Williamson County Parks and Recreation (WCPR) is pleased to announce the Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park is officially open to the public. The park, named after its location, sits on approximately 156 acres of hilly, wooded land at 5664 Wilkins Branch Road in Franklin, just west of Main Street in the Leiper’s Fork community.

On September 20, Phase One of development opened, featuring seven, single track mountain bike trails over approximately three miles, consisting of beginner to advanced flow and downhill trails.

The Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park is the direct result of collaboration and partnership between local non-profit, Outdoor Encounter (OE) and Williamson County Government, through the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department. The goal of this private/public partnership was to provide the public with a premier, free-use recreational mountain-bike park in Williamson County.

Gordon Hampton, director of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department, said, “Opening Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park adds a much-needed service that our department has not been able to provide until this time. We are excited to offer this type of recreation opportunity in one of our parks.”

Development of the park began several years ago with Williamson County providing the land and operation structure and OE raising funds and coordinating volunteer efforts to design and build the trails.  Many volunteers of all ages stepped up to help with constructing the trails to offer mountain bike riders an exciting adventure with hills, curves and jumps to challenge all skill levels.

Outdoor Encounter, a local nonprofit, is dedicated to creating recreational opportunities for those living and working in the Greater Nashville areas. OE committed to raise funds for the trail design and construction of the Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park - an estimated cost of $1,200,000. Williamson County funded the infrastructure of parking and restrooms as well as manage the ongoing maintenance of the various tracks and features.

Rebecca Wynd, founder and director of Outdoor Encounter, said, ”The opening of Phase 1 has been a long time coming. For nearly four years, OE has remained dedicated to this project. We have raised over $75,000 through grants, donations and sponsorships, and have had approximately 200 volunteers put in over 5,000 hours of volunteer work to make this opening a reality. The community that has formed though building this park is strong and motivated. We are truly inspired by our volunteers and look forward to riding together on the Wilkins Branch trails.”

Wilkins Branch is a day use park and will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to sunset. The park may close due to inclement weather, including but not limited to: rain, freezing temperatures, snow and/or ice, or for trail maintenance and safety.

For additional information, park rules, a trail map and descriptions visit www.wcparksandrec.com. You can also visit Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park’s Facebook page.

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