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Date of Event: 11/20/2008 at 01:00 AM

Reinhardt Offers a System of Interconnected Trails for Mountain Biking, Hiking and Running; The College Recently Partnered with SORBA to Enhance Trails

 

Pierce and Josh on trail.
Pierce Drake (left), a freshman from Soperton, Ga., and Josh Stone, a freshman from Norcross, Ga., mountain bike on Reinhardt College’s on-campus trails.

Enjoy the great outdoors year-round at Reinhardt College. A system of interconnected trails located on the College property offer gorgeous views and excellent terrain for mountain biking, hiking and running. This fall, the College partnered with Southern Off-Road Bicycling Association (SORBA), a non-profit organization which represents the off-road bicycling public in the Southeast, for the purpose of enhancing the development, publicity and use of the College's trails.

Sharing Common Interests
“Both Reinhardt and SORBA share common interests including the conservation of natural areas and green spaces, providing for environmentally friendly nature-based recreation opportunities and experiences, bicycle-based transportation, and educating the public regarding responsible recreational land use,” said Walter May, assistant dean of students and director of student activities. “The aim of the agreement is to establish a framework of cooperation upon which mutually beneficial programs, work projects and bicycling activities may be planned and accomplished by Reinhardt and SORBA working cooperatively. Such programs, projects and activities are in the best interest of sustainable trail design, construction and maintenance.”

Partnering With a Recognized Leader
Through the agreement, SORBA has requested the opportunity to construct and maintain multi-use trails on the College property.  A “multi-use trail” is a natural-surface single-track path, generally through a wooded area or other naturalized region, open to off-road cyclists, walkers, joggers and hikers. Reinhardt's role in the partnership is to provide volunteers to perform on-going maintenance of existing and newly constructed trails, develop appropriate signage and route markers and to host joint trail work-days with the members of the Woodstock Chapter of SORBA. SORBA will take the lead in the oversight of the development and improvement of the College’s trail system.

“The partnership allows Reinhardt the opportunity to connect with a recognized leader in establishing trail bicycling ethics, education, safety, trail construction and design,” said May. “It is a win-win for both the College and SORBA.  By collaborating with SORBA, the College is able to harness the expertise of SORBA experts and to heighten the visibility and boost awareness of the College's trail system. SORBA on the other hand is able to provide an additional trail system to its members and the community at large.”

 Reaping the Benefits
“The tremendous success of Blankets Creek in Canton has created a local mountain biking community that has achieved exponential growth,” said Jay Wilkes, vice president of SORBA Woodstock. “This growth has prompted the desire from local riders to seek more local trail systems to ride; therefore, we look forward to partnering with land managers like Reinhardt College to expand the local trail systems. In return, Reinhardt College gets to reap the benefit of having a top class mountain bike trail system on campus for students to enjoy and help maintain.”

Trail workday.
Rob Redmond (left), a member of Southern Off-Road Bicycling Association (SORBA), and Dr. Roger R. Lee, Reinhardt’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students, cut back brush on the College’s trails during a trail workday on October 25.

Hosting a Trail Workday
Reinhardt hosted its first joint trail workday with SORBA on October 25, 2008. During this time, volunteers cut back brush and briars and raked leaves off the trail. The primary goal of the workday was to make a visual inspection of the condition of the trail system and to plan for upcoming workdays. Future projects include new and enhanced signage and route markers and the construction of a 35-foot bridge to cross Moore Creek, which is located along the trail; Reinhardt’s Student Government Association (SGA) has committed $2,000 to fund these improvements.

“I think maintaining the trails is an important outreach tool for the College,” said Buckley Wheeler, a senior from Woodstock, Ga. and a volunteer at the recent trail workday. “Also, the trails are a good place for students to get away from the sometimes crazy life of being a college student. Whether a student is running, hiking or mountain biking, the trails offer a great way to exercise and spend time in the great outdoors without leaving campus.”

Becoming a Major Mountain Biking Destination
“Reinhardt's trails have the potential to become a major mountain biking destination,” said Rob Redmond, a member of SORBA and a volunteer at the recent trail workday. “I am an avid mountain biker, and I enjoy the beauty and time I spend on the College’s trails.”

Since its construction in 2005-06, the trail system’s use has greatly increased. In the past seven months, more than 170 students, faculty, staff and community members have signed waivers to ride the trails. In addition, the College has seen a significant increase in the number of bikes on campus; therefore, the College’s SGA and Physical Plant department have worked collaboratively to purchase $3,000 of additional bike racks to be placed around each academic, administration and recreational building.

Directions and Parking
The trails are open to the Reinhardt community, as well as to the public. The trailhead is located on Grady Street beside the James & Sis Brown Athletic Center, and parking is available in the athletic center parking lot.

For more information or to download a trail-use waiver release, please visit www.reinhardt.edu/Current-Students/Student_Activities/Fitness_Rec/trails.html or contact May by phone at 770-720-5540 or e-mail at WPM@reinhardt.edu.

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