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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mountain bike trail opening at Chestnut Ridge


Mountain bike trail opening at Chestnut Ridge

    THE CITY BLOG

    NEIGHBOR NEWS BLOG

    By  Mark Ferenchik
    The Columbus Dispatch Saturday October 15, 2011 6:39 AM
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    Metro Parks’ first mountain bike trail opens on Sunday, a 71/2-mile route in Fairfield County that was built with the help of a local group.
    The Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization’s members volunteered to work on the trail at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park. The group first asked Metro Parks to build a trail more than a decade ago.
    “It’s huge,” said Brian Adams, liaison to Metro Parks for the biking group and president of the Ohio Mountain Bike Association.
    The only other course within 30 minutes of Downtown is a 14-mile trail at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware County.
    About 1,100 riders a month from late spring through fall use the 8-mile mountain bike trail at Huffman MetroPark in Fairborn near Dayton, said Val Beerbower, a spokeswoman for Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton’s regional park system.
    The Chestnut Ridge trail will serve riders living in southern Franklin County and south of Columbus, Adams said.
    The trail, built on 121 acres in the western part of the park, has more hills than the Alum Creek path, with a total change in elevation of 220 feet, Adams said. It has an all-natural surface that is 12 inches to 18 inches wide.
    Construction on the trail began in December. Volunteers cleared vegetation for the trail corridor and dug into hillsides to create a flat route, Adams said.
    The parking lot for the trail is off of Mason Road. The ceremony to open the trail begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.
    Metro Parks had budgeted $40,000 to help design, build and operate the trail, which ultimately will be about 12 miles long, Metro Parks spokeswoman Peggy Hanely said.
    Work will continue this winter, Adams said.
    mferenchik@dispatch.com

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