Photo by Eric Lenseth, Windham Mountain Resort
On July 10 Windham Mountain Resort celebrated the grand opening of its lift-serviced Mountain Bike Park of downhill trails for pro and intermediate- level riders, a skills park, and a pump track.
The park was officially opened when New York State Assemblyman Peter Lopez, Elite U.S. Downhill Racer Neko Mulally, Windham Mountain Resort President and General Manager Chip Seamans and Ted Davis, Director of Mountain Operations at Windham Mountain Resort, rode mountain bikes and burst through the “ribbon” at the bottom of one of the trails.
In addition to the Mountain Bike Park, recent additions to Windham Mountain Resort amenities include a new entry and access road, the Alpine Spa at Windham Mountain Resort, the Windham Country Club public/private golf course, newly-built condominiums, ongoing renovations at Winwood Inn at Windham Mountain Resort, multiple restaurants and the Adventure Park.
Windham Mountain Resort, located in the Catskill Mountains, first opened in 1960 as the Cave Mountain Ski Area. Only one hour south of Albany and less than three hours north of New York City, Windham developed its reputation as a destination for skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, snow shoeing and tubing.
During the winter months, the population of the town swells beyond its year-round population of approximately 1,700 residents.
Serving as the only U.S. site of the annual Union Cyclists Internationale Mountain Bike World Cup for four of the past five years, Windham Mountain Resort has hosted tens of thousands of elite, pro, and amateur racers and visitors from around the world, who recognize Windham Mountain as among the finest in East Coast riding.
Windham Mountain Resort partnered with Gravity Logic, best known for developing the Bike Park at Whistler –Blackcomb in Canada. The highly respected firm is the leader in the design of safe, sustainable, progressive, mountain bike parks. One of Gravity Logic’s founders, Tom “Pro” Prochazka, has been on-site working on the Windham trails to help ensure that one of the primary goals, accessibility, is accomplished.
Windham Mountain Bike Park features two expert downhill trails, the UCI World Cup Downhill and Citizens Downhill and two intermediate jump trails, Batavia Skill and Wilderness Roll.
The UCI World Cup Downhill course is gnarly, rugged, rocky, and fast. The best in the world compete on this course, and features lots of drops, jumps, rock gardens, and even a massive road gap.
The Citizens Downhill is the course that has been used to host a number of Pro-Am events, including most recently the Eastern States Cup and Race the World. It is a rugged downhill course with a natural feel that features terrain that made East Coast riding famous. There are a few options for riders, including some winding spurs off the original course. This trail has its share of drops, rocks and more.
Batavia Skill is a Gravity Logic designed-and-built trail that features a single-track feel. This trail is narrow and includes switchbacks, rock features, and wooded sections. Batavia Skill crosses in and out of the Whataride Glades area, and then shoots down into the trees between Lower Wipeout and Wonderama. After flowing out of the trees next to the Assembly Line, this trail finishes through the trees below the ‘B’ Lift Loading area.
The Wilderness Roll is a Gravity Logic-designed-and-built jump trail that was built almost entirely by excavators. This trail is wide and features plenty of tabletops, rollers, switchbacks, and giant berms. The trail winds around off the summit, charges through the woods parallel to and above the top of Wraparound, then dives into the Wilderness Bowl, which is the wooded area between Windham Mountain Resort’s two peaks. It then winds and turns through the trees, crosses White Way, wraps through the White Way woods, and finishes into the base area.
In addition to the trails, Windham Mountain Bike Park features:
A Skills Park where new mountain bikers will be born. This will be a beginner area to learn the basics – braking, weight distribution, how to stand on pedals, controlling the bike over obstacles, including rollers, roots, and berms. This area will be simple with small features throughout to allow riders the get their bike for the first time in a controlled setting. First-timers welcome!
The Pump Track, originally constructed by Red Bull in 2014 for “Berm Burners Challenge”, is designed so that riders use their weight and skill–without pedaling—to propel the bike in a loop of berms and rollers. The best race for time, but anyone can give it a whirl. It’s a lot of fun and a great tool for practicing bike control.
Safety is a top priority. Riders are expecting to gage their own skill level and helmets are required to be worn on all trails. Windham Mountain Bike Park will also have bike patrol and on-site first aid, similar to winter.
Windham Mountain Bike Park has partnered with Trek, a leading innovator in mountain bike technology, to provide a fleet of brand new rental bikes that will be turned over every year so that equipment will always be in top condition. All bike rentals include safety gear. In addition to rentals, the Mountain Bike Park will feature lessons, guided tours, a retail shop and refreshments at the Tabletop Cafe.
The Windham Mountain Bike Park is part of a larger vision for the community of Windham. A network of existing cross country trails is being expanded to provide two-wheel access to restaurants, lodging properties, other attractions, and of course, Windham Mountain Resort. Visitors will be able to park their car for the duration of their visit and experience all the community has to offer.