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Alum Creek State Park biking paths fulfill fantasies

Thomas Doohan / Lantern reporter

For new students at Ohio State who dream about ripping up a single track, it might seem like there is little hope to fulfill such a fantasy.
But there is.
Alum Creek State Park offers three mountain bike trails just more than 20 miles north of Columbus. Obviously this could be more ideal, perhaps a trail in the middle of campus. As that is not the case, Alum Creek State Park is a good option.
The park’s seven-mile Phase Two trail, which I was lucky enough to ride twice on Sept. 12, is fast and flat.
The fastness of the trail, which circumnavigates an outlet of the Alum Creek reservoir, combined with this summer’s dry weather created a wonderfully fast ride. You will be riding so fast, tears will stream down your face as you fly between the trees.
Even with the speed, one would think a flat trail would be a little boring, but the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization, built some dips into the flat trail, adding excitement.
Phase Two swerves through the forest beautifully. There are plenty of banked curves. The builders constructed a wooden bank in the trail where the environment didn’t provide the necessary landscape.
There are bridges scattered throughout, some skinny and some wide.
My favorite section of the trail was a bit near the end where the builders installed a bridge about 10 feet off the ground. At around 2 feet wide, it is very fun.
The trail has many elements that are exciting for more than just the height factor. Phase Two challenges riders through sheer technical riding, as log piles are scattered throughout the trail like chocolate chips in a cookie.
Some log piles are placed in areas where riders will be going slower. In one area in particular, I was going too slow and was not able to pull my bike over the pile.
On my first ride I was able to go fast, not crash and get a workout. However, there is more to a trail than just ride-ability.
I think a trail should really kick a rider’s butt. Every challenging obstacle had a bypass, which is nice, but does not do much to challenge a rider.
As the most difficult trail at the park, I think the trail should be tougher.

Grade: B

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