Nature & Nurture: Volunteers with a Vision

Claremore is known for Will Rogers, Route 66 and a number of exceptional museums, but, thanks to a group of volunteers with a vision, did you know we are also home to a world-class mountain biking, trail running and hiking system? Surrounding Claremore Lake, you will find one of our best-kept secrets, the Claremore Mountain Bike Trails. 

What began in 2007 as a 2-mile trail system with no signage or bridges, has become a year-round attraction. Today, the trails, which are also tremendously popular with hikers and trail runners, provide more than 16 miles of fun for outdoor enthusiasts. 

In 2014, local mountain bikers and volunteers began reviving the ailing trails. Many citizens dedicated weekends and evenings to cutting brush and removing debris. Volunteers and riders were committed to future growth, expansion and long-term planning and design. Their hard work paid off; now we are home to one of the premier trail systems in the state!  

“We took advantage of the natural features of the area surrounding the lake when designing and expanding the trails,” said Rory Peterson, Claremore Mountain Bike Trails volunteer. “Our focus has always been sustainability. Erosion is a major concern and mitigating this natural process is a top priority. The volunteers have done a tremendous job, and Claremore’s trails have a reputation for being rideable and walkable all year long, even with significant precipitation.”

Safety and wayfinding are equally important objectives when it comes to mountain biking.  The first two miles of signs were donated by Adventure Signs.  Today, the trails boast additional professional signs with maps and color-coded trail markers indicating difficulty as well as trail names.  These signs can be found throughout the system and were made possible by the City of Claremore and a state grant.

In 2018, the trail system joined the Tour De Dirt championship race series and, as a result, Claremore hosted the Shoreline Shred mountain bike race in 2018 and 2019. These races brought in hundreds of racers from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and all over Oklahoma. The Shoreline Shred brought our system more exposure than ever before. 

Today, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are seeking fun and safe outdoor activities. Biking and hiking have become popular options. “I am excited to see so many families using our trail system,” said Peterson. “Our trails are a great place for young riders to learn from more experienced riders.  We offer something for every skill level.” 

Whether it is biking, hiking, running or just taking your furry friend for a walk, make sure you check out Claremore Mountain Bike Trails.  Every season offers a great opportunity to get outdoors. 

For more information on the trail system or to find volunteer opportunities, visit Claremore Mountain Bike Trail on Facebook