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THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013, 7:33 A.M.

Helena has attractions for mountain bikers

A cyclist rides a mountain biking trail system above Helena, Mont.
A cyclist rides a mountain biking trail system above Helena, Mont.

CYCLING -- Montana's capital city is cashing in on it's surrounding wildness to create attractions for mountain bikers.

The Helena National Forest and South Hills Trail System reaches into Helena with a trailhead in the city limits.

The South Hills Trail System is an extensive mountain biking trail system known for its single track and long descents. Specialty bike shops provide advice on trails, equipment and rentals to ensure riders get the most out of the area.

Soon biking enthusiasts will have another reason to love Helena, the Vigilante Bike Park, which is being built near the town's center to offer terrain features in a safe riding environment. Construction of the park begins this summer on two acres of reclaimed land and will integrate pieces of old Helena buildings from the Urban Renewal Project. Park features for pros and beginners will include pump tracks, dirt jumps for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders as well as a skills trail and dual slalom course.

Meantime, Helena has more than 500 miles of world class mountain biking trails in its area.

These trail systems have groomed the way for several events on the spring-fall cycling schedule:


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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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