Mountain biker enthusiast helps revamp Pyne Park Road Trails

Published 9:30 am Saturday, January 6, 2024

With the recent opening of the Oakfuskee Conservation Center, Pyne Road Park has taken on several additional projects to improve the experience of all who visit the scenic destination.

One of the park’s recent focuses has been improving and repolishing the various trails that run throughout the area. Daniel Price, the advocacy director for the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), has used his knowledge and experience in trail stewardship to lead the way in improving the trails.

SORBA is a nonprofit organization representing the largest number of mountain bikers in the southeast with over 4,000 members. The Metro Atlanta Chapter of SORBA, MTB Atlanta, has pioneered several trail system developments across Georgia, promoting land access, trail preservation, and more to help provide a space for mountain bikers to enjoy themselves in a positive environment.

As an avid volunteer of SORBA, Price led the development of a partnership between Pyne Road Park and the organization. After seeing the state of the park’s trail systems, Price decided to take action to bring a crucial element of the park back to life for mountain bikers. Many of the park trails are used mainly for local equestrians to enjoy scenic rides.

“The intent for the trail revamping was to make them sustainable and to make them fun, compliant, and enjoyable for cyclists,” Price said. “The old trails had been historically there for years, and they were really oriented more toward equestrians rather than multi-user trails like for mountain bikers or hikers.”

To help make his goals a reality, Price and his wife enlisted the help of a handful of volunteers to help clean and maintain the trails. Together, Price and his volunteers worked to make the trails accessible to hikers, cyclists and equestrians. A group of other local organizations also assisted Price and his crew in revamping the trails.

“So there’s about four or five of us in Troup County around LaGrange that really are consistently active in keeping these trails rider-friendly and horse-friendly,” Price said. “The Troup County Saddle Club has been a good partner with us as well, helping us keep those Pyne Road Park trails open and going, and the county has helped too.”

Price hopes to encourage the local youth to pursue mountain biking by creating clubs in schools for mountain bike racing.

“To be honest, one of my ultimate dreams is to see the day when Troup County Middle and High School develop a mountain biking race team,” Price said. “Knowing that every kid is not a ball sports kid, I think that cycling would be another healthy outdoor recreational opportunity where your success could go as far as you want it to because, on a mountain bike, it’s your personal effort that’s going to make it happen.”

Another one of Price’s long-term goals is to continue extending the trail systems in the park for the future so that bikers can have an even more enhanced riding experience.

“I’m hoping that with the opening of the new Oakfuskee Conservation Center, additional trails will be constructed on that side of the road as well,” Price said.

Because of Price’s dedication to the sport of mountain biking and trail stewardship, riders across Georgia will be able to experience the beautifully improved trails of Pyne Road Park.

“My wife and I are trying to keep the sport alive and keep it going,” Price said. “Mountain biking is not only a recreational activity, it’s a coping mechanism for mental stress.”