July 30, 2009
Haley Sorbel - 208.946.8731
Patrick Sande - 208.255.3031
Sandpoint- After much anticipation, Schweitzer Mountain Resort is announcing the official opening of the new beginner downhill mountain bike trail, The Beargrass Trail.
Conceptualized two years, ago, Schweitzer brought in Hilride Progression Development Group. Founded by Nat and Rachel Lopes, former spokespeople for the International Mountain Biking Association, Hilride assisted Schweitzer and their experienced Trails Crew with the vision and design of the Beargrass Trail.
Designed with the novice mountain biker in mind, this 4-ft-wide beginner downhill trail rides six-and-a-half miles from summit to village at an average grade of 6%. With a mid-mountain Progression Skills Park, varied and awesome mountain and lake views, and multiple boardwalks, the trail offers something for everyone.
Schweitzer’s goal for the Beargrass Trail was to create more lift-access trails with a wider variety of skill-level offering. So far, according to Jon Harding, Schweitzer’s Retail and Rental Center Director, the response has been awesome.
“Their have been daily emails and phone calls about the success of the trail.”
One such email came from Schweitzer local, Kim Burns.
“Last summer our family came up to the mountain excited about the mountain biking, but sadly for me there really wasn't a lift access trail I could do,” Burns said. “We came back this last week and had a great time. The new trail (Bear Grass) is amazing!”
Harding mentions that the addition of this trail puts Schweitzer ahead of the curve in terms of introductory downhill mt. biking.
The Schweitzer Trails Crew, a very experienced, very passionate group of mountain bikers, started trail work on Beargrass during the 2008 summer season. Members of the crew celebrated on Tuesday, July 21, with ceremonious caution-tape cutting and a triumphant ride down.
Among them was Sean Mirus, who is very excited about the outcome of this trail and what it brings to Schweitzer.
“This is the initial start of Schweitzer really getting into mountain biking. The mountain has been known for its rough terrain of bike trails, so Beargrass is the first of its kind.” Mirus said. “This is the first of hopefully many more beginner and intermediate trails to come.” Harding said the mountain hopes to continue to grow Schweitzer’s mountain bike terrain and culture, as well as expand the Beargrass Trail with more progressive skills sections.
While it is a beginner trail, the Beargrass Trail
is still a downhill mountain bike trail. Previous bike experience and
proper equipment is recommended on any mountain bike trail. While
the trail is closed to hikers, those reluctant to jump on a bike can
also enjoy the trail by Diggler Scooter, a two-wheeled alternative to
traditional mountain biking. For information on mountain bike rentals and biking events at Schweitzer, visit www.schweitzer.com or call 208.255.3081.
About Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Schweitzer Mountain Resort is quickly rising in the ranks of the nation’s top destination resorts with 2900 acres of amazing terrain and renowned tree skiing. Located in the rugged Selkirk Mountains of the northern Idaho panhandle and the northwest Rocky Mountains, Schweitzer overlooks the town of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille. Schweitzer is well known for its two massive bowls, breathtaking views and amazing gladed terrain. For more information about Schweitzer Mountain Resort call 800.831.8810 or visit www.schweitzer.com.