IMBA announces 2015 Epic Trails and Ride Centers

From Arkansas to New Zealand, find out where the world's best riding is

Richmond, Virginia. Photo courtesy IMBA

Richmond, Virginia (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy IMBA

Bronze Level Ride Centers

Brown County, Indiana: Just a short distance from the major metro areas of Indianapolis, Louisville and Cincinnati, it’s no secret that Brown County has some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. You’ll find a 28-mile mile IMBA Epic ride within Brown County State Park, with route options for every skill level. There are many more miles of flowing single track within the state park, plus more being built in the state park and neighboring state forest by the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association.

Hot Springs, Arkansas: Hot Springs isn’t just home to outstanding mountain biking, it’s also a first-class tourist destination. The geothermal baths alone have been bringing visitors to the area for hundreds of years. Trails, horse racing and historic hotels define the downtown area, while three IMBA Epic trails are just a short drive away—including the state’s newest Epic and longest mountain bike trail in the state at 110 miles long, the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. The Central Arkansas Trail Alliance and other volunteer-led groups help keep the trails in top shape.

Reading, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy IMBA

Reading, Pennsylvania (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy IMBA

Reading, Pennsylvania: The Greater Reading Trails System, overseen by the Berks Area Mountain Biking Association, consists of more than 125 miles of trails in 5 major preserves, all of which be accessed via the Schuylkill River Greenway Rail Trail. The trails range in difficulty from beginner-friendly to some of the most technical, rock-strewn trails you’ll experience anywhere. There’s also an abundance of in-town amenities, including bike shops, craft beer bars, hotels, music venues, restaurants and sporting events.

Richmond, Virginia: Big things are happening in Richmond, including the upcoming (Sept. 19-27) World Road Cycling Championships. For dirt lovers, rvaMORE and a host of partners have raised over $325,000 in just two years, opening miles of new trails, including a purpose-built hand-cycle line, plus a flow trail and beginner-level singletrack. Best of all, this is a truly urban-based center, with great connectivity allowing riders to access standout trails without getting into a car.

Twin Cities, Minnesota. Photo courtesy IMBA

Twin Cities, Minnesota (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy IMBA

Twin Cities, Minnesota: Since 1994, the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) IMBA chapter has worked diligently on its mission of “Gaining and Maintaining Trails” in the Twin Cities metro area. Today, MORC oversees 85 miles of singletrack within 11 parks, and is the organization behind the acclaimed Cottage Grove Bike Park. And, during the winter months, there are over 50 miles of groomed singletrack trails to explore and enjoy.

Finally, IMBA’s 2015 Model Trails recognition includes the Northwest Arkansas Regional Ride Center. With the Bentonville (silver-level) and Fayetteville (bronze-level) Ride Centers located less than 30 miles apart, the two towns have formed the the first and only region-wide Ride Center designation. Mountain bikers visiting the Ozarks can double-down, with a wide range of riding to choose from and two cycling-crazed communities hosting some of the nation’s finest trails.

Note: Enteries marked with an asterisk (*) had already obtained Ride Center status and were reevaluated in 2015.

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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