Caroga Lake, NY -“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” And no better time to take one of those dirt paths than this weekend August 12 and 13 at the second annual Wheelerville Trails Mountain Bike Festival. Located in the small hamlet Wheelerville – appropriately named – on NY Route 10 in Caroga Lake, New York. The event promises a wild weekend of two-wheeled fun in the southern Adirondacks.
“Last year’s event went beyond all expectations, and the dedication of the mountain bike community is truly what brought the festival to the next level,” states Jeremy Manning, Wheelerville Trails Manager.
This year will feature a return of the Live Free and Fly Downhill Race, Jump Jam, wheelie competition, guided rides, skills clinics, great food, music and outdoor gear raffle. There will also be new trails, a new skills area for kids and bigger and better jumps.
In what seems to work well in Fulton County, New York, if you build it, they will come. In 2016, Manning himself was on the Caroga Town Board when they were discussing expanding outdoor recreation opportunities. With a 116 acre parcel of land purchased by the town specifically for outdoor recreational use in 1961, Manning, an avid mountain biker himself, worked with members of the local mountain bike community and professional trail builders to develop the plan. Knowing himself the distances mountain bikers would travel, Manning could envision the draw to the small Adirondack town’s economy and tourism.
Through DEC Smart Growth Funding, the collaboration with the Adirondack Foothills Trails Alliance, and the Town of Caroga and the Fulton County Planning Department, Wheelerville Trails began constructing trails in June of 2020.
“I never imagined it would be what it is today,” says Manning. “We have riders from all over the country and Canada. It’s taken on its own life. The vision of our talented trail building team, combined with support from the Town of Caroga is truly responsible for making this place what it is.”
Fulton County Chairman of the Board, and Caroga Town Supervisor Scott Horton admits he is astounded at how quickly Wheelerville Trails has made such a big presence.
“Just over three years ago we didn’t even have a shovel in the ground, and in such a short time this evolved into one of the premier downhill mountain bike trails in the northeast,” said Horton.
Horton reflected about last years premier festival that brought hundreds in and secured key vendors to the site.
The weekend events are packed with awe, excitement and adventure whether you are a participant or spectator on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday hosts the Live Free and Fly Downhill Race, Jump Jam, wheelie competition, festival dinner and more. Sunday morning is the opening of Michael Morreale Tribute Trail Ceremony beginning at the summit. Also, new to be revealed on Sunday is the Wheelerville Skills Park, kicking off with a kids skills clinic with Saratoga Shredders and LL Bean sponsors. Both days will offer exhibitions, skills clinics, trail riding, food and outdoor gear raffle opportunities.
Miles of expert, intermediate and newer novice trails can be experienced at Wheelerville Trails, with new additions, expansions in progress and slated for the future. On September 9, they will be hosting their first ever Wheelerville Enduro race event. The inaugural enduro race will be the first of its kind in the Adirondacks, where riders will compete on their favorite downhill trails at Wheelerville.
With the exception of the trails closing in late fall and early spring with mud seasons, this is a year-round recreations park open free to the public. During the winter months, Wheelerville Trails are open and kept busy with fat biking.
For more information on the second annual Wheelerville Trails Festival, to sign up for events, clinics or the festival dinner at Nick Stoner’s 19th Hole with live music, go to www.wheelervilletrails.com. For a video encapsulating last year’s adventure, go to: https://www.wheelervilletrails.com/mtb-festival-2023.