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Why We Spiderfest

whyspidersWhy do we Spiderfest?

A celebration of and for those that build and ride, run and hike the Smithville Lake Trails!

A core group of mountain bike enthusiasts came together in friendship and in vision in the summer of 2005. Even before the paved bike trails existed at Smithville Lake, a few veteran visionary mountain bikers had developed a working partnership with Clay County Parks back in 2001. A solid frame work had been put in place to build and maintain a responsible single track trail system.

That early group included a trail builder with a knack for recruiting trail builders, sharing sustainable trail building techniques and socializing with any and all trail users in Smoke ‘n Davey trailhead parking lot. The social aspect of Smithville Lake mountain biking began to grow along with miles of new trail (now nearly 11 miles). From misfits to master planners and from school kids to grandpas, the group continued to evolve, all for the love of mountain biking. The sport can be a solitary ride through our hardwood forest with lake views, then the corn maze and maybe a glimpse of Tripod, our three legged deer. Or, the sport can become a social connection to others that enjoy that ride, or the run, or the hike. You might hear that core group, that “pack of parrots” chattering thru the woods, most usually on Wednesday night Humpday rides. It’s all about the trails and bringing along friends or meeting new ones. Any way you use the trails you will be reminded of nature’s cycles when once again the spiders drape their webs across trails as their numbers begin to climax in late August. We co-exist with arthropods so why not celebrate them. Be a part of our growing web of friends this August 25 at Sailboat Cove, Paradise, MO.

 In recent years we have asked sponsors to join us in this celebration and help raise funds for ERTA, Earthriders Trails Association, a 501c3 non- profit trail building advocacy organization. ERTA utilizes donated funds (tax deductable) including Spiderfest proceeds to cover insurance liabilities, buy tools and promote trail recreation by partnering with governmental entities and land managers where ever opportunities arise for trail expertise in greater Kansas City. Previous Spiderfest fund raising events have been remarkable. From maybe 50 trail enthusiasts grilling and chilling in the parking lot and talking about how to raise funds at the first Spider Festival event in 2007, to developing a sponsored raffle with earnings of $3000 with near 200 in attendance last year, we are ecstatic at all we have built at Smithville Lake. This event of family fun and food, and the chance to win valuable trail gear at the raffle should be on your calendar. Come be a part of our excitement and our trails.