This past summer, over a year’s worth of planning, volunteering, and contracted trail work led to completion of the Gravity Trails expansion at Zacks Fork Trails in Lenoir.
The fundraising effort began in 2021, with some grant writing and the establishment of a budget for the project. What followed was an amazing amount of crowdfunding through GoFundMe, grants awarded by the Lenoir Tourism Development Authority and The Broyhill Foundation, and some matching grant funds from the Alliance. Once the funding was secured, Horton Design began surveying and designing in early 2022.
On March 28, 2022, construction of the Flip Turn connector trail from the Zacks Fork main trail to Jim Barger Rd. began, and the launch pad area for the Freestyle Medley jump line and the Deep End drop line. Working through the summer, the gravity trails were completed in July of 2022 with the finishing touches on the black diamond Cannonball jump line.
Project leads for this work were Lenoir-based members Shawn and Golden Moore and Board Members Wendell Owens and Jack Brown. At the Alliance Annual Meeting in December, Golden was awarded our Volunteer-of-the-Year award for her massive amount of volunteer hours contributed during construction of the project.
Shawn recently shared the following about the inspiration for the new addition to the park: “We were inspired to build a progressive jump and drop line area at Zacks Fork after riding at a neighborhood mountain bike park in the Northwest. Our rides there showed us what a community resource and beginner-friendly learning area a bike park could be, so we set out to take advantage of available space at Zacks Fork to make it happen.”