Sept 13-15, 2013
A weekend of mountain biking atop one of Kentucky's most spectacular mountains!
You are invited to join a group of mountain biking enthusiasts on top of Pine Mountain for the Second Annual East Kentucky Mountain Biking Festival, September 13-15, 2013 featuring trail-riding, campfires, hiking, exploring, entertainment and meals. Pine Mountain (elev. 2900') is Kentucky's second-highest mountain, and is just 4 miles south of Whitesburg KY, the arts and cultural capital of eastern Kentucky. Whitesburg is home to Appalshop, the independent community arts, film and media center, as well as several excellent locally-owned restaurants, gift shops, Pine Mountain Outfitters and the Summit City Lounge nightclub.
We will stay at a funky and unique 100-acre campground on top of Pine Mountain called Wileys Last Resort, which features easy to moderate biking and hiking trails on the property such as the Flamingo Road, the Path to Enlightenment, the Sisters Trail, Tower Road and the Muhammed Alley.
Big news! Letcher County is currently constructing a mountain bike trail from the top of Pine Mountain all the way to Whitesburg. This will be a 10-mile trail with an elevation drop of about 1800 ft. According to Letcher County officials, the trail will be finished and ready to ride by the end of August 2013 - so you can be one of the first to ride this new trail! At the festival, shuttles will be offered back to the top of the mountain.
Across the highway from Wileys Last Resort is entrance to the Little Shepherd Trail, a 60 mile gravel and asphalt fire road on top of Pine Mountain through Kingdom Come State Park to Harlan, Kentucky. The Little Shepherd Trail is a very remote and densely wooded mountain road through a forest with an active bear population. From the Little Shepherd Trail you can access the Scuttlehole Gap Trail, which is an old wagon road that goes over the mountain. It is mountain bikable and a thrilling ride. Also on Pine Mountain are newly-built sections of horse trails which may or may not be bikeable.
Going east from Wiley's on Pine Mountain is the Pine Mountain Trail, which is for hikers only (sorry, no bikes).
Close to our campgound is Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve, a spectacular waterfall and one of the most beautiful and pristine places in all of Kentucky. Bad Branch Falls is a short 45-minute hike from the road and is a must-see.
Wileys Last Resort - our campgound for the wekend - is a crazy place and almost impossible to describe. Many years ago it was a resort for Letcher County coal miners to come and relax, with a hotel and a nice little swimming pond. After a public swimming pool was built in Whitesburg, the hotel mysteriously burned down, the resort fell on hard times and was even abandoned for a time. The current owner of Wiley's, a visionary poet and local radio personality named Jim Webb is working to rebuild the resort back to its former glory - currently operating it as a volunteer-run campground and community space.
In other words - its a local hangout. But it's a lot of fun.
Wileys has several old (unheated) 1800's-era log cabins that bikers can sleep in, plus plenty of flat spaces for tent camping and small campers. There is a shower and a kitchen. Additional lodging options are available in the nearby area - see the Lodging link in left column.
Advance registration for a weekend of camping and mountain biking at the First Eastern Kentucky Mountain Bike Festival is only $25 (or register for $30 at the event).
Participants in the festival will explore Pine Mountain and hopefully find additional mountain bike opportunities. Almost no one is currently mountain biking on Pine Mountain. It's virgin territory, just waiting to be explored.
Join us for an adventure in the mountains - the Second Annual East Kentucky Mountain Bike Festival. Three meals a day will be served to the group. During the evening around the campfire we will discuss, brainstorm and evaluate the possibilities of a future, larger mountain biking event.
Everyone is welcome - beginner, imtermediate and expert, but we are not offering any competitive events. We are located close to Virginia and Tennessee and we hope to attract mountain bikers from the region, not just Kentucky.
Even if you don't mountain bike, there is lots to see and explore at Wiley's Last Resort. There are hiking trails, cool places to go antique shopping, good restaurants and clubs in town, and Wileys is a wonderful place to just relax by the pond and sunbathe.
Come with an open mind, bring your friends and bring your mountain bike!
Meals at the festival will be served from Friday dinner through lunch Sunday for an additional cost of $30. You can pay in advance by Paypal or pay when you arrive. We have an experienced cook from Knoxville who will prepare meals for the festival participants. Scott makes great quesadillas, among other things. Please specify any food options when you register (Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-intolerant, etc)
Lodging in the log cabins is available on a first-come, first served basis.