Alberta's Sweet Spot
26 Mar 2014
Q&A: Hinton Bike Park!
Where is Hinton and what does the Hinton Bike Park have to offer?
Hinton is a community in Alberta about 20 km East of Jasper National Park and 80km from the Town of Jasper while 360 km West of Edmonton. The Hinton Bike Park is a non-lift access mountain bike recreation area with freeride stunts and features, skills development areas, flow trails, pump tracks, downhill and extended cross country trails.
Who is behind the Hinton Bike Park?
The Hinton Bike Park is overseen by HMBA (Hinton Mountain Bike Association) which is a charitable group with a team of volunteers who form an executive. We oversee all of the Hinton Bike Park objectives such as special events, trail maintenance, budget/grant funding, education, planning and the overall stoke of the park. We work hand in hand with the Town of Hinton (www.hinton.ca) and closely with Hoots Inc. (www.hoots.ca)
How was Hinton Bike Park developed?
Development of the park was a grass roots initiative from local riders who approached the Town of Hinton with their vision. Registered in 2007, the group organized existing trails and broke ground on the Hinton Bike Park in 2008. Since then the park has grown beyond expectations with donations from park users, government, local business and industry, and Hoots Inc. driving the progression of the park to what it is today, and we're still growing.
How many visitors do you get in a season at the bike park?
Visitor stats are hard to determine, as the Hinton Bike Park is a free access, multi-user bike park and trail system. We know from donations and testimonials that the park is visited from riders around the world and our reputation as Alberta's mountain bike mecca brings riders new and old from all over Alberta.
What is the most popular trail network at your bike park?
Our visitors enjoy the variety of the park more than one specific trail moving from feature to feature. High-speed flow trails such as "Flow Master" and slope-style trail "Slope Wars" are old favorites and while recent additions, the "Stinger" flow trail, and advanced pump track "The Midway" are new favorites. The Hinton Bike Park was built with progressive features in mind that will always challenge seasoned riders to challenge themselves.
Will there be any new trails added this year or will you be re-developing any existing trails?
Yes, 2014 will see work from Hoots Inc. within the bike park. Outside the bike park, trail volunteers will be adding a new extension to one of our popular cross-country trails in the Happy Creek Trail System. This season will also include planning towards future development in-line with our trail master plan and partnership with the Town of Hinton. Maintenance and re-development always ramps up before our special events such as dirt jams, the Beaver Bike Fest, and the AFD Gravity Cup downhill race.
Is there a mountain bike scene/culture at your bike park?
Our scene/culture is growing, you name the style and it's here. The park has been embraced by community youth and Hinton is known for outdoor tourism bringing locals and tourists to the park. The scene and culture are elevated by supportive local businesses who embrace mountain biking. Partnership with the Town of Hinton with the recognition of Hinton as a bike destination will continue to improve the local culture.
Do you try and stay open year-round?
Our free access park is technically never closed and many of the trails are accessed throughout the year. Hinton is a destination for fatbiking (otherwise known as snowbiking) where our defined trails and loops can be accessed during the winter months. Multi-user groups such as walkers and joggers also use the trails year round. During the wet spring months, trail use is minimal to prevent trail damage.
What does the future hold for Hinton Bike Park?
Basically the future is now, we are on the map and easy to find. We continue to grow with support and enthusiasm and key factors such as strong partnerships, donations and funding, key volunteers and extended user base. Every season, we strive to push progression of our features, trails, events and more!