Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 16

photo below courtesy Jagged Axe Trail Designs

protect it from clear-cutting and has been looking for a good
use for it ever since says the town's mayor. " I've been mayor
since 2013, " Bob says. " That was one of my first objectives, to
use our assets without destroying them. I looked at Shepherd
Mountain and said, 'What a great asset.' So, we started
looking at ways to utilize it. We had been known for a long
time for mining. Now our economy is kind of depressed. We've
been looking for economic development. This seems to be it. "
He says the community rallied behind the idea because it
has the potential to help not just Ironton and its sister cities
of Arcadia and Pilot Knob, but the entire region. Case in point,
one meeting held in the summer of 2020 attracted tourism
and economic development professionals from as far away as
Perryville. So many people showed up the meeting had to be
moved to the high school gym.
With the ball officially rolling, area leaders formed the Valley
Growth Initiative. The group researched other communities
that had transformed their economy thanks to mountain
biking. They read studies that showed the economic impact of
a bike park.
They compiled this research into a grant proposal and
took it to the Iron County Economic Partnership, which
administers money from the settlement made after the Taum
Sauk Reservoir burst in 2005.
" It was a long process getting approval, " Klinton says. " We
did tons of research. We used tons of studies that we found on
mountain biking and its impact on a region. But they agreed. "
With nearly $500,000 in hand, the group hired Jagged Axe
Trail Designs, an Arkansas-based company, to build the park.
That would pay huge dividends later as it turned out.
" We said if you are going to do this you need to hire the
most creative trail builder that we know of for this kind of
riding, " Klinton says. " We made it clear that if you just build
mellow trails right off the bat you are not going to draw people
from very far away. Because we have hundreds of miles of that
already. "
In fact, communities all over Missouri - including St.
James, Neosho, Poplar Bluff, Stockton, Trenton and Warsaw,
to name a few - have cross-country style trails. What the
GORC advisors were calling for is highly technical, fast, rock
strewn, black-diamond trails that strike terror into the average
rider - along with green (novice) and blue (intermediate)
downhill runs for those still honing their skills.
" They took every piece of advice we gave them and never
argued, " Klinton says. " They said from the start that if they
were going to do this, they were going to do it absolutely right. "
Half of the money went to building five trails, while the rest
went to the infrastructure that makes this unlike any other
cycling destination in the state. A building was remodeled to
house shuttle ticket sales, a shower and bike wash. A pavilion
gives riders a chance to unwind. Two Army-surplus Humvees,
a truck and bike trailers were added to haul bikes and riders
up the steep mountain.
Meanwhile GORC showed it had skin in the game by
building the 2.3-mile climb trail, designed for riders who want
to " earn their turn " and ride up to the trailhead instead of
Top: Jagged Axe Trail Designs trail builder Morgan Barkley uses a backhoe
to rough in a section of trail. Center: Two Army-surplus Humvees and a
truck will shuttle riders and their bikes 600 feet to the top of the mountain.
Bottom: This steep drop-in is one of several features on the expert's only
black-diamond trail.

XX

RURAL MISSOURI | APRIL 2021

April21_Mountain Bike Park.indd 3

3/11/21 12:15 PM



Rural Missouri - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - April 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 8
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 9
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 10
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 11
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 12
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 13
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 14
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 15
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 16
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 17
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 18
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 19
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 20
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 21
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 22
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 23
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 24
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 25
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 26
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 27
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 28
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 29
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 30
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 31
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 32
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 33
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 34
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 35
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 36
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 37
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 38
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 39
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 40
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 41
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 42
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 43
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 44
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 45
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 46
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 47
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 48
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 49
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 50
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 51
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 52
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 53
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 54
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 55
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 56
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 57
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 58
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 59
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 60
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 61
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - 62
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - April 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com