World Tour Report: Allegrippis Trail System Grand Opening

The best things in life rarely come quickly or easily.  Such is the case with the newly opened Allegrippis Trail System at Raystown Lake Pennsylvania.  This 30-mile trail network, which has been in the works since 2003, is the first, and surely not the last, project resulting from a partnership formed between IMBA and the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The beauty of this partnership comes in the form of a mutually beneficial outcome; mountain bikers now have 30 additional miles of sustainable trails, and will be contributing a projected $1.2 million to Huntington County in the first year alone.  There’s a whole lot more to this story, and IMBA‘s new Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Frank Maguire will fill us in on all the details in the next issue of Dirt Rag.  Be sure to pick up issue #143 of Dirt Rag to read the inspiring back-story of this 6-year project.

Matt, Maurice, and myself loaded up the World Tour ensemble and headed out to Raystown for the grand opening of the Allegripis trail network.  We were obviously stoked to check out the new trails, but it was also highly encouraging to hear representatives from local, state, and national government, IMBA‘s Executive Director Mike Van Abel, and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, speak with such a positive outlook toward promoting trail development and economic development as a package deal.  This is the future of sustainable partnerships and sustainable trail development.

Speaking of trails, I’m sure your wondering how they are?  Well, I’m happy to report that the machine-built trails held up wonderfully to nearly an entire week of rain prior to the event.  Since the trails are so new, you can see where the machine has been run, but within a year or so the natural lines will burn in, the trail will tighten up, and it will take a trained eye to see any leftover traces of machine building.  One of the best aspects of this trail system is that it is wholly unlike most anything we have in Central Pennsylvania.  Most of Central Pennsylvania’s soil is more rock than dirt, but around Raystown Lake there are very few rocky sections.  This lack of rocks, combined with the well-designed trail drainage makes for a system that feels like a combination pump track, BMX track, and mountain bike trail.  Seriously, you spend nearly equal time pumping rollers and pedaling–think swoopy and fun.  Just be sure to stop for a few minutes and take in the scenery.

Whether you’re local to the area, just passing through, or making the Allegrippis Trail System a vacation destination, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  Check out our gallery for more photos.

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