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Trail, blazed

3rd Annual Jake’s Rocks Trail Fest draws riders from all over Northeast US

Photo from Dirt Artisans Facebook page Workers and volunteers with Dirt Artisans hard at work creating new Trails at Jake’s Rocks.

If you’re looking for proof that local efforts to reinvigorate the area by highlighting our region’s best qualities is headed in the right direction, then look no further than Jake’s Rocks this weekend.

This Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28, at Kinzua Beach and the Trails at Jakes Rocks, marks the third annual Jakes Rocks Trail Fest. The now yearly event is intended to present the new miles of new trails that have been added in 2019 as well as to showcase the efforts of Dirt Artisans and all of the volunteers who have helped bring the trails into existence since the project first began.

Back in March, it was reported by Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI) CEO Jim Decker that an additional nine miles would be added to the trails this year.

In addition to that, in June, the Allegheny Regional Commission (ARC) allocated a further $100,000 in funding fot a 2.25-mile trail segment connecting the Jakes Rocks Trailhead parking area to the parking area adjacent to the Kinzua Dam for construction in 2020.

Now measuring over 30 miles of trail with varying degrees of difficulties, event organizers anticipate as many participants as last year’s event, maybe even more.

Map courtesy of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry A comprehensive map of the variety of Trails featured at Jake’s Rocks and their level of difficulty.

“Each year has grown from the previous year,” said Andy Georgakis, founding member of the Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association.

Bikers come from “all over the Northeast,” and, according to Georgakis, the 2018 event grew to 800 participants from 2017’s 600.

According to Georgakis, the folks who travel from all over to participate in this even are always “blown away by this hidden gem, truly an outdoor paradise”

Although the event functions primarily as a fundraiser for the trail system, Georgakis stress that it is “first and foremost a showcase of the trails and the beautiful area here.”

He credits the productive partnerships formed between the Warren County Development Authority (WCDA), the WCCBI, Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways (PKP), The Allegheny National Forest (ANF), and the US Forest Service and countless volunteers with making these dream trails become a reality.

Photo from Dirt Artisans Facebook page Workers and volunteers with Dirt Artisans hard at work creating new Trails at Jake’s Rocks.

Modeled after the Raystown Lake, Pa. trail system, NAMBA hopes to create an event for serious riders and families of all ages. With kid friendly trails all the way up to the highest difficulty, Georgakis says, “these trails just bring everyone together.”

Folks who go to Trail Fest this weekend can expect a festival atmosphere, complete with outdoor vendors. The trail side will even have a beer garden and there will be live bands performing at Kinzua Beach.

During this time, visitors should note that there will be limitations on the use of the Trails at Jakes Rocks.

Portions of the trails will be closed to public use on Friday, September 27, 2019, for an Enduro race from 2 to 5 p.m. Although the event is still going on through Saturday, all trails will be open.

Parking at the Trails at Jakes Rocks trailhead will also be closed to non-event public during the two-day event. Parking at the two overlooks will remain open. Participants are asked to park at the Kinzua Beach parking area and ride the provided shuttle bus to the trailhead. The buses will be operating on a continuous basis.

Photo from Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association Facebook page A group ride from Sept 18, good times with the Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association.

Prior registration is required in order to ride shuttle vehicles.

Volunteers will be on-site to help answer questions and direct the non-event recreating public to open parking areas and trail segments.

For more information or questions, please call (814) 723-3050. Additional information on the Jakes Rock Trail Fest is also available at: https://www.bikereg.com/jakes-rocks-trail-fest#.