JAMESTOWN – The scenic, back country and “epic” mountain biking trails at Big South Fork are getting a boost from a new tourism-related business operating in Fentress County.
Borderland Expeditions, which celebrated a grand opening in October, is offering mountain bike and kayak rentals and adventures from its Jamestown storefront, located at 310 W. Central Ave. It’s a newer niche for a park that’s seen a bulk of its tourism efforts center around equine – Big South Fork has more 212 miles of horse trails compared to 30-plus for mountain biking, for example. But the bike trails themselves have been designated as “epic” by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). IMBA only names a handful of trails this way, and Big South Fork was the first national park unit in the U.S. to receive the designation.
“It’s a really cool designation, and that’s something we’re really trying to push. These mountain bike trails are internationally recognized,” said Andrew Allred, owner of Borderland Expeditions. “Specifically, (the trails) go from beginner level to challenging. Some are very challenging.”
Currently, Allred is offering semi-guided trips, in which Borderland provides transportation to and from the park. He says he’s actively looking for a mountain bike guide and plans to add caving and backpacking to his adventure list by spring. He hopes to work with other area businesses to offer lodging and other packages.
“That’s something we’ll try to push in the future,” he said.
As for Allred himself, he’s self-described as more of an outdoorsmen than biking enthusiast, but sees the untapped potential for his business.
“I love the outdoors. That’s one of the reasons I started this. But I also wanted to bring something unique to Jamestown,” he said. “We have a great area to enjoy. Jamestown is a gateway into Big South Fork. That’s why I like our location (which is) right in town. I want to draw people into Jamestown and then take them out to the Big South Fork.”
Borderland is currently booking adventures by appointment only through the winter months. For more information, visit www.borderlandexpeditions.com or call (844) 344-2109.