We first heard about one of the cold winters in Rezo, a mountain-mounted motorcycle shear mine. One of the Polaris test engineers opened his eyes and got excited when he told us about this equestrian park in North Carolina that he had visited the fall before. He was constantly talking about one-way trails, hill climbs, jumps, mud, hard packs, loose cliffs, beautiful scenery. Transportation to the park.
The first thing I noticed was the beautiful building on the way. The inside of the building had a clean shower and bath. A sales truck was parked next to the building to serve hot dogs, hamburgers, and anything else a tired rider might need. There was a place on the other side of the building to clean dirty ATVs – an advantage in my book.
Richard Moll, one of the park’s owners and the park’s main architect, greeted me. He was happy to show me.
Time to find out
Mall allows me to ride one of my ATVs. This was a big Yamaha 400 bear. He rode a Yamaha BearTracker. We disappeared together in the hills to explore the land in the Brush Mountains. The first path we encountered curled around a ridge, leading to a clearing with a great view of the valley below. Next, I was amazed at the amount of height change. He first put me on “beginner” paths to feel the earth and its diversity. All routes are clearly marked and use the same ranking system on snowy slopes. The green circle means that the path is easy and can be traversed by beginners. A blue square for middle riders. And black diamond is only for advanced riders. For now, we are on a green path. The route was wide and had several lines, including lines around obstacles.
On the green trails, the elevations were gentle and there were several parts off the ground – most of them marked with blue squares and black diamonds. I pointed out that maybe it’s time to improve my track skills – so Mol took me to harder routes. Waterways were much harder than greenways. They had sudden changes in height and good mud holes. Some trails hold water almost all year round, while others can dry out, Mol said. The trails were viscous in the rain last week, so the traction was great. Even when everything is dry, Mol says the deep paths in the forest retain moisture well. Some of the hill climbs for the “moderate” situation were a bit extreme, and I wondered what I was ready for on a black diamond trail!
The blue tracks were more muddy and stronger than the green tracks. Much tighter. If you are looking for mazes, slopes and turns, these routes are for you. But everything had to end, and we had to deal with at least one black diamond trail. Even in his BearTracker, Mull was happy to take the hardest route. No kidding, these are really black diamond tracks. Imagine climbing a hill for which there is no choice but to finish. These are the paths that can keep suspicious riders in awe. Therefore, it is essential that everyone in your group be an advanced rider before encountering these ATV tracks.
As shown, the routes are marked for difficulty, but they are also numbered. The map shows all the routes as well as their difficulty, and the routes are well marked throughout the system. In addition, if you need to return to the main office, most routes have signs that guide you, so there is no need to consult the map. The thing I appreciated about the BMMS tracks was their one-sided nature, so there was no danger of hitting a corner and meeting another rider directly. This helps with safety and allows us to ride faster than normal.
Mol started this project many years ago. Initially, the project was started in a nearby city, but was derailed when local environmental groups complained to the county board. Mol thanked everyone for coming to the meeting overnight after the problem and said he was taking his money and ideas elsewhere. After a bit of searching, he found another property and started working again. Citizens near Second Place (near Hickory, NC) were happy to have Mull and his park.
“I started because I could ride anywhere when I was a kid,” says Mol. “Now, I want my kids to be able to ride in a good area, too.” He also wanted to give riders routes and facilities he did not think existed in North Carolina. “There are not many riding areas in North Carolina,” he explains. “And where there are rides, the areas are full of rides.”
So the BMMS opened.
If you go, there are rules you must follow. The first is the age guidelines. BMMS strictly follows the manufacturer’s instructions on engine size. This means that no child under the age of 16 can drive more than 90 cc. Children 12 to 16 years old should stay in cars of 90 cc and less. And people 6 to 11 years old can ride cars of 70 cc and less. Safety equipment is also strictly enforced and two-person riding is not allowed.
Mull severely restricts sound to all vehicles on the tracks. The 99dB limit applies at 3500 rpm and all extinguishers must have USFS-approved igniters.
These laws are essential in this age of litigation. Mall says the rules are strictly enforced to maintain insurance in the park and to avoid participating in devastating financial disputes. He also said that if he does not follow the rules of the park, he is not afraid to reject customers. In short, call before you go to make sure you follow the rules.
The rules are for everyone’s safety, and in my opinion, they enhance the riding experience, because you know that everyone is serious about having fun on these beautiful trails!