Erin Smith Staff writer
May 6, 2014
ELIZABETHTOWN — For sports enthusiasts who enjoy mountain biking, jogging or just want a challenging walk, the Brown’s Creek Trail just east Elizabethtown off East Broad Street is now open.
The trail received recognition recently in the International Mountain Bikers Association magazine.
The trail, which was designed and built by Cape Fear Southern Off Road Biking Association, was the site of the recent Elizabethtown Rotary Club’s Wounded Warrior 8K run. Town Manager Eddie Madden said that event was well received and he suspects it will grow.
He added that Cape Fear SORBA is also planning an organized ride on the trail for sometime in the fall.
The idea for the Brown’s Creek Trail came about during a meeting in which David Raynor made a comment there is no place for mountain biking, said Madden.
“Four months later, I was watching WECT and they were interviewing Greg Brinson on mountain bike trails. He was talking about trails they (Cape Fear SORBA) have built,” said Madden.
He said at the end of the interview Brinson’s contact information was displayed and Madden said he jotted it down and later called him. Brinson came to Elizabethtown and looked at several locations the town had available.
The town already owned the land that is home to the trail, said Madden. “It was acquired as abrogation easement for incoming aircraft. No buildings or structures can be built on it.”
Madden said that made the land a good candidate for some type of park.
“He (Brinson) looked at the topographical maps and said this would be a good bike park,” said Madden of Brown’s Creek Trail.
Madden said the trial is 5 miles in length, contains variations in elevation and two levels of difficulty — intermediate for more experienced riders and beginners for those just getting started in mountain biking or those who want it a little easier.
“It meanders along the creek,” said Madden of the scenic location.
He said the trail is hilly and some parts of the course are in an open field. The challenge comes from the fact the landscape changes dramatically over the course of the trial, according to Madden.
Madden said the cost to the town for the project was $2,000 which was mostly spent on the parking area. Bladen Builders donated a majority of the materials for the trail’s construction and Cape Fear SORBA did the majority of the trail construction.
“They maintain the trail. We assist them,” said Madden. “In terms of the trail itself, they will maintain it.”
Madden said the trial has a lot of potential to draw folks to the area for recreational purposes and give a boost to the local economy.
He added that the town has several sewer outfall lines in the vicinity of Brown’s Creek Trail and the hope of town staff is in the future to be able to utilize those areas for trails and parks as well.
“People don’t feel as safe walking along the highway … ” said Madden.