IMBA Europe member Spor og Natur / DCU organized their 1st trail building conference ever held in Denmark. Almost 80 participants from volunteer trail building groups all over Denmark travelled to North Jutland the first weekend of November and made the conference a big success. Ranging from having a kind of nerdy, almost scientific conversations about the best top layers to keep your feet dry in typically Danish (wet) conditions to essential discussions with the Danish Nature Agency about their perspective on mountain biking.
The 2nd day was learning by doing, which meant hard but fun work on the trails. Rerouting, repairing or building new features on the vast trail network of Slettestrand. The small fishing town now benefits from the large number of mountain bikers that has come to visit the vast and fun network of trails. The trail network was initiated by the owner of Feriecenter Slettestrand, a local entrepreneur who put hours and hours in building new trails with the help of local volunteers. The hard work paid off and now the holiday center is doing really well, welcoming an increasingly number of mountain bikers from Denmark and Norway.
The concept of a national trail building conference is easily transferable to other countries and enables groups to identify very specific trail building challenges. Hosting such a conference seems beneficial as well. The work done in one weekend by the huge group that attended the conference, would normally have took months when executed by a local group of volunteers.