Sunday marked the official opening of Jacksonville’s first off-road bike trails. The trails are part of the Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center, already home to a skate park and other various athletic programs. City council member and liaison to the Recreation and Park advisory board, Jerome Willingham, said the new trails are a symbol of commitment to keeping people active.

Work began on the trails in the summer of 2013 and they now extend 2.5 miles. There are two paths, a .7 mile fitness loop, as well as a 1.6 mile intermediate course that includes obstacles. Shawn Kane, manager of Bicycle Gallery in downtown Jacksonville and one of the trail’s creators, said this is just, “the start of a great trail system.”

The trails are open to the public for both new and experienced mountain bikers. Officials advise riders to not visit the trail at night and to wear a helmet on the course. For more information, call Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center at 910-938-5312.