Who We Are
WNYMBA is the Western New York Mountain Biking Association. We started in 1992 because we were all hooked on this new sport but we didn’t have many places to ride. And the places we did have to ride were always under threat of closure. So we got together to stop trail closures, work toward improving access to existing trails and getting permission to construct new trails. It was a tough row to hoe at the start, but with a lot of work, we have been successful, and have some great riding opportunities in Western New York today.
What We Do
The reason we work so hard on trail access is so we can ride. And ride we do. Riding is what it is all about. We have group rides and special events. Check out the calendar for more information, or check out the forum or our Meetup Site for group ride announcements, group campouts, trips, and more.
Developing and Maintaining Trails
WNYMBA volunteers design, develop, and maintain trails across the State, working with every major recreation land manager. We have found that the key to ensuring not only a good ride, but continued access to the trails itself is a strong, active, and knowledgeable trail work program.
All our new trail construction is performed with full permission and review from land managers. We do work in Erie County Forests through our Revocable Permit to construct and maintain trails. In the state forests, we have a Volunteer Service Agreement that allows us to work in the woods around Ellicottville. In Allegany State Park, we get project-specific permission for various trail programs.
Our trail design volunteers are trained by IMBA using standards developed by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. Trail design, development, and maintenance are performed by volunteers. These trails have a natural compacted soil surface. They use the natural features of the land, are sustainable, and minimize any effects on the nearby environment, are challenging, and are very fun to ride. They are designed to require minimal maintenance.
Check out the calendar for upcoming trail work days and your chance to keep trail riding top notch in Western New York.
Promoting Responsible Trail Use
If we want continued access to the trails, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, the trails have to have had time to dry out from recent rains and snow melt. Nothing gets the land managers threatening to shut down trails more than seeing a bunch of ruts in the trail. Two, our local trails are shared use. That is a good thing, because separating trails into single use corridors reduces places for everyone to enjoy the woods. So when out on the trails, it’s important to remember that hikers have the right of way. Getting this message out helps keep places to ride open.
Working Towards More Trail Access
WNYMBA maintains constant communication with local land management agencies including the Erie County Parks Department, the Department of Environmental Conservation (state forests), and New York State Parks. We work tirelessly to keep open trails open and to open trails currently closed to bicycles. We back up our talk with action in the form of trail work and education.
We were successful in opening almost all trails in Hunters Creek to legal bicycle use in 2003, getting a new trail system built at Sprague Brook starting in 2004, got three new trails approved in the Allegany State Park Master Plan, and have worked with DEC to obtain permission to develop some of the best trails anywhere.
Through it all, we never forget that riding on great trails is what it is all about. We have lots of group rides, attending local races put on by our friends at Singletrack Racing and HeartRateUp, fests/camping trips, and more.