Many riders see a mountain bike trail as a place to explore, exercise, or even rid themselves of the day's stress. However, to builders, a trail can be so much more. For them, trails are an outlet of creative expression. It's an art form where they get to start with a blank canvas and carve their creativity into the dirt for others to enjoy. Trail builders, like artists, have a unique style, and many times you can tell who built a trail just by riding it. Behind every ribbon of singletrack or flowy jump line is a trail builder with a vision and hours of dedicated dig time. Meet the WTB ambassadors who are committed to creating trails that allow all of us to enjoy the sport we love so much.
Welcome to WTB's Build With Purpose.
Responses by Kamron Williams
Name of organization:
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) featuring trail builder: Kamron Williams
Favorite WTB product:
Vigilante 2.5 and the Judge 2.4 tire with TCS Tough dual-ply casings.
Favorite trail snack:
A pastrami sandwich with mayo, mustard, and pepper jack cheese.
Favorite trail tool:
It’s hard to pick one! I like using Mcleods, chainsaws, and mini excavator.
My favorite trail is Mt. Elwell to the Smith Lake connector to Jamison Creek Trail.
What's a perfect day of biking look like to you?
A perfect day of biking would start with getting up early in the morning. Make lunch and grab my fishing pole. Ride up Mt. Elwell, fish at Bear and Long lakes and catch the biggest fish I've ever caught. Have lunch at the top of Elwell. Ride all the way to the bottom of Jamison Creek and jump in one of the swimming holes to finish the day and cool down.
When did you start building trails?
I started building trails back in 2014, when I was going to Feather River College and got an internship working on the local USFS Mt. Hough Recreation Crew. I did a season with them and had a blast. Then, in 2015, I got a job with SBTS and have been working for them for the last seven years.
What has been your favorite building project so far?
My favorite building project so far has been the Beckwourth Peak Trail. It’s right in my backyard and it feels really good to contribute something so awesome to my home town. The trail has been in the works for a long time and is finally happening. It has some pretty spectacular views and I think everybody is going to really dig it.
Favorite type of trail to build:
My favorite type of trail to build would be one with a little bit of everything. Great views, high speed, chunky, and some dangerous exposure to get the adrenaline flowing and provide wow factor.
Why is building important to you?
Building is important to me because it creates a fun and healthy activity for people to enjoy either by themselves or with others.
If you had to pick one thing every rider and company needs to start doing today to support trail building, what would it be?
I think the best thing every rider and company could start doing to support trail building is simply the trails and spread the word. If people don’t use them and nobody knows about them or where they are, then they will disappear before you know it. It'll also be hard to get support to build more if people are not using and enjoying them.
What does the future of mountain biking look like to you?
The future of mountain biking looks good to me. I see many miles of new trails being built and more and more people riding.
What does the future of trail building look like to you?
I think the future of trail building will see it grow in popularity and recognition. People enjoy trails and their popularity will make people want more. I also think builders will become more knowledgable of sustainable trail building and therefore the trails will last way longer.
How many miles of trail have you built?
I have built and maintained thousands of miles of trail. I have quite a bit under my belt now.
Who are the biggest inspirations for SBTS?
The biggest influencer for what I do with SBTS would be the Trail Boss, Henry O’Donell. He has been there for me and with me every step of the way. He has taught me a whole lot and showed me how to be a hard worker. I'm very thankful for him and consider him a great guy. I'm also very thankful for my crew members because trail building is hard work and they get up every day to work there butts off to get it all done.
How many years have you been building and advocating for trails?
I have been building and advocating for trails for 8 years. As hard and exhausting work as it is, I love it! I really like being outside in beautiful areas. I feel blessed to be able to do what I do.
What user groups are you targeting?
SBTS builds trails for all user groups. We like building multi-use trails for everyone. Hikers, bikers, equestrians, and OHV riders.
Biggest project to date:
Connected Communities is SBTS' plan to build 600 miles of trail connecting 15 communities in our area.
Words by Kamron Williams