Photo credit: Jordan H

Shimano, IMBA Launch Massive MTB Trail Fundraising Initiative

For every dollar you donate to an eligible mountain bike trail initiative, Shimano will match it. Here are the first 10 IMBA ‘Dig In’ fundraising projects.

With great stoke comes great responsibility. From massive new bike systems, like the 1,000-mile Arkansas High Country gravel route, to eclectic singletrack destinations like Cuyuna that revitalize rural America, mountain bike trails require planning, care, and, most importantly, money.

And that’s why the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) teamed with Shimano to launch “Dig In.” Unveiled on July 1, Dig In offers a rotating, donation-matching platform for a variety of projects — from new trail building to existing trail maintenance and improvements.

“Adequate trail funding is a consistent uphill grind that mountain bike advocates know all too well. Dig In is one more way IMBA can leverage its national network to better support and better fund more great mountain bike trails, by leveraging both public and private funding,” Dave Wiens, executive director of the IMBA, said in a statement to announce the program.

In total, this ambitious undertaking aims to raise more than $500,000 to support 10 projects across the U.S.

While IMBA handles selecting and listing current projects, which will refresh quarterly, Shimano will step up to match donations for 10 projects up to a total of $50,000. So when you kick in $10, $20, or $100 for a trail dear to you, it’ll go even further.

If the concept sounds familiar, it’s because IMBA hosted a one-off Dig In event in 2017. With the new initiative, Dig In will provide an ongoing platform to support trails all over the country.

IMBA: ‘Dig In’ Mountain Bike Trail Projects

The first round of Dig In projects for summer 2020 is live now. Funding will run through September 30, before IMBA lists its fall 2020 projects.

Applications for fall applicants will begin on August 1. Here are the 10 summer 2020 Dig In initiatives you can support right now.

Trail Creek Bridge: Victor, ID ($10,000 Goal)

This project focuses on the construction of a 60-foot bridge across Trail Creek within the Southern Valley Recreation Project site in Victor. It will connect new trails to existing trails and has already received partial funding through a Recreational Trails Program grant and several small private donations.

Dig In funds will help pay for the cost of bridge materials.

Mount Airy Forest: Cincinnati, OH ($200,000 Goal)

The Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance (CORA) is working with Cincinnati Parks to develop the Mount Airy Forest Skills Park and Trails.

This project will provide a low-risk and easily accessible learning environment for kids on bikes. The park will play a key role in helping develop the programming necessary to encourage kids to ride and develop their skills.

Patuxent River State Park Trail Project: Damascus, MD ($10,000 Goal)

The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) will help fund the construction of the first 7 miles of trails for hiking, running, biking, and equestrian use at Maryland’s Patuxent River State Park. This project will provide additional trail infrastructure along the borders of Montgomery and Howard counties.

It will emphasize diversity and inclusion for underserved communities that don’t have access to local trails or are forced to travel to enjoy sustainable, natural surface, multiuse, public trails.

Western Heritage Park Trail: Mineral Wells, TX ($45,000 Goal)

Funding will support the purchase of tools for maintenance crews and signs for the Western Heritage Park Trail in Mineral Wells. At approximately 4.35 miles, the soft-surface nature trail benefits the mountain biking, hiking, and trail running communities of Mineral Wells and the Palo Pinto County region.

Narrowback Trail Connection: Rockingham/Augusta Counties, VA ($3,000 Goal)

Narrrowback Mountain is one of the most popular places to ride in the George Washington National Forest. The Coalition received a Recreational Trails Program grant through the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to construct 3 miles of new trail to connect the Narrowback Tower Trail with the newly constructed Wolf Ridge Parking lot.

Funding will support the monetary match required for the grant.

Walden Ridge Park Trail Construction Phase 1: Chattanooga, TN ($25,000 Goal)

Located less than 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, the 200-acre Walden Ridge Park will offer its community between 8 and 12 miles of gravity-oriented mountain bike trails with 800 feet of elevation loss, for beginner to expert riders. It will also boast a rock climbing zone and hiking trails.

Rattling Creek Trail System Expansion: Lykens, PA ($4,000 Goal)

Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association’s vision for this expansion will provide additional access to the Rattling Creek IMBA EPIC from surrounding towns and provide connectivity to the Lykens Valley Rail Trail.

It will also double current trail mileage by establishing trail connections that support future trail development within Weiser State Forest.

Pine Hill Park Trail Build Out: Rutland, VT ($40,000 Goal)

Due to COVID-19, the Pine Hill Partnership needs to replace approximately 2,500 lost volunteer hours to complete the Pine Hill Park Trail project. The plan is to address the backlog of trail maintenance and new trail development by hiring the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

Brundage Mountain to Bear Basin Trail Phase 2: McCall, ID ($192,000 Goal)

This second phase focuses on a 3-mile segment of an 8-mile project to connect the existing USFS Bear Basin Trail system — a stacked loop non-motorized trail system just west of McCall, Idaho — to the variety of lift-accessible and cross-country trails at Brundage Mountain Resort.

Bridges and Berms Fundraiser: Ridgeland, MS ($7,000 Goal)

Crews built the Ridgeland Trails in 2007 and used treated pine to construct its bridges and berms. Over time, these have begun to deteriorate. Funding will go toward rebuilding these features.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.