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New Mountain Biking Hiking Trail Planned For Upstate Of SC
WALHALLA, S.C. —Officials hope to turn an Upstate city into a mountain biking destination with an extension of the Palmetto Trail.
The plan would extend the existing trail by 10 to 15 miles to create mountain biking loop system on property around the Stumphouse Tunnel.
"There is a lot of acreage above here that's wild. It's untouched," said Dan Pollock, president of Partners of Progress, a organization in Walhalla. "Our hope is that this will become mountain bike central, or mountain bike university for the Upstate. "There are going to be trails here that are great for children who are 5 or 6 years old -- safe and achievable for them. There are also going to be challenging trails up on the slope off to our east for some of our advanced riders some great downhill rides for them as well."
Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau President Ken Sloan said the new trail isn't just good news for outdoors enthusiasts.
"Mountain biking is over a $700 billion industry in the U.S. We would just like to get a small fraction of that here," Sloan said. "When you talk about the numbers of people who are coming in, and where they're coming from, and the fact that they're spending well over $100 a day, eating here, buying here, sleeping here and putting us on the map -- yeah, this will be a huge industry for the city of Walhalla and Oconee County."
Pollock said trail plans are being designed now and will be put forward for approval by officials from the city of Walhalla as well as people who work with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and the Upstate Forever organization.
Officials hope to have the first phase of the trail done in the next year or two, Pollock said.
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