Bike Trail Construction Shifts Into High Gear

Mountain Bike Trail Cycling enthusiasts from across the region are chomping at the bit to get a look at the new mountain biking trail system at Lake James State Park. Now that construction has begun in earnest, it’s only a matter of time before the park becomes an off-road cycling destination for western North Carolina.

“We’ve already received a lot of inquiries asking when the trails will be ready to ride,” said park superintendent Sean McElhone. “If all goes well, we hope to open nearly 14 miles of beginner and intermediate biking trails by the summer of 2013.”

The trails are located on the Paddy’s Creek Area and include 3-and-1/2 miles in a “stacked loop” configuration for beginners, that wind over gently rolling terrain through thick, young pine and oak stands. The trail-building company has a full-time crew at work; cleaning off the path, removing stumps and roots and compacting the exposed soil.

The mountain bike trails are part of the park’s Master Plan for development of recreational opportunities and resource management. The park’s Master Plan is available online at

NewsLeslie Young