[Photos provided by West Mountain]
Glens Falls - West Mountain has opened up it’s winter trails for biking this season. The Mountain Bike Park opened the second weekend in July of this year. Adding an express chair lift, West Mountain is able to bring guests and their bikes to the top of the mountain to ride down. After receiving a grant from the town of Queensbury, they were able to purchase bike rental equipment and marketing materials for the bike park.
“With our own staff, we designed a series of cross country and downhill bike trails. We also have a pump track. Currently we have about 22 trails and we are adding more trails weekly,” Sara Montgomery, general manager of West Mountain said.
West Mountain is also offering cross-country and downhill riding lessons along with guided tours of the mountain.
“When we set our mind to something, we’re able to accomplish a lot in a very small amount of time. We’re very lucky that we have the people on staff that we do who are able to do these types of projects,” Montgomery said.
Sara Montgomery and her husband, came up with the bike trail idea and oversee the concept as a whole. The Montgomery’s oversee everything from the waivers, to the equipment ordering, to the account management. West Mountain also offers head to toe protective gear for riders. Bike rentals include a fleet of 15 Scott Bikes, downhill and cross-country are available. To participate, all day passes are for children 12 and under are only $15, teens 13 – 19 are $20, and adults 20+ are $30, a senior citizen discount is available for riders 65+ for $15. Mountain Bike Park season passes are also available for committed riders, adults can buy a pass for $180, teens for $150, and youth for $99. The bike trails are open Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All riders must sign a waiver, children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and children teens 13 - 18 must have an adult sign an additional waiver to ride unaccompanied. Tickets and rentals can be purchased on site. Bike and protective gear rentals are a separate price ranging from $20.00 - $40.00 depending on the package.
“It will probably take a couple seasons to hit its full swing, but we are seeing a lot of people. I spend a lot of time asking people for their feedback and where they’re traveling from. We had one guy from Arizona stop in, we’ve had people from Albany area, Malta, Clifton Park. I think the word is spreading it’s just going to take some time. We’ll probably do more marketing for the park next year,” Montgomery remarked.
The bike park will open in late June / early July each season and will be open until the number of riders starts to dwindle.
Montgomery added, “We are open for scenic lift rides as well. So people can take the lift to the top and then we have a hiking trail mapped out with beautiful views. They then take the lift back down after the hike.”
Currently, the bike trail has a small but efficient team of four lift attendants, three people in the rental shop, and a manager on duty.
“The mountain bike trails are just the first part of a larger plan that we have for off season business. We did want to offer the scenic lift tours because it is nice for people who do not have an interest in biking, so they also have something to do,” she observed.
At the top, there is also a bounce house available for the younger kids and a grilling area for adults and families to make a day of the trails.
Montgomery continued, “We tried to make it all inclusive so that everything is right there for the riders. This is all part of a bigger plan for West Mountain.”