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Rocky Knob Bike Parks Opens for 2017 April 1

Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park officially opens this Saturday, April 1 and the sunny, high 50-degree weather will bring the mountain bikers to the trails! We’d love to share this information with High Country Press readers so they are aware of all Boone offers local mountain bikers.

Just east of Boone’s town limits off U.S. 421 is Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, named one of the country’s “Ultimate Ride Hotspots” by Velo Magazine, a premier biking publication. Rocky Knob originated in 2010 in collaboration with Boone Area Cyclists, a local nonprofit, and the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority.

The two organizations worked together on creating the facility, assisted by more than 3,500 volunteer hours from the community used in construction. Rocky Knob originated in 2010 when Watauga County, in partnership with the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (WCTDA) and nonprofit Boone Area Cyclists (BAC), received a $500,000 grant from the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to assist with the acquisition and development. WCTDA and BAC worked together on creating the facility, with BAC providing more than 3,500 volunteer hours used in trail construction.

Rocky Knob is a world-class park with 8 miles of trails and four skills areas across 185 acres of beautiful mountain terrain, all of which places the Boone area among the top mountain biking destinations in the Southeast. Many of the trails are accessible to hikers and trail runners who are looking to enjoy the outdoors and picturesque views. Rocky Knob’s trails include:

Rocky Branch: A 1.6-mile trail with the least elevation gain, but some punchy technical areas. This is a perfect trail for intermediate mountain bikers. The Jump Start Skills Area is located on this trail.

Middle Earth: A 1-mile trail that rises from the lower of the two mountains to approximately 3,580 feet. The trail has steeper climbing and more loose rock and is for more advanced bikers. Skills areas on this trail are the easier Skinny Skills Area, Stone Binge for intermediate to advanced features, and the rousing PBJ (Pumps, Berms and Jumps) Skills Trail.

Boat Rock: A 3.6-mile trail named after the large rock formation it encircles, this is for advanced bikers. The most difficult grunt of this trail is the leg up to Boat Rock itself.

‘Ol Hoss: A 0.75-mile trail that skirts the summit of the mountain at 4,000 feet. From the top of ‘Ol Hoss to the parking lot, you’ll lose approximately 760 feet in elevation over  nearly 3 miles of descending trail, making it for experts only.

Entrance to Rocky Knob is free, and the park is open dawn to dusk from April 1 to Dec. 1. Facilities include a picnic shelter and bathrooms and even an adventure playground for kids. Nearby the playground is the Sunset Skills Area pump track where mountain bikers of all ages can ride the bumps and berms.