“Always remember keep a distance between you and other people as far as your tools will reach, this is called the 'Circle of Death’’ said Chris Chaney, mountain biker and trail leader for the day, as the group passed around a clipboard to sigh the liability waver.
Volunteers included members from the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association Chapter from the Fort Knox, KY area, mountain bikers from around the area and also a few Beattyville locals, Cheri and Megan Murray, who were interested in using the trials for hiking.
“Our family hikes the trails in the Gorge, we didn’t know there were this many trails in our own backyard.” said Cheri Murray, volunteer from Lee County.
Starting from the Flat Holler Parking lot, the volunteer group packed tools and a wheelbarrow, caring a cooler with lunch, along the lower trail which parallels a small creek for 0.8 miles until they reached the end of the constructed path. Pink flags marked where the trail was meant to be continued. The flags curved up a hill then switched back around taking a snakelike path up a hill before connecting to the another existing trail on top that was once a logging road.
On location, Chaney instructed the group on correct tail building techniques to account for water runoff and sustainability of the trail. “The trail needs to have at least a 5% downhill grade so the water will run down the hill instead of pooling on the trail.”
The volunteers worked on the connector for a few hours and made good progress. There will be two or three more work days before the trail is completed. When finished, it be a full 2.7 to 3 mile loop for hikers and mountain bikers to use. It offers beautiful sights along the way including mossy boulders, wildflowers, creek crossings, and a sandstone arch. The Fort Knox KYMBA Chapter is interested in coming back to Lee County and offering a mountain biking clinical to teach the community how to use the trails on bikes. If you are interested in learning more about mountain biking and want to attend a clinical in the future then email tourism at firstname.lastname@example.org.