Where is Chicopee Woods anyways?
Traveling north on I-85, take I-985 to exit 4 (Oakwood), turn left (west), and then turn right (north) past McDonalds. Take a left at the end of this road, and follow the signs to the Elachee Nature Center. Park in the parking lot located under the power lines off Elachee Drive. Do not go over the bridge or park along side the road. If the parking lot is closed, then the trails are closed!!
Who is in charge of the biking trails? SORBA? Elachee Nature Center? Who?
The Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission is the administrative body that has the authority over the park. The Commission meets quarterly, if not more often, to discuss park matters. Elachee and Chicopee Woods Golf Course were created by the Commission, and now they work as partners with the Commissioners on park policy. SORBA (The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) is working under an agreement with the Commission and has agreed to supervise trail maintenance and help promote good order in the park.
So, the Commissioners signed an agreement with SORBA, does that mean we don't have to worry about anything?
No. SORBA is now charged with the responsibility of maintaining the trails and educating riders about park poliices. Commissioners have and will continue to inspect SORBA's work and the behavior of riders in the park.
Why does the Commission care what bike riders do in the park?
The Commission is charged with the development and use of the land in park. The Commissioners have three main concerns: SAFETY, EROSION, and VANDALISM. Mountain Bikers are a highly visible group. When we ride irresponsibly and endanger the safety of others or cause erosion, the Commissioners will review the agreement and biking could be banned from the park.
Who makes the rules?
The Commission sets policy for the use of the Park. The Commissioners have sought advice from SORBA concerning some polices, but SORBA can not create policy.
So what are the park rules, anyway?
The rules of the trail are posted at the trail heads; in addition, the Commissioners have asked SORBA to remind riders of other rules:
1. Riders must wear helmets.
2. The park gate closes at DARK. (The parking area on
Elachee isthe entrance to the park. If you are
entering from any other area, no one knows if you are in the park.
The City of Gainesville Police and Park officials want to know who is
in the park for your own safety. If you begin a ride and don't feel
you'll return until after dark, then park outside the park gate on
Elachee Drive. We hope to have a sign-in sheet there soon, so
officials will know if you are in the Park.
3. Dogs must be on leashes.
4. Don't ride on rain soaked trails. (If the parking
lot gate is chained, then the trails are closed! Riding on wet trails
causes great damage and speeds up erosion. If SORBA can not
maintain the trials to the Commission's satisfaction, then we could
lose the privilege to ride in the park).
5. Don't ride up and down embankments, or cut through
6. No individual can mark, cut, or maintain trail, unless he
or she is given express permission to do so or is accompanied by a
What if I don't like these rules?
There are two answers to this:
Who is paying for all of this?
All the bridges, tools, structures, and all general improvements to the park have been paid for by SORBA dues, and contributions to SORBA. No tax dollars are spent on the biking trails.
Will there be new trails someday?
Yes. In fact, the Commission has agreed to allow SORBA to add new trail, but only AFTER the existing trail is sidehilled, bridged, and fully rideable.
What can I do to help?
Send contributions to:
P.O. Box 1358
Gainesville, GA 30501
Local SORBA Officials for 1997 are:
Tom Sauret, SORBA-GC Board Member and Trail Coordinator for Chicopee Woods
Bill Bannick, SORBA--Gainesville Chapter Board Member
Beth Sinquefeld, SORBA--GC Board Member
Kevin McIntruff, SORBA--GC Board Member
Doug Frost, SORBA--GC Board Member
Have fun on the trails!