Ironton is working to lure mountain bikers, hikers, campers, and other outdoor adventure fans to the area. The way the southeast Missouri town is going about this is by developing 80 acres on Shepherd Mountain.
Ironton Mayor Bob Lourwood tells Missourinet the project includes a new downhill mountain bike park like no other in the Midwest. Several difficult downhill trails and thrill-seeking obstacles can be found there. One of the popular but very difficult obstacles is called the corkscrew.
“You come into this over a rock ledge. It’s about a 25 foot drop. The corkscrew is built out of cedar,” says Lourwood. “You come into this corkscrew and you actually ride down on this spiral and you wind up at the bottom going back downhill.”
Ironton is installing hiking and cross-country trails for beginners. Lourwood says a private company is also building a campground with plans to offer rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing and rafting.
Lourwood says he hopes families will come from around the state and beyond.
“Arcadia Valley has been kind of a depressed since the 1980s. Income is down. The population has dropped off and things like that. It is such a beautiful area. Our hope is that the mountain bike park will be a catalyst for economic development and improvement in the area,” he says.
To hear the interview with Lourwood, click below. The segment was featured on Show Me Today – Missourinet’s daily radio show.
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