On Thursday, April 25 Roanoke Parks and Recreation, along with Star City Cycling and Roanoke Outside, hosted a ribbon cutting for the new beginner mountain biking trail at Morningside Park. While there are still some finishing touches to add, the trail is considered substantially complete and is open to riders and hikers.
The new trail, located in the wooded area behind the Boys and Girls Club in Southeast Roanoke, is part of a larger revitalization effort at the park. It is beginner-friendly, provides a new park amenity, and creates more recreation opportunities for youth and adults in the region.
“The location means a lot to me and was selected for a specific reason,” said Chris Berry with Star City Cycling. “Our organization has a longstanding partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. The fact that this is right next door to their facility will allow us to expand outreach to those kids.”
Previously, this was a seldom-used, wooded area. But after 800 volunteer hours of work and the removal of several dump truck loads of trash, it’s now a beautiful trail right off the greenway system.
One of the most inspiring parts of this story is the community involvement. Sunni Purviance of the Southeast Action Forum is not a cyclist, yet she is an avid supporter of this park and even attended a cleanup day to help. “I’m personally excited about the good, positive activity going on in the neighborhood, and the people coming from outside our neighborhood to help. I just want people to support Southeast and all the great things happening in the community,” Purviance said.
This trail is part of Phase 1 for Morningside Park improvements. Roanoke Parks and Recreation has already held community input meetings to start developing a plan for Phase 2.