The First Recreation Forest

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Biker Jeff Keener savors Dupont’s slickrock. 

A bill recently passed in the North Carolina State legislature that makes Dupont State Forest North Carolina’s first State Recreational Forest. Dupont is a 10,000-acre tract of land in Transylvania County, famous for its waterfalls and singletrack. The bill was introduced by state senator Tom Apodaca and representative Chuck McGrady in response to a proposed management shift for Dupont that could have resulted in a loss of certain recreational uses including mountain biking. Dupont is one of the most popular state-owned properties in North Carolina, with mountain bikers making up the majority of users.

“The public recognizes Dupont for what it is—a premier recreation destination—but we wanted to make sure the state of North Carolina recognized that fact as well,” says Woody Keen, a professional trail builder and mountain biker on the advisory board for Dupont State Forest. “It was important to the public that the management of Dupont not change. Our representatives acted on that desire, and now we have North Carolina’s first state forest intended for recreation.”

In addition to Dupont’s scenic beauty, which includes several waterfalls, the forest’s 85-mile trail system has become a showcase of sustainable trail building, hosting workshops and demonstrations by professional trail builders from all over the world. Here are two recent trail building projects worth checking out in Dupont State Recreational Forest.

Jim Branch Trail: This former road has recently been converted into swooping, sustainable singletrack.

Hill Top: An old trail was decommissioned and a new, more sustainable trail was built in its place, offering more than a mile of brand new singletrack.

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