The Bailey Tract Mountain Bike Trail Project received official approval from Wayne National Forest on December 8, 2017. The Athens Bicycle Club has been intimately involved in the project, including raising funds for the initial trail design and Project Master Plan for the approximately 90 miles of potential trails, trail heads, campsites, and parking lots. The Master Plan was finalized in November 2017, and can be viewed here.
IMBA, the International Mountain Bike Association has included the Bailey Tract Project in its national fundraising campaign, called “Dig In“. Via Dig In, IMBA will distribute nationally raised funds equally among all participating chapters; provide turnkey marketing tools and a fundraising platform; and leverage its partnerships and reach to run a nationwide promotional campaign encouraging people to donate to mountain bike projects in their area. As of December 27, 2017, the Bailey Project has received $1315 in funding.
Phases 1 and 2 of the project will include 30+ miles of trails which will be easily accessible to local communities with at least two trailheads and a connection with Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, via a spur to Chauncey that is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2019. While these trails will be optimized for mountain biking, they will also be ideal for hikers, trail runners, and nature-watchers. The trail closest to Chauncey will be handicap accessible and the initial trail mileage for Phase 1 will include substantial mileage in the beginning level of difficulty.
This project, coupled with 45 miles of existing mountain bike trails at Strouds Run and Lake Hope State Parks, has the potential for the Athens area to eventually be recognized as an International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) ride center, positioning the area as one of only three such destinations in the region.