Old Forge, located in the outdoor recreation paradise of the south-central Adirondack Park of New York, is developing a new trail system. The trail system covers ground from McCauley Mountain, a small single lift ski-area, down into the quaint little strip in the town of Old Forge. This video was filmed on a brand new trail named 'Dirt Safari', the last of three flow trails Jackson helped build along with myself under the direction of Eli Glesmann. With the help of many, there are beautiful flow trails being built each month.
The three of us were hired this summer by the Town of Webb (Old Forge) and the Adirondack Foothills Trails Alliance (AFTA) to install a comprehensive system of free flow trails into the McCauley Mountain/Maple Ridge area. Dirt Safari, the feature-packed trail shown in the video, was named after Water Safari, the town's enormous tourist destination that brings in over 200,000 people annually (Source: Rome Sentinel). It's almost a full mile of downhill chock-full of features and speedy sections.
Lead builder Eli Glesmann used his knowledge from his work at Rock Solid Contracting, a successful trail building company in Michigan, and taught us how to manicure a trail to appear as if a machine never passed through it. Many of the features on the new trails incorporate rocks for both reinforcement and drainage longevity. The use of rocks is mandatory in the heavily rock-laden Adirondack dirt. Three downhill-specific trails and a pair of two-way trails provide both a fun climb and descent. Large landings and confidence inspiring shapes along the trails provide a great platform to hone your riding skills. The trails are smooth enough for novice riders and packed with enough features to put a grin on the face of expert riders.
In addition to the flow trails we built in the past year and a half, there are numerous classic Adirondack single track trails for the gnar connoisseurs out there. Many of the existing trails were born nearly 10 years back, when AFTA (Adirondack Foothills Trails Alliance) founding member Chuck Schweitzer began scratching trails in with just a metal rake and his persistent work ethic. Once it came time to build more trails in Old Forge, the town asked AFTA
, Our local trailer building organization, to handle all the trail building operations.
All of the information you will need to find and ride the new trails can be found on Trailforks, and they are completely free to access. The area is loaded with attractions, as the town is packed with activities and opportunities to soak up the sun by the lake. When speaking with active AFTA/Cycle ADK member Matt VanSlyke who helped with the project, he said: “The whole trail system is accessible right from Main Street—you can ride it right from your hotel room.”
Mountain biking in Old Forge has a bright future, To get the full experience, plan on attending the October 5-6th Mountain Bike festival in Old Forge
. There will be Giant and Growler Demos, live music, group rides, an adventure race, and smiles for miles. It's a great opportunity to meet other beast coasters and break into everything Old Forge and the Adirondacks have to offer. Personally, I can never get enough of the Adirondacks, and I am thrilled to be able to enjoy it with people who share my passion for mountain bikes. Lastly, just take a look at the scenery around Old Forge this fall (pictured below). See you there!
Words/Video: Beny Huckaby
Photos: Eli Glesmann