North Bend State Park: WV Interscholastic Cycling League Race Course

An emergency contract found us in an almost impossible situation: building over 2 miles of trail within a month, to be used just a few weeks after that for the WVICL’s final race venue. I’ll go ahead and spoil the ending, we got the course done just in time. I’m a small builder, and that is an immense amount of trail for my resources. So I called in reinforcements and had Community Trail Designs come in and help with a half mile of really fun, tighter single track that has been described by league staff as “Colorado Alpine in West Virginia”. So with a core group of hardy volunteers stepping in for corridor and finish work as needed, we fired up all of the Appalachian Dirt machine fleet and dug our heels in.

An extremely rainy September (with two hurricanes sending rain up our way) did its best to slow us down, but with a couple special build techniques and some luck in soil conditions we were able to build all but one day of the month. This race course gave us several distinctly different trail sections: one long wide flowing trail set in an old pasture area with thick growth of autumn olive, one tight piece of single track nestled in some pines perched along the steep hillsides of the lake, and some open trail in the grassy infield area. Add in some existing farm roads, and we have the makings of an accessible race course with great passing opportunities. Time will tell how much fun it is, as the WV high school and middle school racing league is preparing to race on it this coming weekend. Good luck racers!