By Kathleen Haff, Tuolumne County District 4 Supervisor
Did you know that a mountain bike destination trail system is being added to 6 miles of already existing multi-use trails just off of Ferretti Road?
Approximately 4 miles past PML Airport, ¼ mile past Camp Tuolumne Trails, on the right. Find the dirt parking lot with boulders and a Forest Service gate, and you are there. The planning, design and construction for this project is being managed by the Groveland Trail Heads, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 mountain bicycling club. This project is in the Groveland Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest. The views are amazing and so are the trails they are building!
In 2020, the first mountain bike trail was built. It’s called Tap 5, a 1.3-mile trail loop with features such as berms, jumps, drops and rollers to keep riders engaged. Sonora Area Foundation helped to fund it.
Currently, a second mountain bike trail is under construction called Gumball, a feature-rich loop, which will connect to the Tap 5 trail. The overall plan, approved in 2018, is to add approximately 18 miles of fun mountain bike trails for all rider levels, in which mountain bikes will have the right-of-way.
Also, a trail for “adaptive mountain biking” will be added for those with physical challenges/disabilities, to ensure an all-inclusive, family-friendly mountain bike destination trail system.
All features on the trails will have go-arounds so no one is forced to ride anything that causes them discomfort.
Groveland Trail Heads desires to notify the public on their project for many reasons:
· to help build and broaden the local recreation economy, which in turn, helps other small businesses in the area;
· to create a positive outdoor recreational experience for our youth, community, and tourists to enjoy; and
· to encourage others to participate in building or funding this amazing trail system.
Destination level trail systems like this are a solution to challenges rural communities face. Did you know that
· mountain bike tourism contributes over $87 billion annually to the US economy?
· in addition, these mountain bike enthusiasts spend in excess of $74 billion in trip-related expenses?
· mountain bikers spend over $400 on average per trip?
· the average mountain bike trip lasts 2.7 nights and they like to bring their families when they travel?
· mountain bikers travel 566 miles on an average trip and half of the trips are 250 miles or less from home?
We have yet to bite into this huge pie! Groveland is a perfect location for a mountain bike destination trail system with year-round riding. It is located 2-4 hours away from large metropolitan areas like San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Cruz/Monterey and the Central Valley.
Groveland Trail Heads would like to encourage more community participation! Are you interested in becoming involved? Maybe you are looking for a way to contribute or sponsor a project such as this?
Groveland Trail Heads invites you to be a part of the solution in helping to take this incredible destination trail system to a whole new level.
For more information, or if you would like to meet and see the work being done, ask questions and/or volunteer, please email Dwight Follien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Groveland Trail Heads on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrovelandTrailHeads
Or on their website: https://grovelandtrailheads.org
…And remember, “Get outside and get involved!”