There definitely aren't many, but if you're inclined to take an afternoon to do some trail-riding, here are a couple of the closest places.
By far the closest but only worth about an hour or two if you're easily amused, the Arb is a good place to go if you get out of class, discover it's nice outside and just want to increase your heart rate and usually get covered with mud. The best route through the arb is to keep going by the first bridge and follow the trail until it kicks you out in the middle of a small fire-pit (not the large fire-pit). From there you can pick up a main trail, cross the stream and futz around on the ridge.
This small park is about fifteen minutes by car, though probably about 45 minutes to an hour by bike. There is about a mile or two of decent singletrack, nothing too challenging, that follows a river. To get there, take East College to Oberlin Road and head south. This road ends at Parsons Road. Turn left and follow to the park which will be on your left. In the second-to-last parking lot follow the gravel path down to the river, over the bridge and then explore to your heart's content.
Hillsville, PA (G8)
This is an old Stripmine located on the Ohio/PA border mostly used by motorcycles and off-road vehicles. There are many trails to ride and a wide open access road that leads to them. The trails are located all over this access road. The trails range from small to large in size and degree of steepness. You can ride narrow, somewhat windy trails to quick, short trails with a lot of small steep hills you don't have to pedal too much on to reach the top of the next hill. To get to some of these trails you must first climb some very steep hills that probably can only be climbed by motorized vehicles. Exploration is key. Some trails have killer descents and are very fast paced.
DIRECTIONS: The trail head is located off RT. 224 outside Poland, Ohio. It's located on the Ohio/PA border. If you're on RT 224 heading towards PA there will be a fork. RT 224 goes straight, you'll go to the right. Stay on that road for about 5 to 10 minutes until you come into downtown Hillsville. Don't blink because it is a four way stop- that's dowtown. There will be a beverage store on your right named COLUCCI's, primarily specializing in kegs. On the same side of the road is a barber shop named NICK's. In the same building is a little post office. You can find parking there or you can go straight on that road for another mile or two. You will see the old limestone quarries and what looks like rolling hills. Park along the roadside, mount up and find a place to enter. Some exploring will probably be necessary.
Atchinson Mountain Bike Trail, Lake County Metro Parks (F2)
The trail itself is short, only 2 miles long, but has some cool terrain that's challenging. It's part of the Lake County Metroparks, and they encourage the ride very much.
DIRECTIONS: From Cleveland take I-90 east to the SR 528. Turn right at the exit and go south for about 300 yards. Turn left onto SR 307 east. The trail entrance is just past the Bates Road on the right side. The entrance is just a gas gate.
Bear Creek South, Ohio Power Company Land (D10)
RATING: Moderate to Challenging
Located south of Canton, these trails provide more mountain biking close to Cleveland. They are chiefly used by ORV riders and as bridle trails. Lots of single- and double-track with big climbs, bomber descents, rocks, ruts, and, of course, mud. Trails are closed September 1 through March 1.
DIRECTIONS: From Canton go south on I-77 and exit Fohl Road. Go left on Fohl Road over I-77 (east) until you hit Dueber Road. Go right on Dueber for 2-3 miles. You will begin to see various gravel roads off to the right and left and places where the trail system crosses. Park on one of these roads and explore to your heart's content.
Vulture's Knob (B9)
RATING: Moderate - Challenging
This is one of the most technical trails thus far in Ohio. It is located on private property and has been cut with the serious mountain biker in mind. At present it is composed of a short, intense loop though wooded valleys, an old quarry, and a small Christmas tree plantation. Definitely a trail for technical freaks. Currently there is one main singletrack loop approximately 3 miles in length. Expect lots of short steep singletrack with little room for error. Saplings have been intentionally left standing in just the right places to grab your bar ends and send you flying.
There are few long climbs as the place is short and sweet with the longest straight run being no more than 100 yards. The trail is well marked and hosts an AMBA race series. The trails are on a pay-to-ride basis.
DIRECTIONS: Vulture's Knob is located west of Wooster. Coming from Cleveland you will likely take I-71 South to SR 3 or SR 83 South. Turn left (west) on Smithville Western
Road and left (south) on Mechanicsburg Road. Call Todd or Sharon Caldwell at 330-345-5636 or Mark or Paula Condry at 330-264-7636 for race information and when you may ride.
Findley State Park (B7)
This small park offers two miles of multiple use trails through meadow and woodland areas skirting Findley Lake. Cyclists can follow the paved roadway for two additional miles to make a loop. The trails are suited to novice cyclists.
DIRECTIONS: Take 58 south through Wellington (about 10 miles) and the park will be on your left.
Alpine Valley (E4)
This ski area hosts a small series of trails open in the off-ski season.
DIRECTIONS: It is located in Chesterland at 10620 Mayfield Rd. Take I480 east to SR271and then to Mayfield Road South Exit. Take Mayfield Road south past RT306. Alpine Valley will be on your left. You can ride Wednesday evenings from 4 p.m. until dusk & Sunday 12 noon until dusk for four bucks!
Quail Hollow State Park (E8)
May 9th marks the celebration of one of the first mountain bike trails in Northeast Ohio open on public lands. At 10:00 am, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail. The single track trail is two miles in length and winds through the woods with many obstacles to conquer. Part of the trail is through an open meadow section, and then goes back into the woods with many pine trees. Once at the end of the trail, one can turn around and head back on the single track, or do a road ride which will loop back to the park.
DIRECTIONS: Quail Hollow State Park is located in Hartville, Ohio (between Akron and Canton) near routes 619 and 43.
When riding please observe The International Mountain Bike Association's (IMBA) Rules of the Trail:
1. Ride on open trails only.
2. Leave no trace.
3. Control your bicycle.
4. Always yield trail.
5. Never spook animals.
6. Plan ahead.
All trails except the Arb and Indian Reservoir were taken off of the World Wide Web. Map is courtesy of Rand McNally.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 23, May 1, 1998
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