Listen to Episode #55 | Mark Hayes of Highland Bike Park


Topics Covered:

  • The Mark Hayes Back Story
  • How a trip to Whistler Bike Park inspired Mark to create Highland Bike Park
  • How Mark found the property to build out Highland Bike Park
  • The details around Highland Bike Park
  • The Importance of entry level trails for growing the customer base and mountain biking in general
  • What is a beginner trail and incorporating the lesson component of the business
  • Getting people into mountain biking
  • The overview of Highland as a business and a brand
    • Platform A – Highland Bike Park
    • Platform B – Camps
    • Platform C – Highland Trails (Trail Building outside of Highland)
  • The impact of Covid on Highland in 2020
  • How Highland Bike Park also serves as a training facility for educating trail builders for Highland Trails
  • Building the Highland Team
  • The Evolution of trails from the start of Highland to today
  • The Evolution of Trails in terms of creating a trail system that constantly progresses as the rider’s progress. 
  • ASSF – Amplitude, Speed, Sightlines and Frequency according to Brian Finestone (former manager of Whistler Bike Park)
  • Famous Failures / Learning Experiences by Mark Hayes
    • The indoor bike park structure
  • The differences between Private Bike Parks and Public Trails, and what Private Bike Parks offer over public trails
  • The Foothills Foundation, the public trails non profit that Mark is president of
  • The 1%er’s
  • Public Trails and Maintenance
  • The Upside of great trails in your community
  • The ingredients that make a great trail community according to Mark
  • Asphalt Pumptracks
  • Closing Comments
    • Making the sport accessible to everyone
    • Continuous Learning
    • E-Bikes
  • Thanking the Team at Highland Bike Park

Highland Bike Park:
Highland Trails:
Highland Training and Camps:
Highland YouTube Channel:
The Foothills Foundation:


Smith’s Bike Shop:
Evolution Trail Services:
Contact Josh at

If you have any questions about Mountain Bike Radio in general, please contact Ben at


Trails build community and Communities build trails. What came first you may ask… Host Josh Blum digs into the stories of how trails effect and affect the people and places we call home and those we might like to call home.


Josh Blum is a father and doer of stuff – paired with Advocate, Builder of Trails and Community. Originally from La Crosse WI, Josh has been enjoying the outdoors, trails, and mountain bikes since a young age. Always curious and learning about better ways to improve trail users’ experiences. Josh is employed by WisDOT, and is the owner / operator of Evolution Trail Services.


Author: Ben

Ben is originally from Southeastern Wisconsin. After graduating college at UW La Crosse, he lived in several Midwestern cities, Denver, and Western North Dakota before relocating to Hayward, Wisconsin in 2017, providing a lot of opportunity to experience the outdoors throughout the country. Ben started mountain biking in 2006 after five years of other endurance sports including running and triathlons of various distances. In 2012, he created Mountain Bike Radio and has been dedicated to mountain biking since. He has a lot of experience racing all distances, including 24 hour solos, 12 hour solos, 100 miles, 50 milers, XC distance, fatbikes, gravel, and everything in between. He’s married to wife, Amy, with two young children – Claeson and Paige. Ben hopes that his passion for mountain biking and the outdoors drives his commitment to creating, improving, and maintaining opportunities in the outside world.