National Park Service Trail Plan for Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke-
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    National Park Service Trail Plan for Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke

    Posted this in my local forum. Thought it might be of interest to Advocacy types.

    Passing along some info from the BRBCVA to all interested all parties. The National Park Service has been in the process of developing a trail plan for the area adjoining the Blue Ridge Parkway through Roanoke. They have come up with 3 Alternative plans that they would like people to comment on. It looks like we are not invited to ride on the trail that parallels the parkway – horses and foot traffic only (I think). Could have been a concession to the horse folks. They have had that trail to themselves for a while. If they are going to rebuild it, why not make it truly multiple use. However, of utmost importance to mountain bikers is to support Alternative C trail plan. This plan will open the Chestnut Ridge loop to mountain bikers for a year. Then they will revaluate and determine if we are invited to stay. Not sure if they really want us there, but we bombarded them with e-mail comments early this year in the first planning stage. Let’s do it again.

    The Chestnut Ridge loop is a 5.5 mile loop that surrounds the Roanoke Mountain Campground just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was rebuilt to IMBA specs and has very sweet flow with lots of dips and curves. It has been off-limits to bikes. In fact, they have recently been issuing $75 donation requests for those that couldn’t resist going behind the “No Wheeled Vehicle” signs. Anyway, this system also connects into the Mill Mountain Trail system which is mostly open to bikes. If you are local, please give them a comment. If you are not local, but you live near NPS land this precedent could affect trails in your area in the future. They did not restrict comments to locals, but you have to give them your home location when you comment. After all, it is the NATIONAL Park Service.

    Click onto the website below and check out the 3 alternative plans. Then go into the National Park Service website (located in the document). Click on the NPS “Comment on Document” and let them know what you think. They might find out we are not such bad folks after all.

    To review plan and submit comments got to:
    Comment period Oct. 23 - Dec. 1, 2007
    Public Meeting at Explore Park 3:00-800 Nov. 15, 2007.
    Last edited by CraigCreekRider; 10-26-2007 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Rewrite Title

  2. #2
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Commented! I have no idea what those trails are like but I like to ride in the area and one more trail for me to do so on can't hurt anything!

  3. #3
    featherweight clydesdale
    Reputation: Fattirewilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Done. Chiming in from Charlottesville!

    I'm writing in support of "Alternative C" with the Roanoke Valley trail plan. NPS is experiencing reduced visitation numbers and introducing a new user group is a good way to regenerate public interest in our National Parks.

    Marketing departments for Mt. Dew and other national products make money portraying mountain biking as an "extreme" sport. As a whole, mountain bikers simple and sane trail users, and they desire experiences similar to other human powered users such as hikers, trail joggers, and cross country skiers. Bicycles should not be lumped into a motorized user category. Science and studies, including Assessing and Understanding Trail Degradation: Results from Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area; National Park Service Final Research Report; by: Jeffrey L. Marion (February 2006) indicate that impact caused by mountain bikes is similar to that caused by hikers and far less than that caused by equestrians.

    From a volunteer standpoint, mountain bikers are an excellent source of volunteer labor to build and maintain trails and could no doubt become a valuable asset to the NPS.

    I applaud the NPS's consideration of Alternative C and hope it is selected. I'm confident that if cyclists are given the chance, they will illustrate how they can be both a responsible user group and a valuable asset to the NPS.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Well stated Willy. Thanks Jim. CCR

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