Carrabassett Region NEMBA is a non-profit organization dedicated to:
- Building and maintaining a sustainable mountain bike trail network in the Carrabassett Region,
- Promoting its use by local and regional riders of all ability levels, and
- Cultivating a vibrant and inclusive mountain bike community in our area.
We carry out our mission by:
- Engaging the mountain bike community within our region and beyond in order to remain knowledgeable and relevant in our sport,
- Investing in our trail building and maintenance capabilities in order to provide the best possible experience for riders,
- Working closely and respectfully with land managers and other stakeholder organizations to gain and preserve access to the trails we construct and maintain,
- Sponsoring events to promote mountain biking, attract new riders to the area, and educate riders on all aspects of our sport, • Encouraging responsible riding to enhance the experience of all trail users, and
- Representing the interests of mountain bike riders at the local and regional level.
We view our work in the context of sustainable economic development in the Carrabassett Valley region and stewardship of the beautiful, unique and sensitive natural environment that surrounds the area.
Carrabassett Valley has a long history of mountain biking. A loose group of local riders have cared for the trails since the mid 1980’s and organized races since the mid 1990’s. Their hard work and dedication to the sport paved the way for what we have today. Many of these riders are still intimately involved in our efforts.
At the urging of a local mountain bicyclists, Josh Tauses, the town of Carrabassett Valley hired Peter Webber Jr. of the International Mountain Bicycling Association to conduct a study of the potential for new mountain bike trails at the Carrabassett Outdoor Center (ODC) to draw mountain bicyclists to the area. The November 2009 study identified the formation of a mountain bike club as a key ingredient to the success of any effort. Dave Hughes and Josh Tauses, who went on to become the club’s first president and trail master respectively had no trouble raising support for the idea. A mission statement and petition for a new chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) was developed and submitted to NEMBA. The Carrabassett Region chapter (CR NEMBA) was formed on July 31, 2010 to support trail development in the region.
Opportunities for trail development/improvement started to materialize throughout the valley and the club developed a strong relationship with Maine Huts and Trails where they performed their first trail work day on other town (CV) owned parcels of land and existing trails on Penobscot Indian Nation land. Also in 2010, the town (CV) set aside money to tackle trail improvements at the ODC including armoring seasonal wet spots, construction of a small pump track and installation of a bike wash. But most importantly, they hired a professional mountain bike trail designer and builder (Hardy Avery of Sustainable Trail-works out of Waterbury, VT) to develop a 3 year plan to build trails at the ODC.
In the fall of 2010 the town selectman and citizens of CV approved the plan and the first year’s funding. In the spring of 2011 work began. The building season was kicked off with the ODC hosing an IMBA/NEMBA trail school. This gave a shot in the arm to an existing culture of trail stewardship and provided new knowledge of sustainable trail construction to a large number of local riders.In 2012 CRNEMBA and Maine Huts & Trails hosted their first NEMBA TrailFest, a weekend of trail building and riding that attracted participants from all over New England and beyond. Pete Smith became president of the club in December 2013 and began to expand fundraising and marketing efforts as well as strengthen the partnerships between CRNEMBA, Maine Hut & Trails, and the Town of Carrabassett Valley as all three organizations focused on building and upgrading trails to improve the riding experience and extend the network. By the end of 2014, the trail network consisted of approximately 77 miles of mountain bike specific trails including 22.3 miles of new or completely rebuilt mountain bike trails, most of which have been built to meet, or exceed, International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards.
The trail system is based on a “pod” approach with areas of concentrated riding, each accessible by backbone connector trails. Pod One at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center has approximately 35 miles of trail, with 10 miles of newly built or rebuilt trail in service. Pod Two at Campbell Field has approximately 42 miles of trail with 12 miles of newly built or rebuilt trail in service including the signature Oak Knoll Trail which was completed in 2014 with a significant boost from that year’s NEMBA TrailFest. Some work remains on each of the existing pods; when complete they will consist of approximately 100 miles of trail. Longer term plans for Pod Three may include development near the Maine Huts & Trails Poplar Stream Hut and/or the Caribou Pond area within the State of Maine Crocker Mountain Unit. Further construction of pods in either or both areas will depend on securing landowner permissions and funding. The CRNEMBA Board of Directors, its members and supporters all look forward to the next exciting chapter in our history!