What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by opening up a new park!?! We are so excited to announce that the first phase of Chestnut Mountain Nature Park is officially open to the public!
Today we will be opening about 35 of the total 450-acre tract making it available for daytime use in this first phase, with plenty more to come. Chestnut Mountain is a huge undertaking that will require a multi-phased approach. In the future, people of all ages and experience levels will be able to enjoy over 15 miles of trails spanning both the Frontcountry and Backcountry.
You must be wondering what will be opening today!
When you enter the parking area you will be greeted by our arched entrance opening up to Bridge Park. This pedestrian-only bridge, known as the "gateway to the park", is not only the entrance to the multi-use trails, but also a picnic and day-use area. With picnic tables lining the bridge, visitors can picnic and socialize or relax and people watch as hikers and bikers pass through on their way into the park. It is also a great place to watch bikers descend down the Bear Country trail from Berm Park.
Visitors venturing to the park to hike or bike will enter the Chestnut Mountain trail system on Papertown Express, named after it's nearby milltown's moniker, it is the only trail leading into the park. Papertown is an out-and-back trail for hikers, meaning you start and end at the same location, and follow a single trail to an end point and then return along the same route. Bikers, however, can only go up Papertown Express and will use another trail (Bear Country) to exit the park. So no worries hikers, the ascent up Papertown is pretty slow going for bikers with plenty of places to step aside if need be and you won't have to worry about them coming up behind you on the way down. ;)
Today we will also be opening Berm Park, a FREE public bike park created by Seth Alvo, founder of one of the most popular mountain bike channels in the world. Essentially a "park within a park", Berm Park consists of over a mile of bike-only trails, arranged in a stacked loop, ranging from beginner to expert level. Last but not least we will be opening Bear Country, a bike-only trail used for exiting the park's trail system. Mountain bikers are only allowed to use Papertown Express when going up to Berm Park and must use Bear Country when coming down.
Chestnut Mountain Nature Park will be open daily from 7:30am until dusk. Make sure you get outside to celebrate this beautiful Earth Day weekend and while you're at it, come visit us at Chestnut and get close to nature!