Mountain biking in the Buckeye State
I consider myself an avid biker, but my mountain bike wheels have barely touched the vast number of mountain bike trails (MTB) intersperesed throughout the state. Ohio’s diverse terrain makes it an excellent MTB destination with over 200 miles of trails interspersed throughout the state in more than 20 locations. Each trail I’ve ridden has provided a different experience.
I ride the Alum Creek State Park Phase 1 trail most often because it’s closest to home, just north of Columbus. It offers trails for a variety of skill sets including two two experiences for the
beginner. An exhilarating 2-mile trail combines tight single-track through a wooded setting with open meadow riding where you can test your speed limits. The beginner section also offers a complete skills park with various height drop-offs, balance beams and log piles to hone your bike handling ability.
Once you’ve mastered the beginner area, head over to the original six-mile Alum Creek trail. This intermediate level trail offers some moderate climbs. It is a fairly open single-track that flows along the fall line for some high-paced adventure. Be prepared for the plethora of tree roots that you’ll navigate throughout the Phase 1 trail.
Our friend, James Knott, from AgileH productions has put together an excellent video review of Alum Creeks Phase1 trail.
If you like technical challenges, then check out the 16-miles of trails at Ceasar Creek State Park. There are a lot of hills to keep the trail rolling. Located between Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus Ceasar Creek is an easy daytrip from these metropolitan areas. Several descents are steep and the ascents can be just as challenging. Much of the trail is tight, twisty singletrack lined with small trees and lots of rocks to keep things interesting.
If the weather has made riding conditions unfavorable (muddy) at most trails, you may still be able to get a ride in at Mohican State Park and Mohican State Forest trails. This 24-mile loop, located east of Mansfield, is the longest in Ohio and also one of the most challenging. Steep hills, intelligent trail design and rocky soil allow Mohican to stand up to some of the most challenging weather conditions. Be prepared for 3+ hours in the saddle, because the technical terrain and hills of the Mohican countryside make this trail a formidable opponent.
For information on these trails and many more, visit The Ohio Mountain Bike Association Trails Guide. The groups website has information on all the publicly available trails in the state along with links to local clubs that provide even more information and updates to trail conditions.