Blue Mountain Bike Park Is Stoked To Break Ground On A New Freeride Trail This Summer
7 Mar 2014
Blue Mountain Bike Park is stoked to break ground on a new freeride trail this summer. They also have plans to lengthen and add features to Miles Of Smiles. Newbies will have a new beginner trail. Lots to look forward to at Blue Mountain this summer.
Chuck Takacs, bike park manager, took some time out of his week to fill us in on the plans for this summer. Now all we need is for the snow to melt, and they will be opening on May 10th...weather permitting.
Q&A: Blue Mountain Bike Park!
Who are you and what do you do at Blue Mountain Bike Park?
Chuck Takacs – Bike Park Manager: Manage operations, retail, building, design, and maintenance for the bike park
How long ago did Blue Mountain become a Bike Park? Who or what was the driving force?
The bike park first opened as Vertical Earth Gravity Park in 2009. At that time Vertical Earth ran the park. Most of the original trail system was built by a partnership between Vertical Earth, local bike clubs, and trail builders. The driving force behind both Vertical Earth and now Blue Mountain Bike Park is having a local bike park with the biggest vertical drop in the mid-Atlantic. The bike park closed for a few seasons and re-opened in 2013 as Blue Mountain Bike Park and is now owned and operated by Blue Mountain Ski Area.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season? What was your biggest day ever on record?
Weekend visitors typically range from 50-100. Biggest day ever was during the 2013 Gravity East race, with over 200 riders.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
The most popular trail has been King Tut, our newest freeride trail, built by local BMX legend Dave King.
Do you have plans for a new trail this year or plans to re-develop an existing trail?
For this coming season we are going to break ground on a new freeride trail above our current jump trail. Along with the freeride trail, we will start construction on a beginner run down our Burma Road ski trail. Also, we have plans to re-work our Miles Of Smiles trail to add length and more features.
What is the mountain bike scene like at your resort?
Blue Mountain is very laid back. Crowds usually run between 70-100 riders and local riders and staff are always up for showing new visitors around.
Tell me a little bit about your town. Where do out of towners like to stay while visiting Blue Mountain? Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to hang?
Lodging and camping are available a short drive from the mountain. We currently allow camping at the mountain on race weekends only. Our Slopeside Pub and Grille is a popular choice for post ride beers and burgers. The closest town to the mountain is Palmerton where you can find the Palmerton Hotel and The Covered Bridge Inn, both good watering holes.
Do you have any big events going on this summer at your bike park?
We’re proud to be hosting POC ESC Enduro, Super D, and DH Races this season. We’re also stoked on hosting the Gravity East Finals in August.
How has the snow been over the winter? Will it affect your opening date? Do you have an opening day in mind yet?
The snow has been great this season. Our base depth is the deepest I’ve seen in 5 years. We are still hoping to open in early May, but that definitely depends on how quick our ski trail crossings melt out. Unless it warms up in a hurry, we may have to look at pushing back opening to mid or late May. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a warm and dry April.
What does the future hold for your resort?
We plan to continue to add more machine built terrain for riders of all abilities. Smooth flowing trails are what draw in the crowds. Our goal is to bring in new riders, while keeping our loyal riders excited. There will always be a place for technical, rocky terrain at Blue Mountain. But, groomed freeride terrain is at the top of our list for the future.