Touch of Nature hosts the Catalyst Mountain Bike Festival from November 19 to 21


November 09, 2021

Touch of Nature hosts the Catalyst Mountain Bike Festival from November 19 to 21

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The third and last race of the popular Catalyst racing series at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is expanded into a Catalyst Mountain Bike Festival from November 19 to 21.

The race is at 11 a.m. on November 20 and registration is in progress. The deadline to register is November 17th.

The event takes place in one of the Midwest’s first new mountain bike trail systems, located at Touch of Nature multi-use trail system, about eight miles south of SIU Carbondale off Giant City Road. The three-day festival promises a fun weekend and serves as a fundraiser to help continue the expansion of the trail project.

Several options available

A variety of packages are available for competitors as well as for non-runners. The basic weekend package for competitors aged 18 and over is $ 85 and includes race registration, campsite location, post-race meal ticket, post-race activities. race, a t-shirt and a parking pass. For junior runners ages 9 to 17, registration is $ 55 and includes the same things minus the parking pass, while kids eight and under pay $ 15 and receive the same benefits as junior runners. Participants can also pay a fixed registration fee to run.

Weekend packages for non-runners are $ 40 for adults and youth ages 9 to 17. Non-runners aged eight and under can participate for free. Separate meal plans for additional meals are also available at an additional cost.

The festival is designed to give attendees a chance to familiarize themselves with the facility and have a good time. Activities will include a “Huffy” throwing game, where participants will see how far they can throw an old bike. There are bonus points if you sing or dance while throwing the bike.

To register or get more information on the schedule, visit

Viewers are welcome

Spectators are also invited to watch the race. Parking for cyclists and visitors will be available in the upper and lower parking lots of Camp 2. Additional parking will also be available at the main trailhead near the entrance to Touch of Nature. Observation points are located along the route and spectators will be able to walk to these locations from the main parking lot at the trailhead.

SIU Credit Union and River Radio Group of Southern Illinois are community partners for the Catalyst Racing Series and sponsors include Shawnee Trails, Phoenix Cycles, Francis Brummer, Sabens Martial Arts Academy, Murphysboro Smile Design, The Joos Cap, Blue Sky Vineyards, St. Nicholas Brewing Company, Honey Stinger, Elevate Therapy and Performance, Kuat Bike Racks, Orange Seal Cycling and Wolf Tooth Components.

Just the beginning

The first phase of the trail system, a project that has been underway for several years, is now in operation and includes 12 miles of multi-use natural surface trails. The trails opened in May for cyclists, hikers, runners and walkers. When complete, the trail system will include approximately 30 miles of layered loop trails, adult and children’s snow parks, an event center area, and other features.

For more information on Touch of Nature and the trail system, visit, call 618-453-1121 or email


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