2017 was a big year for us at Yonah Preserve Trails. After years of wishing, planning, fund raising and hoping, we started construction of the first phases of the project that will eventually become a 20+ mile trail system of natural surface, multi-use trails. After thousands of volunteer hours, we finally got to the fun part of our project - building and creating actual trail. For many of our volunteers, this was their first experience with actual professional trail construction. We couldn’t have done this alone, and we have some wonderful partners to thank. IMBA Trail Solutions helped us craft our bid package, advertised our bid, and helped guide us in scoring the bids and choosing the best qualified contractor to award our project to. Flowmotion Trail Builders from Anniston, AL was the lowest qualified bidder on both Phase 1 and Phase 2, and Preston York and his crew arrived the first week of May to start construction.
Preston and his crew worked from May through December constructing close to 8 miles of beautiful multi-use singletrack on the shores of the 42 acre reservoir. While these are classified as beginner level trails, they are constructed in such a way that all skill levels of riders will enjoy the trails and the optional features that have been designed and constructed. We even were able to put in an intermediate skills section that features alternate advanced lines with multiple rock features, berms and jumps. It is unlike anything else in our surrounding area. All of the advanced features have alternate routes so trail users can grow into them as their skill levels progress.
As we close out the year, and finish construction of Phases 1 and 2, we are already looking forward to future phases. We have applied for our next round of funding for Phase 3, which, if approved will bring approximately 6-8 additional miles of intermediate level trail.
We are excited about our progress this year, and look forward to working with our White County leaders to open this beautiful asset to our community this Spring. Work continues on the entrance access road and parking area, and the county has committed to having it ready for access in the first half of 2018, barring unforeseen issues between now and then. Believe us, we are as anxious as you are to show everyone just how wonderful Yonah Preserve is and what a truly unique asset our community has to offer. Stay tuned for more exciting news as we can share it for 2018, and we can’t wait to see you on the trails!