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Pickens adding Bike Park

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A new off-road bike park complete with multi-use trails and a “pump coaster” that are in the works in Pickens could serve as an attraction to help bring visitors to the area and give residents more recreation outlets.

The project is part of continuing efforts to attract people and businesses to Pickens, said City Administrator Katherine Brackett.

“We think it’s going to be an asset to the city,” Brackett said. “It’s something else in our inventory of attractions we’re trying to develop to make Pickens somewhere you can come for a vacation or a day trip, not only more places for our citizens but also about bringing visitors in.”

She said the city has received a $400,000 Appalachian Regional Commission federal grant and a $100,000 Recreational Trails Program federal grant from the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the project at Town Creek Park.

With the city’s match for the grants, which will come from a $2 million hospitality bond the city issued for a number of recreation initiatives, including a downtown amphitheater park, Pickens will have about $900,000 to put toward the off-road bike park project.

Brackett said the $900,000 should take the project through three of five phases that were laid out in the park’s master plan.

“It’s still a part of that PELCOR initiative, just trying to make the Pickens-Easley-Liberty corridor jointly an asset for people to come to,” she said.

“If the railroad, the Pickens Doodle (a rails-to-trails endeavor) could ever happen, people could ride from Easley to here and then go onto that bike park and have lunch,” Brackett said. “We can, if we work together, start creating whole day experiences for people, and that’s what gets people here, not to come up here for five minutes.”

Construction on the first three phases of the off-road bike park could start in early of 2013 and take about a year, Brackett said.

She said plans for the initial phases include multi-use, off-road biking and hiking trails, a “pump coaster” and what is being called the Appalachian Lumber Greenway.

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