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Wilmington promoting mountain bike trails at new festival

August 25, 2017
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - Barkeater Trails Alliance and the town of Wilmington are partnering to offer mountain bike riders a chance to check out new trails or rediscover old ones this fall.

The Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival will be Friday, Sept. 1 through 3. This is the first year the event will be held, and it is sponsored by Community Bank.

Josh Wilson, executive director of BETA, said the festival offers a chance for both local riders and visitors to check out the extensive network of mountain bike trails in and around the hamlet, including large trail networks at the Flume and Hardy Road as well as a 3-mile descent on the Poor Man's Downhill trail.

Article Photos

Community Bank Wealth Management Group Vice President for Community Investment Services Timothy Forman, center, presents Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston, right, with a $500 check in support of the town’s inaugural Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival while Barkeater Trails Alliance Executive Director Josh Wilson looks on.
(Photo provided)

"Working with the town on the Leadville race event it became apparent that a separate event geared towards fun would help to increase awareness of the riding potential by expanding the rider base beyond racers," Wilson wrote in an email. "(Wilmington) Supervisor (Randy) Preston really motivated us to get this festival going this year."

BETA has partnered with both Wilmington and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to build and maintain nearly two dozen miles of bike trails around Wilmington, including several new trails just completed this year.

"We really hope people come and ride and realize how awesome mountain biking has become in Wilmington," Wilson said. "We hope people will return to the region regularly stimulating economic benefits for the communities."

Earlier this summer, Preston sung BETA's praises.

"BETA has been outstanding to work with - donating hundreds upon hundreds of hours each year. Also, DEC has been outstanding with their cooperation of getting the newly approved trails finished," Preston told the News in June. "You cannot drive by the trailhead for the Flume Trails or the Beaver Brook (Hardy Road) Trails any time of the year and not have people enjoying themselves. It has brought very positive economics to (Wilmington)."

Wilson said the bike festival will include camping, entertainment and, of course, plenty of riding.

"Wilmington is an amazing location and hosts a growing trail system designed to satisfy all rider ability levels that is accessible right from the center of town with minimal or no driving," Wilson said. "People can ride right from the hamlet into a trail network that meanders through forests which create a real sense of a backcountry remote area."

He added that there will be live music and the town of Wilmington will be running shuttle busses from the festival base camp at the Wilmington Recreation Park to various riding opportunities.

When asked what BETA hopes to accomplish with the festival, Wilson was blunt.

"The short answer is that the festival offers the local riders a chance to show-off the trails to new visitors," he said. "And of course it's a chance for all of us at BETA to blow off some steam and celebrate another successful trail building season."

For more information about the Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, visit


MTB Festival schedule


Friday, Sept. 1

3-7 p.m. - On-site registration and check-in at the Wilmington Recreation Park

5-8 p.m. - Hardy Hour group ride. Get the local's tour of the popular Hardy Road trail system.

8:30-10 p.m. - Welcoming Party at Pourman's Tap House with live music. Tap takeover by Big Slide Brewery & Public House.


Saturday, Sept. 2

730 a.m. - Yoga w/ Riverstone Wellness

8 a.m. - noon - Registration and ride sign-ups

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Guided and self-guided group rides (shuttles offered throug hout the day). Beginner, intermediate, expert options. Hour-long cruise to full day epic. Professional clinics for women and youth.

5-11 p.m. - Festival village, swimming, live music by Lostdog (5:30-7:30 p.m.) and Gratefully Yours (8-10 p.m.), bonfire, etc. Beer by Big Slide Brewery & Public House. Registered participants 21 and older get free beer token.


Sunday, Sept. 3

8 a.m. - Registration & Ride Sign-ups

9 a.m. - noon - Group rides

10 a.m. - Kids MTB Race @ Hardy Road

Noon - 4 p.m. - Poor Man's Downhill shuttles (3-mile downhill trail ride, DH bikes not necessary) featuring live music by Lostdog

1-4 p.m. - Alternate - self-guided trail rides



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