DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB)- Mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts are gearing up for an expansion of trails in the region. As a part of the River Rocks Festival, the Five Points Trail will soon be open to the public.
Those behind the construction say while they want to give people an opportunity to use the land, the ultimate goal is conservation.
Just about 35 minutes southwest of Chattanooga, near Rising Fawn, volunteers have been working hard on a new network of biking and hiking trails.
"Even in Chattanooga, where we are famous for our recreational opportunities, this is just a world class facility," says Bobby Davenport.
Davenport is the Development Director for the Lula Lake Land Trust. Since 1994, he and others have collected nearly 7,800 acres of land that connects to Cloudland Canyon State Park. Since 2008 they have been building trails. The goal is to eventually bring 100 miles of new single track trail to the Chattanooga region.
"This is a huge piece of land that is now being made section by section available for everybody to enjoy," says Davenport.
Friday afternoon the Five Point trail head will officially be open. It is part of the newest 20 mile section, about 5 miles for hiking and horse back riding, the remaining 15 strictly for mountain bikers like Virgil Figueroa from Woodstock, Georgia.
"I think it is absolutely amazing that they're expanding it and interconnecting other trails in the area because it's just going to attract more people," says Figueroa.
He says he is happy to hear that volunteers with the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association have been putting in the time to both convert and conserve what used to be mining land.
"It is our responsibility to preserve it really and we can all enjoy it for years to come," says Figueroa.
"Our grandparents who dug these mines back at the turn of the last century never dreamed that their grandchildren would be swooping around on mountain bikes," says Davenport.
As long as volunteers keeping giving, the mission of reuse and preservation can continue.
"As long as we can continue to garner support for this good work, we'll take it as far as we can take it," says Davenport.