Singletrack Bicycle Trail
About the Project
Metroparks is working with local mountain bike enthusiasts, bike clubs and businesses to create the park district’s first single track bicycle trail, the Beach Ridge Trail at Oak Openings Preserve. The narrow, scenic trail will be built with the help of volunteers.
The third and final phase of the project is now underway.
The first section, which opened May 7, is about 5.5 miles and shares portions of the Wabash Cannonball Trail and the park’s Hiking Trail.
Phase 2 continues on property recently acquired by Metroparks west of State Route 64 in Lucas and Fulton counties.
An estimated 1,000 hours of volunteer time will be needed to construct the trail.
Characteristics of a Single Track Trail
Narrow Tread Width- In most areas the trail tread will only be about 18” wide. In section of trail that are two-way and at road intersections the tread width will be widened to about 36”
Flow- The trail has been designed with bikes in mind as the primary user. Therefore it tends to weave and dip more than a normal walking trail. It also avoid sharp turns that would result in heavy braking which could lead to erosion issues.
Non-traditional Boardwalks- The trail will have multiple boardwalks to cross ditches and wet areas. Unlike our normal walking trails, these boardwalks may be undulating, twisted, or split into varying widths to enhance the riding experience. The board spacing on the bike trail boardwalks may also be slightly further apart than a traditional walking trail.
Bench Cut Trails- Many areas of the bike trail will be bench cut into a slope. This is in keeping with best practice techniques for a sustainable trail. The bench cut trail sheds water much better than trail at the top or bottom of a hill.
Trail Head Development- Metroparks has applied for a grant to develop a dedicated trail head north of the Swanton Reservoir. The trail head will include parking, a restroom, and a flexible use facility for group and/or programming. The grant would also help us speed up development of the Fulton County portion of the bike trail.
Fat Bikes- We attempted to groom sections of the bike trail with a snowmobile to facilitate the use of fat bikes in the winter, however the snowmobile will not fit down the single track. We are still actively looking for ways to groom the trail during the winter. Trail sustainability and protecting the park resources will be 1st priority, but if we can do responsibly we will try it.
Camping- There are seven primitive sites and three primitive group sites that are available to rent. These sites are located at Springbrook Campground, which can be found right off the Singletrack Trail.