National’s Trail Construction And Lift Upgrades Underway

Beech Mountain, NC- The goal for many seasonal resorts is how to transition themselves into year-round destinations.

For Beech Mountain Resort, that has been a long-time vision of general manager Ryan Costin, who believes serving as host venue this year for USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Gravity Nationals might make his dream a reality.

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Three new Bike Trails

A trail system is currently under construction at Beech Mountain Resort and Costin believes the trails will be an attraction during the summer months for bikers from across the Southeast. The trail system is being designed by Christopher Herndon, a Brevard native who began racing cross country at 8 years of age.

Herndon has raced professionally since 2000, participating as an elite US Downhill member for 2006-2007 and was the Dual Slalom National Champion in 2007. He founded Specialized/GROM in 2010, which showcases some of the top talent for the junior contingent in the United States.

Herndon has made Beech Mountain his racing homestead for many years. He is a trail design leader in the Southeast, but his experience from racing and coaching has defined his insight and knowledge of trail building.

Christopher Herndon
Photo by Patrick Sullivan-Hendersonville Times-News

Overseeing the construction of the trail system at Beech Mountain Resort, is proving to be Herndon’s largest project yet. With the help of Danny Cesare of Etowah and Mike Thomas of Boone, Herndon will design three race courses in preparation for Nationals, September 22-25.

In addition to preparations for nationals, Herndon will continue the expansion of the trail system, enabling Beech Mountain Resort to operate as a bike park in the summer months.

“We are proud and excited to work with Christopher Herndon on the construction of this facility,” said Costin. “We believe that Herndon will provide an innovative design and a flawless build, enabling us to maintain our standard of perfection.”

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Christopher Herndon, Danny Cesare, Mike Thomas

Embracing the potential of the Beech Mountain Resort Bike Park, Monster Energy has agreed to be primary sponsor for the bike tray system on the lift.

The design for the Monster Energy lift trays is based on the tray system at British Columbia’s Whistler Mountain. With the installation of this system, Beech Mountain Resort will be the only bike park of its kind in the Southeast.

The lift trays allow the rider to self-load his or her bike and ride the following chair up the mountain, thus minimizing rough handling and the unnecessary wear on the bikes. The high-speed detachable quad allows for easy loading and unloading of bikes. The lift system will accommodate four riders and serves to increase capacity and shorten lift lines.

The Bike Park will provide more operational dates in 2012, with a mission to provide users with a unique, diverse system of sustainable safe trails for recreational and competitive mountain biking.

“As a local of the East Coast, I realize the importance of building a trail system that can hold up to constant wet conditions,” said Herndon. “I look forward to showing the country, what Beech Mountain has to offer.”

With the help of Specialized Bicycle Components, a prominent American Bicycle manufacturer, Beech Mountain Resort will document the progression of the trail construction. The Specialized sponsored Builders’ Blog will provide weekly updates, via Christopher Herndon, with pictures and details on the build. Contour, a market leader of hands-free video cameras, is sponsoring the Contour Video Blog. Using a Contour camera, Beech Mountain Resort will document the trails upon their completion. To follow the Specialized Builders’ Blog or the Contour Video Blog, visit

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