All Land Trust trails are multi-use for hiking and biking with two nature preserves – Wade Mountain and Chapman Mountain – also welcoming horseback riders. This means that our trails serve a wide range of users, which can at times present challenges especially as demand on our trails increases.
Over the past couple of years, we have implemented changes to some of our most heavily used trails to help alleviate user conflicts. By doing so we also hope to ensure our trails withstand lots of love for years to come without substantial maintenance demands.
On Oak Park, Bankhead, and Bluff Line Trails at Monte Sano Nature Preserve, you’ll now find a handful of sections where we’ve redirected bike traffic onto one-way bike-only sections. This gives bikers an area to focus on technique without risking a collision with hikers or even oncoming bike traffic.
Oak Park Jump and Skills Area (September 2020):
Located near the Oak Park Trailhead is an intermediate jump built for bikers getting comfortable in air with a catch berm to maintain speed before exiting with a “Whoops” section for rhythm building. Riders can easily session this area by pedaling back the uphill section.
Bankhead Downhill and Tabletop (September 2021):
Halfway down Bankhead Trail, a split to the right sends you on a downhill only section for riders to let off the brakes and test their skills through turns, rocks, and trees before ending with a 30’ wooden tabletop. Riders of all skill levels will enjoy this section and are encouraged to follow the Ride Smart mentality before going full throttle (see below).
Bluff Line Trail:
A test for the brave can be found on Bluff Line Trail. The bike-only section can only be described as a mosaic tile work of rocks that are constantly in flux. Riders are forced on a variety of lines as they make their way to the bottom. This section helps riders learn the limits of their bikes and proper body position while going through steep and chunky terrain.
Note for New Riders:
For those looking for something a little less adventurous, our Wade Mountain Nature Preserve offers some practice trails designed specifically for new riders at Fleming Trailhead.
Shared Use Tips
Here are a few reminders that can help all trail users interact more safely.
- Trails can change due to weather and use, so it is recommended that bikers follow the RIDE SMART mentality (detailed below) to become familiar with a trail:
- PRE-RIDE: Roll the trail first to familiarize yourself with all jumps and features.
- RE-RIDE: Re-Ride the trail to get comfortable with all jumps and features.
- FREE-RIDE: When you feel like you are comfortable to Send-It…FREE-RIDE!
- Bikers should always slow down as they reach the end of a bike feature and re-enter the main trail.
- Bikers should always announce their approach to other users.
- All trail users can refer to signage that indicates area where it’s important to use caution as well as where trail traffic is restricted in a particular direction.
REI has a great article about trail etiquette and who has the right-of-way in different situations if you’d like more information.
You can find trail maps for all of our nature preserves, including Monte Sano and Wade Mountain, at landtrustnal.org/explore.