Projects & Programs
Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers has several projects and programs that support our goals.
First and foremost we build and maintain trails for mountain biking and hiking. In 2012 we completed the Lazy Moose Trail – a beautiful handmade hiking trail to the first summit of Lazy Mountain. The Lazy Moose gives hikers an alternative to steep and difficult Lazy Mountain Trail. We also built the Mooseberry Mesa Trail, and other singletrack mountain bike trails in the Matanuska Greenbelt area. The popularity of these trails is truly amazing and we are glad to be a part of the sustainable trail movement.
We have two new trail projects on the horizon. They are the Government Peak Singletrack project, which we plan to complete in 2014, and the Palmer Bike Park project, a very fun new facility to be built in the Matanuska River Park in Palmer. Both projects will need additional funding and lots of volunteers, so, please sign-up to be a VOLUNTEER and/or DONATE money for the projects – either by becoming a member or making a special donation.
Take a Hike summer hiking challenge
Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers invites all its’ members to ‘Take a Hike!’ and join the summer hiking challenge. Registered participants are given a list of 10 the trails, which vary in length and difficulty, and must be hiked between May and September. Families are encouraged to participate.
Those who sign up for the challenge are given choices: Hikers can join the organized hikes that VMBaH leads throughout the summer;
or they can hike the 10 trails on their own; or a combination of both.
Those who choose to hike trails on their own are given details for each trail, tips on safety and hiking, and a checklist that they return to VMBaH. At the end of the season we throw a party at one of our local parks or trailheads at which all participants are recognized and receive awards. Special valuable “trail” prizes are also given out as door prizes.
Sprockidz summer bike program
Sprockidz is a summer program that teaches mountain biking skills to kids ages 8-18. The program promotes fitness through the pursuit of fun. Participants are grouped by abilities, and rides are appropriate for their level of skill. The program is family-oriented; parents are welcome and encouraged to participate in all the activities. Children of all abilities are welcome to join and learn an activity they can pursue for a lifetime. The program runs from mid-May to mid-July, usually meeting one night a week. A limited number of rental bikes are available for kids that do not have their own mountain bike. The rental bikes are outfitted with hand brakes and gears.
Trail Assessment Project
Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers began the ambitious work of assessing trails throughout the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in order to gain accurate information about the condition of trails. “The State of the Trails” report summarizing the findings was published in late 2011. It shows the condition of twenty-seven trails equaling 113 miles. VMBaH started the trail assessment project in 2006 by first creating a manual (Trail Assessment Procedures for Trails in the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, Version 2.8) which we used to train volunteers. Over a course of two summer seasons the volunteers assessed about 15 trails,
far less than what was needed to get a clear picture of the state of the trails and some with questionable results. So, in 2010 VMBaH pursued and received a grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation to advance the project. This grant made it possible to contract with two people to assess trails, compile the data and produce maps and reports. This helped to bring consistency and professionalism to the project. The “State of the Trails” report is the culmination of their work and the volunteers.