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Wilmington holds festival to celebrate mountain biking

September 1, 2017
By ANDY FLYNN and JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Editor and Outdoors Writer (news@lakeplacidnews.com) , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - It's Labor Day weekend, and that means a new tradition here, where the West Branch of the AuSable River meets Whiteface Mountain. It's mountain bike time.

The town of Wilmington and Barkeater Trails Alliance are teaming up to host the first-ever Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, an off-shoot from past bike festivals held in June. This time, however, there is no road racing; it's all about the trails.

"Working with the town on the Leadville race event it became apparent that a separate event geared towards fun would help to increase awareness of the riding potential by expanding the rider base beyond racers," BETA Executive Director Josh Wilson told the News recently. "(Wilmington) Supervisor (Randy) Preston really motivated us to get this festival going this year."

Article Photos

A man rides his mountain bike at the Hardy Road trail network in the town of Wilmington.
(Provided photo — ROOST)

BETA and its volunteers have been building mountain bike trails throughout Wilmington over the past several years with support from the town and the state government, including the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency. Trail crews are busy just about every week during the summer, improving trails for mountain bike enthusiasts. They proudly call Wilmington the "Mountain Biking Capital of the Adirondacks," and they work hard to support that claim.

"We really hope people come and ride and realize how awesome mountain biking has become in Wilmington," Wilson said. "We hope people will return to the region regularly stimulating economic benefits for the communities."

In addition to the Bike Park at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center - featuring 2,476 feet of a lift-serviced vertical on a variety of intermediate and advanced terrain - Wilmington boasts two major trail networks for mountain bikes: the Hardy Road network located on the Beaver Brook Tract and The Flume network between Marble Mountain and Whiteface Mountain. Then there's the popular 3-mile descent on the Poor Man's Downhill trail.

The Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, held Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 3, is a chance for Wilmington to show off its mountain bike trails and culture.

The bike festival will include camping, entertainment and plenty of riding. There will be live music and the town of Wilmington will be running shuttle busses from the festival base camp at the Wilmington Recreation Park to various riding opportunities.

When asked what BETA hopes to accomplish with the festival, Wilson was blunt.

"The short answer is that the festival offers the local riders a chance to show-off the trails to new visitors," he said. "And, of course, it's a chance for all of us at BETA to blow off some steam and celebrate another successful trail building season."

For more information about the Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, visit www.wilmingtonmtbfestival.com. For more information about the mountain bike trails in Wilmington, visit www.whitefaceregion.com/recreation/biking/mountain-biking.

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Schedule

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Friday, Sept. 1

-3-7 p.m. - On-site registration and check-in at the Wilmington Recreation Park

-5-8 p.m. - Hardy Hour group ride. Get the local's tour of the popular Hardy Road trail system.

-8:30-10 p.m. - Welcoming Party at Pourman's Tap House with live music. Tap takeover by Big Slide Brewery & Public House.

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Saturday, Sept. 2

-7:30 a.m. - Yoga w/ Riverstone Wellness

-8 a.m. - noon - Registration, ride sign-ups

-9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Guided and self-guided group rides (shuttles offered throughout the day). Beginner, intermediate, expert options. Hour-long cruise to full day epic. Professional clinics for women and youth.

-5-11 p.m. - Festival village, swimming, live music by Lostdog (5:30-7:30 p.m.) and Gratefully Yours (8-10 p.m.), bonfire, etc. Beer by Big Slide Brewery & Public House. Registered participants 21 and older get free beer token.

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Sunday, Sept. 3

-8 a.m. - Registration & Ride Sign-ups

-9 a.m. - noon - Group rides

-10 a.m. - Kids MTB Race @ Hardy Road

-Noon - 4 p.m. - Poor Man's Downhill shuttles (3-mile downhill trail ride, DH bikes not necessary) featuring live music by Lostdog

-1-4 p.m. - Alternate, self-guided trail rides

 
 

 

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