Wendell Falls. A trail built for fun.

Wendell Falls. A trail built for fun.

As a trail planning, design and construction company, we’re excited about the chance to get people outside to have fun on interesting and sustainable trails. Wendell Falls is a fantastic community and when they called to ask us to build a Wendell Falls Trails system, we were excited to do something great.

Will, a young Wendell Falls resident approved of the new trails saying, “This is so impressive,” to his riding buddy (a.k.a., Mom).

The Newland community was well underway when we arrived, but thankfully their careful planning ensured plenty of great opportunities for outdoor amenities – including a multi-use trail system with hard surface pathways, walking trails, and natural surface single track.

And that’s where we came in. Wendell Falls residents had been patiently waiting for the single track to arrive, so the development team called us in the help move things along. Working within the project’s constraints (future development areas, wetlands, and river buffers among others), we wove 3 miles of trails throughout the current phases, with great connectivity to each neighborhood in the community.

While mountain biking was a primary consideration, the trails are designed for a variety of users and experience levels. Walkers and hikers (including those equipped with large-wheel strollers) will have as much fun as joggers and trail running experts. Bicycles are welcome, of course, and everyone from strider bike riding kids to experienced mountain bikers will find plenty of ways to make sure they leave the trail with a big smile on their face. Being a master planned community trail system, it’s this ability to serve a variety users that will ultimately make the Wendell Falls Trails a success.

Real Time Feedback

We pride ourselves on a hardworking and gregarious building crew that tends to make friends wherever we go, and our experience building the Wendell Falls Trails was no different. Residents checked in on our progress frequently, and we learned not only their names, but heard about their bike set ups, families, and dogs, too. They also shared which lines and terrain excited them most. Justin, who lead the crew, was accessible and built a great rapport with residents who were really excited about the trails. Our takeaway? Building natural surface singletrack trails in a community is an amazing way to build some excitement and activate open space. Not to mention that when compared to traditional community amenities, it’s a truly affordable way to get residents outside, exercising and having fun while telling their friends and neighbors all about it.

“Our trail system at Wendell Falls is the backbone of our community. It not only serves as a physical connector but also encourages people to build relationships and pursue active lifestyles. We’re so excited to have partnered with Avid Trails to launch our long-awaited mountain bike trails which have already been well received by the local community,” said Kelly Talbot, Wendell Falls Marketing Manger. 

A Winning Team

The build and continued use of the trails is a fantastic example of the symbiotic relationship between passionate local non-profits, a savvy developer, active residents and Avid Trails that gets everyone excited. In this case the regions most prominent MTB club,  TORC (Triangle Off Road Cyclists), had already established a .5 mile loop to quench residents’ thirst for trails. Then, we planned, designed and built 3 more miles that the TORC Team will continue to maintain just as they do many other trail systems in the Triangle. To further engage the volunteer and resident base, we partnered with Newland and TORC for a volunteer build day during our 3-week construction process. This partnership and volunteer investment will help ensure the trails continue to flourish and are properly maintained for years to come. The result? Before the trails were even complete, the residents and early Wendell Falls Trails users took great pride in the system which will ensure they continue to be a source of fun for everyone in the future.

“…WOW, nice work out there guys! It’s coming together nicely…there are trails everywhere it seems. I’d finish a trail, shoot up the road a bit and find another one shooting into the woods. Really surprised about how many sections have been built. The 2 nice open air machined trails that are built around common spaces will be a hoot once they get run in and get a nice flow to it.” – TORC Board Member

As with any trail build, our experience at Wendell Falls was on to remember. We are so grateful to their staff (especially the Grounds Cafe crew who dealt with our muddy boots and kept us well fed every day!), residents and the crew at TORC for making it such a successful build. Hearing residents tell us how much they appreciate having access to such a fun trail system right from their garage was like music to our ears. We can’t wait to get back and build some more. In the meantime though, we’ll be heading back down to North Carolina for the Wendell Falls Grand Opening Race/Ride/Skills event with TORC on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you’re in the area be sure to check out the event. You can RSVP on Meetup.com or on Facebook. See you on the trail.

For more on the Wendell Falls Trails check out their Connecting With our Mountain Bike Trails blog post.

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