountain biking in our area. When we're not roasting coffee and pulling espresso shots, you can often find us on the trails around Wilkesboro, Boone, and Winston-Salem. We could not be happier to have been chosen as the location for this year‘s alliance meeting.
Why We Need The Alliance
We are fortunate to have some of the best mountain biking trails and trail systems in the state right here in Northwest North Carolina. The Alliance is made up of leaders from a number of cycling and mountain biking clubs in the area. They determined it would be advantageous to each organization and all trail users to join forces, pool resources, and work together to accomplish their mission to advocate for, maintain, preserve, and build trails in northwest North Carolina.
Mountain biking has increased exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic. Per Forbes:
“Mountain bike trail counts across the United States are showing increases of 100% to over 500% compared with the same time in 2019.”
More trail usage in outdoorsy communities comes with more mountain bikes and mountain bikers.
Mountain Biking Presents the Opportunity for Economic and Community Growth
Areas with access to the outdoors and mountain biking are poised for economic growth. Good trails attract tourists and new residents. With the rise in work-from-home options during the pandemic, areas with access to the outdoors, like the foothills and High Country, have become attractive places for people who now have more options for relocation. There was enough increase in population for North Wilkesboro to be considered a Zoom Town by USA Today.
Supporting growing outdoor sports like mountain biking provides the opportunity to attract tourists and new residents. Investing in the development and maintenance of mountain biking infrastructure can yield significant results.
How Mountain Biking Helps Towns and Communities Grow
Anecdotally, when we’re on the trails, we meet people from all over the country. Northwestern North Carolina trails are a must-visit for mountain bikers making their East Coast pilgrimages. Those visitors spend money:
“On average, each non-local visitor to the trails expected to pay $200 per day during their visit, and spending in restaurants, hotels, and motels alone accounted for $1.8 million.”
Organizations that protect, preserve, and advocate for mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance are vital for any outdoor community like ours. Many of the trails that mountain bikers love are multi-use so that hikers, equestrians, and more can enjoy them. Great trails benefit communities in a number of ways:
- Great trails give people a place to exercise
- Great trails give people a place to congregate
- Great trails give people a reason to visit an area
- Great trails give people a passion for conservation
- Great trails give people motivation to take care of our environment
Our Favorite Alliance Trails
Some of our favorite trails the Alliance supports include:
Warrior Creek, OVT, Dark Mountain | Wilkesboro, NC
15-25 minutes from Anchor Wilkes
“There are three main trail complexes: Dark Mountain, Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT), and Warrior Creek. All three have their own character, but ride any of them, and it won’t take you long to figure out why the area has acquired the nickname that typifies its trail system: Wilkesbermo. Hundreds of bermed and banked turns await you!”
One of our favorite mini-systems within the Kerr Scott ecosystem is The Headwaters Hub. The Hub is the starting point for four downhill, flow, and jump lines that return to the same central location. Each trail has its own even shorter and more sessionable lines.
Rocky Knob Bike Park | Boone, NC
35 minutes from Anchor Wilkes
Rocky Knob is hands-down one of the high country‘s best trail systems. It combines flow with Pisgah-like gnar and slopestyle jumps. We love the partnership between the town of Boone and the park and that the trailhead is so unbelievably convenient to Highway 421.
Typically, when we ride Rocky knob, we climb all the way to the summit and descend one of our favorite trails in North Carolina, Jumbo Shrimp. If you close your eyes on this flow/tech trail, you might think you were on Middle Black in Brevard.
Also descending from the summit, Black Forest is one of the High Country's only double black diamond trails. Near the middle elevation area known as the Saddle, Blue Dream, and Blue Ridge are slopestyle jump trails. Also at the saddle is a skills area, with a lengthy North Shore style skinny and the entrance to the famous PB&J flow jump trail.
Wilson’s Creek Trails - Pisgah | Mortimer, NC
1.5 hours from Anchor Wilkes
What can we say about Wilson’s Creek? It’s mountain bike perfection. It’s the epitome of work reward. Even if you shuttle to some of the trailheads, any day spent in our version of Pisgah is going to be a long one. But a day spent in Pisgah is a prize to be cherished.
The hard work alliance leaders and members put into rerouting and repairing Schoolhouse and Yancey Ridge prove exactly why we need this organization in our community. These two trails were nearly lost forever but have now been restored to their former glory. Some would say they're arguably even better than before! Along with 21 Jumps, Sinkhole, Woodruff, and hundreds of miles of singletrack goodness, Wilson’s Ridge should be high on your list of must-ride trail systems.
Cub Creek Park | Wilkesboro, NC
5 minutes from Anchor Wilkes by car, 10 by bike
Our in-town trail system is the envy of most other communities in North Carolina. In fact, we commonly meet people from Statesville, Charlotte, and the triad at cub Creek. This system is an excellent introduction to flow-style foothills mountain biking, with some berms and even a jump line. Cub Creek is going to be getting some updates and new trails shortly.
One of the best parts of riding at Cub Creek is that you can leave from anchor coffee on your bike, ride the greenway to Wilkesboro, bomb down the hill, shred the entire system, and return for coffee or a beer. If you want to try your hand at mountain biking in our area, the Tuesday Night ride group called Berms and Brews leaves from anchor at 5:30 pm and returns around 7:00 pm for beer.
Lake Hickory Trails | Hickory, NC
50 minutes from Anchor Wilkes
One of the most underrated trail systems in our area, Lake Hickory features cross-country flow with jump lines that challenge riders at any level of expertise.
“The Lake Hickory Trails are a local favorite for a great weekend loop or after-work spin. With some punchy climbs and great views of the lake, you’ll earn your post-ride beers!”
Zacks Fork Trails | Lenoir, NC
40 minutes from Anchor Wilkes
Another excellent in-town trail system in our area, these trails are accessible from the greenway and offer sick jumps and sweet flow.
Riverbend Trails | Hickory, NC
50 minutes from Anchor Wilkes
“Riverbend Park is on a beautiful 690 acres along the Catawba River. There are just over 20 miles of trails for mountain biking. Overall, this is a great facility for beginner riders as there are many maintained double-track trails at a low grade.”
Mountain Biking, Coffee, and Beer
Nothing sets the tone for a great ride like good coffee. After a sick shredding sesh, you need that recovery beer. We are stoked to be so close to some of the best trails in the state. If you're shredding in our area, come see us. If you can be here on December 9th, it will be a great time with some fantastic people!