Brown County made the list as IMBA announced their 2015 class of Model Trails designees in early August. IMBA’s Ride Center designation is reserved for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider, ranging from family-friendly to expert-only. Not your typical biking locales, Ride Centers include a full arsenal of trail types. From backcountry adventure and fun flow trails to challenging gravity trails and everything in between, Ride Centers embody the best the sport has to offer. Extending beyond mountain biking alone, Ride Centers also double as destination-worthy areas for bikers to visit.
The trails built and maintained by the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) have officially earned this prestigious designation, gaining notoriety for the area as a top mountain biking destination. Its new Bronze Level Ride Center title places Brown County among well-known biking hotspots across the country, as well as the globe, such as Park City, UT, Steamboat Springs, CO, Nelson, New Zealand, and more.
One of only a handful of Ride Centers in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes Region, Brown County’s new accolade is significant not only for future mountain biking in the area, but for tourism as well. Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jane Ellis is proud that Brown County is being recognized for its trails. “We are honored to receive this designation,” she said. “We have gotten awards in the past for our excellent mountain biking opportunities here, but never something of this magnitude.”
Recognizing its potential impact on attracting bikers to the area, Ellis is excited by the new designation. “We’ve always been known as a top destination for mountain biking in the Midwest but this really gains exposure for us nationally as a place for bikers to visit,” explained Ellis. “It’s also important because this designation goes beyond the trails alone, showing that we’re a place where bikers can plan a trip, stay a while, and enjoy all the other great things we have to offer here.”
With over 30 mountain bike friendly lodging properties, Brown County is more than just a place for bikers to ride for the day. Overnight accommodations providing secure bike storage, trail maps and directions, roof-rack friendly driveways, and more cater to mountain bikers’ needs.
Home to a wide variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, as well as other outdoor adventure activities, Brown County is the complete package for bikers. An ongoing project to extend its paved Salt Creek Trail from downtown Nashville to the Brown County State Park also will make traveling between town and biking trails more convenient.
“A lot of people don’t know about the Salt Creek Trail, but it’s a great resource,” said Ellis. “We are working now to extend it all the way to the State Park, which will guarantee easy access for bikers to our trails, as well as enable them to get to the Village really quickly for food and entertainment, shopping, local events, and fun.”
Proud of its new title as Bronze Level Ride Center, Brown County welcomes all bikers. Not only does IMBA’s designation validate Brown County’s trails as some of the best in the U.S., it also showcases Brown County as a top destination for mountain biking in the world.
For more information on Brown County’s biking trails, as well as mountain bike friendly lodging properties, please visit www.bikebrowncounty.com. Additional information regarding IMBA’s Ride Center designation is available online at www.imba.com/news/epics-ride-centers-2015.