Celebrate new bike trails at Jackrabbit

The grand opening of a 14.5-mile trail system near Hayesville in Clay County is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30.

The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association and Tusquitee District of the Nantahala National Forest will host the celebration of the Jackrabbit Mountain Bike and Hiking Trail.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association will lead group rides, the Young Harris College cross country team will lead group trail runs, and the Mountain High Hikers will lead hikes. There will be music, food and other presentations as well.

Construction on the trail started five years ago, and a practice trail and restroom were recently constructed at the trailhead to provide users with additional facilities. The trail system skirts the edge of peninsulas along the lakeshore. The layout allows riders to pick from multiple loops with various lengths and difficulties. The system is not open to horses. Mountain bikers reviewing the trail system in online forums have given it five-out-of-five-stars.

Jackrabbit Recreation Area has a large campground with several loops, a swimming area with a sandy beach and boat put-ins. www.sabacycling.com or 828.837.5152.

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