Central Texas park has a ski lift, but why?

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:24 PM CST
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BURNET, Texas (KWTX) – A unique park in Central Texas has a ski lift, but those who ride it aren’t wearing skis, they’re carrying mountain bikes.

Spider Mountain bike park opened about a year and a half ago just outside of Burnet and its popularity has grown along with the sport of mountain biking.

When gyms and so many other forms of exercise were shut down by the pandemic, cycling exploded.

With an abundance of hills and rocky terrain, central Texas has become a go-to destination for mountain bikers from around the state.

Just ask Spencer Wren who’s from Austin and visited Spider Mountain with his dad.

“It’s my favorite place in Texas to ride my bike. There are like seven trails but my favorite is Tarantula because of the huge wall ride and the drops and it has a lot of wooden features. I love their jump line too.” Spencer said.

Not only does Spider Mountain feature the only ski lift in the state, but it’s also the only year-round, lift access bike park in North America.

It’s owned and operated by a company called Mountain Capital Partners and they have six other ski resorts.

Suzy Bauer is the general manager of Spider Mountain.

“With mountain biking being such a big growing sport here in the central Texas area, we thought this was a beautiful and great way to do something with the land here and give people this opportunity,” Bauer said.

The trails at Spider Mountain may seem intimidating at first, with names like Tarantula and Venom and Recluse, but much like a ski resort, the trails are color-coded according to their level of difficulty.

“We have a variety of skill levels like most ski hills. We have green, blue, black and double black. Green being the beginner, blue being intermediate on up to more advanced terrain.” Bauer said.

They’re quick to point out there are no easy trails on the mountain, but even novice and young riders can find a trail that suits them.

Nicolas Wood visited the park with his mom and they’re both hooked.

“It’s really fast and it’s a little bumpy but it’s fun. I like it.” Nicolas said.

His mother Theresa Wood agrees.

“It’s a great way to spend some time with family,” she said.

Chase Spears drove from Houston to try out the trails.

He says the three-and-a-half hour drive was well worth it.

“The trails are well maintained; everyone is really helpful and you don’t have to pedal. I hope they build more of these,” he said.

Spider Mountain is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

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