A ten-mile singletrack dirt trail – built by volunteers from the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization, more commonly known as COMBO – opened in July 2001. The trail is the result of a partnership between AEP and COMBO.
The Mountain Bike Trails have recently been maintained and new bridges replacing the old ones. Riders Welcome!
AEP Approached COMBO in the spring of 2000 to see if the area would be suitable for mountain biking. After a tour of the lands, COMBO’s answer was an emphatic yes. The trail was designed with intermediate to advanced riders in mind and contains long climbs, technical rocky sections, fast downhills and numerous creek crossings. The trail also takes advantage of numerous highwalls left behind by 1940s surface mining. The trail often winds along the edge of these highwalls passing along numerous lakes and streams, providing excellent views of the countryside. COMBO members built the trail using techniques learned at trail-building schools presented by the International Mountain Bicycling Associations, a non-profit group dedicated to educating riders as well as trail builders.
James Buratti, author of “Mountain Biking Ohio” and one of the trail’s designers, said information taught during the school was the key to building this trail correctly.
“When you ride a trail, you don’t realize all the work it takes to build it right,” Buratti said. “You have to build trails within a certain grade and in the right places, so they will shed water, dry quickly and not cause erosion. We built this trail to last but also built it to challenge a rider’s skills. We hope it will set a new standard for Ohio mountain biking.”
More than 180 volunteers donated in excess of 1,800 hours to build this trail, which was constructed by hand. Volunteers represented cycling clubs from around Ohio and West Virginia, including the Athens Bicycle Club, Cincinnati Off Road Alliance, Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association, Wittenberg Cycling Club and the River Valley Mountain Bike Association. Morgan High School student volunteers built the many bridges needed to span the deep valleys the trail encounters.
While riding the mountain bike trails in the ReCreation Land, remember safety is an important part of having a good ride. Helmets are required while riding on the trail. Also, during deer-gun season, the trails are off limits for riding.
The mountain bike trailhead is located near Campground C in Sand Hollow, which is off Township Road 944, west of State Route 284. To obtain a permit, please visit here. For more information, contact AEP at 740- 962-1205.