NEWRY, Maine — Under new ownership that gave the go-ahead for mountain biking late last summer, the Sunday River Mountain Bike Park is set to open for a full season on Friday, June 27. Sunday River plans to offer mountain biking and scenic chairlift rides on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Columbus Day Weekend.
Mountain Operations Manager Brian Jones said, “We’re glad to be back open with downhill mountain biking and especially pleased with the opportunity to develop more trails at different ability levels. We have great natural terrain to work with and are constantly striving to make the downhill terrain that we’re famous for even better. This year we’ll also begin taking steps toward developing cross-country terrain toward Frenchman’s Hole, keeping in line with the Boyne Resorts capital improvements and expansion plans.”
The Sunday River Mountain Bike Park first opened in 1991 and was one of the first of its kind in the ski industry. It closed in 2003, but was re-opened starting in late summer of 2007 with the arrival of new ownership keen on expanding summer amenities.
This summer Sunday River will be installing a $7.2 million high-speed hybrid chairlift/gondola, or “chondola,” that will be used in starting in 2009 to service winter and summer transport up the mountain including mountain bikers.
“This summer we are looking into moving a bunch of dirt around on an existing trail to build a bit of a downhill BMX style track with berms, rhythm sections and table tops. We’d also like to get in a skills park with skinny ladder bridges, steep roll-downs, drops and other man-made obstacles geared to let the riders practice some of the obstacles they find in the woods in an area that has fewer consequences with less pitch and no trees. A pump track is in the works. During the spring reopening of each trail we’ll be looking at problem areas (heavy erosion, corners that don’t flow) that were identified last year and making them more sustainable through reroutes, bridging or rock armoring. There will also be more XC and beginner terrain available through out the summer. We plan to keeping moving forward on what Sunday River riders have come to expect, tight, steep, rooty, rocky, just plain gnarly single track,” said Steve Boulanger, Mountain Bike Park Trail Designer.
A fleet of new Kona downhill mountain bikes will be available for rent, with front suspension models also available. All rider services and tickets will be available at the South Ridge Lodge with lift service on nearby North Peak. Full details are available at www.sundayriver.com.
Downhill mountain bike trails including Grease Monkey, Moose Tack, Tombstone and the Crater Trail wind their way down from the summit of North Peak. In total, Sunday River will offer 20 miles of trails at varying levels of difficulty with lift service on the Perfect Turn Express Quad.
In addition to mountain bikers, the lift will also be open to foot traffic seeking to view the Mahoosuc Mountains up close during summer and fall foliage season. Visible from the summit are Sunday River’s Aurora Peak and Jordan Bowl, plus Old Speck Mountain, which towers over the Sunday River Valley at a peak elevation of 4,170 feet. A resort shuttle service will be in operation accommodating foot traffic and bicyclists. The resort shuttle will service both Resort Hotels as well as area tourist attractions including the covered bridge in Newry.
Trails and lift service is available Friday – Sunday 10am – 4pm. No trail access is allowed Monday – Thursday. All rider services and tickets are available at South Ridge Lodge. Mountain Biking Season Passes are available for $249.