SNOWSHOE, W.Va. — Snowshoe Mountain’s Highland Ride Center has received a unique and prestigious designation. The International Mountain Bicycle Association has named the facility an official IMBA Ride Center. It’s not an easy distinction according to Cara Rose, Executive Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“There are 40 ride centers around the world, we are the first in West Virginia and there are five in the Mid-Atlantic area, so we’re with a very premier group,” she said.

The designation will enable Pocahontas County to market to a world wide group of mountain biking enthusiasts.

“It means economic development. We’re inviting mountain bikers and insuring we meet their expectations as a ride center,” she explained. “IMBA has a couple million members so not only are those members seeing our information, but we can also put this designation on all of our marketing.”

The criteria for the IMBA Ride Center designation includes having a variety of terrain and skill levels available to riders. The Snowshoe Highland Ride Center includes everything from a beginner to the highest degree of difficulty. The course was a result of a collaboration of local groups and organizations working together.

“The Monongahela National Forest, Snowshoe Mountain,Pocahontas Trails, West Virginia University Extension Service and the Pocahontas County CVB have been working on this project for more than two years,” said Rose.

Rose said the designation is the association’s “Bronze Level” designation and she expected the ride center could achieve the group’s “Silver Level” status within 12 months.

The designation continues the efforts to make Pocahontas County and West Virginia a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

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