Singletrack Bicycle Trail

Help Metroparks Build the Region's First Mountain Bike Trail in Oak Openings Preserve

Metroparks is working with local mountain bike enthusiasts, bike clubs and businesses to create the park district’s first single track bicycle trail at Oak Openings Preserve. The narrow, scenic 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 begin 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.

Posters from August 3 public meeting


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.


Future Opportunities

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 might try grooming sections of the bike trail with a snowmobile to facilitate the use of fat bikes in the winter. This will be a tentative initiative.  Trail sustainability and protecting the park resources will be 1st priority, but if we can do responsibly we will try it.

Camping- Improvements are being planned at the Springbrook Group Camp.  Metroparks is considering the possibility of opening this camp to the general public if the biking community indicates an interest.


How to Get Involved

Please use the links below to make a financial contribution or to lend a hand as a volunteer.

To donate: Make a donation to this project online.

To volunteer: Volunteer work days will resume on April 1, 2017. If you are new to volunteering at the Metroparks, you will need to fill out a volunteer application online. Allow 48 hours for your application to be processed and then follow the directions for logging in to Volgistics. If you are a returning volunteer, you can sign up for a work day in Volgistics. See the right hand side of the page for a link to instructions on how to do that.

Work day groups will meet at the Springbrook parking lot of Oak Openings on SR64. Please wear long pants, sturdy close-toed shoes, and bring bug spray and water. All tools are provided.

If you are interested in bringing a group of people to help on a work day, please contact Annie Devine at or 419-407-9841.

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