Did you wake up feeling dangerous? Add a healthy dose of thrill to your CLE cycling experience by ditching those paved routes for more of a challenge. With varying elevations and terrain, huge acreage of green space, and plenty of variety in scenery, The Land is packed with mountain biking spots that are perfect for newbies and expert bikers alike.
The 10-mile loop in the Metroparks’ Bedford Reservation is great for rookies while still being a fun trail for seasoned riders. Located near the beautiful Bridle Veil Falls and surrounded by rich forest, you’ll get an eyeful during your ride. Max grade is about 9%, but the average is around 2% with a super fun two-mile Touch Stone section south of Egbert Road.
Royalview has two loops for a total of about 10 miles of scenic biking through the Cleveland Metroparks’ Mill Stream Reservation. It’s mostly beginner-friendly, with a couple more advanced sections to let loose and test your skills. The Red Trail Spur has a few stunts, which adds an extra bit of spice to your ride.
A two-and-a-half-mile loop around the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation gets the heart pumping if you’re short on time but want to get in a ride. This one’s great for beginners with a half-mile section just for them, then the intermediate section kicks it up a notch with steep terrain, a couple of rock gardens and some challenging climbs.
East Rim Trail (Peninsula)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is home to incredible views, wildlife, and one hell of a mountain bike trail. At East Rim, intermediate riders will get their kicks with berms, jumps and other obstacles alongside legit scenery you can only see in a national park.
What used to be a golf course is now a thrilling, machine-cut, beginner-friendly loop that has quickly become a fan-favorite since opening in 2016. For a little extra adventure, there are jumps, berms, slaloms and technical climbs and descents. Bonus: Reward yourself for a good spin with a beer at the old clubhouse, which is now a brewpub.
The family-friendly Hampton Hills is great for every skill level, making it the perfect spot to bring kids to try out mountain biking. Throughout seven miles, the MTB areas include beginner, moderate and intermediate trails that are color-coded for easy ID. Part of the Summit Metroparks, the ride is beautiful.
This once held the reputation as the MTB spot in Northeast Ohio, and it’s not hard to see why. There are 12 miles of single- and double-track with roots, rocks, ravines and riverbeds. It’s one of the best spots in the area for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers, with a max grade of 21%. Make a trip of it and stay in the onsite campground with lakeside views.
Rated #1 in Ohio by Singletracks.com, Vulture’s Knob is not your ordinary MTB ride. Seven plus miles of trails include the eccentric “Fern Gully” and the aptly named “Oh Sh#t,” with twisting, semi-technical routes and a high likelihood of ending up muddy. This place hosts loads of MTB races, too, if you’re into that.
Ray’s MTB, the world’s first indoor multi-terrain bike park, boasts 140,000 square feet of courses, obstacles, ramps, rails and rooms for both novices and experts. Been there before? No worries. Each year, Ray and his crew redesign the park configuration. Don’t have a bike? No problem. Ray’s has, mountain, dirt jumper and BMX bikes for rent. Helmets and pads are included with every paid daily admission. Riders must be eight or older.