The Clinch Valley Trail Alliance opened the new Dirtlab mountain bike park on Friday.
The Friday celebration included a ribbon cutting and an expression of appreciation for volunteers who worked on the project. The mountain bike park and pump track was built over the past year with volunteer effort from the community, a press release said.
Brad Spears, president of the Clinch Valley Trail Alliance, said the community, city of Oak Ridge, and the backing of local businesses helped build the park as they stretched resources as far as possible after construction began in fall 2019.
“Every feature, the kiosk, the bench, the pavilion, the pump track…was built by a volunteer,” Spears said in the press release. The undulating pump track unveiled Friday complements the existing mountain bike park at the 780-acre Haw Ridge Park. The park is off Edgemoor Road along the Clinch River in east Oak Ridge and a short drive from Knoxville.
In his comments, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch credited the volunteer work that CVTA members contributed to the project. Without volunteers, Gooch said, it would be difficult for the city to maintain the trails. Furthermore, he added, Dirtlab provides another option for recreation to the community.
“During a time of social distancing, this is one more way to enjoy the outdoors,” Gooch said.
The Dirtlab name and logo were chosen due to the facility’s proximity to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Kids can play on the pump track while their parents enjoy the shade of the gazebo. Meanwhile, advanced riders can explore some of the Dirtlab’s jumps and wooden drop features as they develop their skills for technical sections of mountain bike trails. ORNL contractor UCOR assisted with the park, along with local companies like Bob’s Trails, Trees and Gardens, Geezers Brewery, Nick Dwyer Tree Care, and Windrock Bike Park, among others, the press release said.
“We wanted to create a space for kids and adults to progress their skills, no matter what level they may be,” Spears said.
Learn more about the Clinch Valley Trail Alliance here: https://www.clinchvalleytrailalliance.org/.
Learn more about Haw Ridge Park here: http://orrecparks.oakridgetn.gov/haw-ridge/.