Every weekend in the hills above Lakeside the sounds of stoke — whoops of joy, exclamations of admiration and the buzzing of bike wheels — filter through the trees as riders descend through the Legacy Bike Park.
Last year the Legacy Bike Park opened for a partial inaugural season and sold out almost every day of operation. The founders spent the offseason expanding the park, upgrading the base area, campsites and amenities, and last month kicked off the second riding season to great success.
“We knew the park was a little rough around the edges when we opened last year,” Pete Costain, owner of trail building company Terraflow and founding partner of Legacy Bike Park, said. “That being said, it absolutely met our expectations for year one. By the end of last year the trails were riding pretty well and this year they’re starting at a higher level. We’ve done a fair amount of improvements which have changed things for the better.”
Built on a 500-acre piece of property, the Legacy Bike Park is the brainchild of Marty Beale, Costain and his wife Linda and Whitefish design firm Mindful Designs. The idea was formed when Beale was returning from a mountain biking trip at Whistler Resort in British Columbia.
“I kept thinking about what it would be like if there was a similar gravity park in the U.S.,” Beale said. “Some amazing trails in the woods with good people … what about something like that in Montana?”
Within a year, Beale had found the ideal property, convinced his partners to join the endeavor and the park initially opened in July of 2021.
The park operates primarily as a gravity park, with riders shuttled 20 at a time from the parking lot to the top of the trail system. Last year the park operated two shuttles with a stated capacity of 80, but Costain said they were realistically seeing 100 riders a day, finding it hard to turn people away. This year the team added a third shuttle and bike trailer, bumping the rider capacity up to 120 a day.
With a short offseason window where trail building is possible, Costain got to work right after the park closed last year to begin expansion. The original 13 trails, a mixture of flow trails and jump lines ranging from a half mile to two miles long covered a mere fraction of the property, offering ample room to grow.
“Almost all the comments we had last year were universally great, but we were missing some things,” Costain said. “One thing was a truly accessibly beginner flow-jump line, so we built Casper, the Friendly Jump Line which has been a huge hit already.”
Additional improvements included the creation of Jammer Lane, a high-jumping but accessible expert line, some rerouting of existing trails and a rebuild of the park’s pump track, which Costain said initially “was a little overboard.”
“The pump track is at the heart of the park and it’s really a good place for parents to sit down between rides, drink a beer and watch their kids on the track,” Costain said.
The construction of a new parking lot at the heart of the park makes the central location more accessible as well, as the team is continually working to expand the non-trail amenities for visitors.
Still under construction for this summer are several platform features and a forked practice jump that riders can launch from into an airbag or mulch — a nice progression before aiming for bigger air on the dirt.
The Legacy Bike Park offers two camping zones with 34 sites that are available Thursday through Tuesday, all of which got makeovers over the last year.
Great Northern Cycle & Ski will be on site every weekend with its mobile Stoke Wagon, offering Legacy merch, full bike tune-ups and some rentals.
“We’re all just thrilled with what we’re doing,” Costain said. “Every once in a while, people will ask about our master plan and end goal, and honestly it’s just to make a really great bike park.”
“We’re really working on creating a good vibe from the base to the top and we’re doing that as well and as fast as we can.”
Legacy Bike Park is located off U.S. Highway 93 approximately 2 miles south of Lakeside. The Park is open to the public Friday through Sunday through October 10, weather permitting. For tickets or to learn more visit www.legacybikepark.com.
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