Mountain Bicycling Association Completed Phase One of Trail Construction
The Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association has completed the first phase of trail construction for the Chautauqua County Overland Trails Revitalization Project..
The trail now runs through the New York State Forested areas in Whalen Memorial State Forest and North Harmony State Forest.
The trail improvements include substantial reroutes, new drainage and improvements to the existing trail.
“We were fortunate to hire the experienced trail builders from Trail Construction Associates, who understand that sustainable trails enhance the trail-user experience and cut down on trail maintenance,” said Jacob Bodway, Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association president. “Some of the improvements are as simple as out-sloping the existing trail, while other improvements include new reroutes and substantial drainage and culverts. The goal of this project is to make the Overland Trails as sustainable as possible, and I think that Phase I is a great snapshot of what we plan to accomplish over the next few years.”
In addition to the trail improvements, trail-users will soon notice new contour benches at most of the Overland trailheads.
“The contour benches are ADA compliant and will provide trail-users a place to sit and relax,” Bodway said. “Most modern trailheads have benches, and I think that the addition of benches at the Overland trailheads really helps modernize the look and feel of our beloved trails. In the future, we hope to earmark some of the American Rescue Plan Act money for new bridges, trailhead kiosks, trail signs and mile markers, along with new metal maps to be installed along the Overland Trails. We are excited to continue our work on the Overlands, and we hope that all trail-users enjoy the improvements in Whalen Memorial and North Harmony State Forests.”
The Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association was able to raise nearly $80,000 for Phase I, including contributions from several local foundations. Phase II will occur in the summer of 2022 and will include the Chautauqua Gorge State Forest and Mount Pleasant State Forest. The Overland Trails would not be possible without the cooperation and generosity of private land owners.