By Kelly Ryan

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — Sacramento County is offering mountain bikers a new place to head off-road.

The Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks will open up areas in the Woodlake and Cal Expo areas of the American River Parkway on Friday, including 6 miles of unpaved maintenance and fire roads.

Calling it the “off-paved trail pilot program,” officials say the surface is flat, and riders will have to stay on designated trails and yield to equestrians.

Mountain biking will continue to be prohibited throughout the American River Parkway outside of those areas.

But if things work out, this pilot program could become permanent.

“It’s not real challenging, but a lot of people will bring out their kids to get them started with it before they go up into the hills,” a local Mountain biker named Boomer told CBS13,

Local bicycle shop owner Jess Polakoff agrees, saying the trail will allow those interested in mountain biking to learn more about the sport or just enjoy a leisurely ride.

“Probably the best thing is that it’s going to be really good for beginners and intermediates, and the hardcore guys will stick to the trails in the foothills in Tahoe,” Polakoff said.

The pilot program runs until 2020.

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