Go off Road

–by Scott Carpenter, Metroparks of Toledo

Metroparks develops area’s first singletrack bike trail

Metroparks of the ToSINGLE TRACK TRAIL EXAMPLE RGBledo Area is working with local mountain bike enthusiasts, bike clubs and businesses to create the park district’s first singletrack bicycle trail at Oak Openings Preserve. The narrow, scenic mountain bike trail will be built with the help of volunteers.

Plans call for the trail to be built in two phases, with construction of the first phase expected to be completed this year.

The first section will be about 4.5 miles of trail in Oak Openings Preserve and will share portions of the Wabash Cannonball Trail and the park’s hiking trail.

A later addition will continue on property recently acquired by Metroparks west of State Route 64 in Lucas and Fulton counties, bringing the total trail length to nearly 11 miles.

An estimated 1,000 hours of volunteer time will be needed to construct the trail.

Singletrack, or mountain bike, trails are just 18 inches wide and provide a rustic, off-road bicycling experience. Some sections with two-way traffic will be 36 inches wide. The trail has been designed with bikes in mind as the primary user, with more weaves and dips than a typical walking trail.

The trail will have multiple boardwalks to cross ditches and wet areas. Unlike walking trails, these boardwalks may be undulating, twisted, or split into varying widths to enhance the riding experience.

The trail will offer an opportunity for a growing number of winter cyclists on fat-tire bikes.

Metroparks has applied for a grant to develop a dedicated trailhead north of the Swanton Reservoir. The trailhead will include parking, a restroom and a flexible use facility for groups. The grant would also help speed up development of the Fulton County portion of the bike trail.

Anyone interested in donating to the trail or volunteering to help build it can find more information at: