. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Soon Myrtle Beach cyclists will get to experience Myrtle Beach's great outdoors in a brand new way, and it won't cost a dime. It's also a new way to get a work-out in mountain bike trails that are being installed in front of Seagate Village by Highway 17 at the south end of Myrtle Beach city limits.
"It's a good entrance-way for Myrtle Beach - because it is at the city limits," Waccamaw Trail Blazer volunteer Andre Pope said. "So as soon as you come into the city of Myrtle Beach, you have a nice welcoming entrance for cycling. Whether it be off-road, on-road, as well as the state park across the street. So camping, bicycle tourism is really big."
The City of Myrtle Beach donated the eight-acre piece of land right across from Myrtle Beach State Park, and the Waccamaw Trail Blazers are volunteering time and effort to physically carve out the trails, which will be a suitable ride for cyclists of all skill levels when they're finished.
The Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority is also pitching in, having awarded the city a $50,000 gr ant for the plans. Those also include a fancy new trail head at the south side of the mountain bike trail - at the very entrance to Myrtle Beach.
It will let riders know they are entering city limits and will be paired with a shelter, bike rack, repair station and possibly eventually parking.
The mountain bike trail is unlike any in Myrtle Beach; it's also directly beside the East Coast Greenway.
"Our goal is to build a progressive bike park. We want to introduce off-road or trail riding to little kids, and get them comfortable enough out here where they can take it to the next level where they can visit an off-road parks such as the Horry County bike and run park."
Unlike when many things are built, the wooded area will stay undisturbed, and the trees will not be torn down as the trail is installed.
"A lot of it is going to be looking at the natural slope of the terrain and where water flows off, and making sure that we build things in accordance to the general geography of it," Pope said. "So that the trails are minimally maintained and really work with the natural environment of it. So a lot of that's going to be us coming out here, surveying the land, raking and finding hard-packed surfaces, and working with natural sculpture of like the trees and stuff like that, where we don't have to cut down things, we don't have to build anything."
Pope said they're hoping to have the outside loop of the mountain bike trail finished and ready for the public to use by the end of fall. As for the trail head, no timeline yet on when that will be finished.