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Mon Forest bike trail system takes shape on former strip mine


A new mountain bike trail system developed on a former strip mine in the Monongahela National Forest is now part of a single-track trail network rated among the world’s best by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

The Mower Basin Trails System, which officially opened June 5, is composed of four linked loop trails, each ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 miles, making possible rides of varying lengths and terrain types. The trails carry riders through open meadows with big-sky vistas into dense, shady stands of red spruce and along former mine benches overlooking newly created wetlands below and the ancient ridgelines of the Allegheny highlands in the distance.

The Marshall/Mountwest AMT program’s inaugural class is scheduled to begin in January 2022.

Administered by Marshall’s Robert C. Byrd Institute, the program is a branch of the university’s Division of Aviation, which also includes the Bill Noe Flight School at Yeager Airport in Charleston, which will launch this August.

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