IMBA EPIC Ride - Mohican State Park MTB Trail, Ohio
Ohio's longest singletrack, Mohican State Park's MTB trail, is located just outside Loudonville Ohio. From the MYB trailhead parking lot it's approximately 25.5 miles total, with all but about a mile of riding being sweet flowing singletrack.
The first 8 miles are multidirectional but from that point on it's one-way (counter-clockwise) traffic. Hikers may be on the trail so keep your eyes peeled; there are wilderness campsites located throughout the park that are nearby to the trail.
The first few miles are burners - you'll spend most all of it climbing. That's not to say that once you get to the top of those first few miles it's all smooth sailing downhill - oh no, you get your downhill break, but you earn it with the climb right back up afterwards. Along the way you'll encounter the occasional technical spot like log-overs and bridges, but for the most part, until you pass the 20 mile mark the vast majority of the trail is either flowing singletrack or climbing. From 20 miles on, you'll encounter rock gardens and flowy pumptrack-like stretches of trail. None of which is impassable by a beginner, but you're unlikely to see beginners this far in.
Starting from the MTB parking lot, which is across from the campground entrance, you'll head under the bridge on Rte 3 and sweep back towards the campground. You can either ride the clear-cut through the trees, a nice grassy lane, or take the road to the campground entrance. Once there, cross over the campground parking lot to the trailhead. There's a small sign at the edge of the woods. From there, the trail is pretty distinct, and anywhere a hiking trail intersects, there will be a trail marker of white 4" PVC pipe mounted on a post - quite easy to see. The same markers are used as mile markers over the entire distance of the trail.
Bailout points are limited, and just because you hit a road crossing bailout point does not mean you have an easy cruise back to the parking lot. Be prepared to ride a good deal. There is an out at around mile 8, and again at the covered bridge (mile 12), another around 16 and another around 20. Get a map from the campground office (they are just a few dollars), download our offline or printable map, or use our mobile app if you think you might need to bail before completion as there is no signage at the road crossings directing you how to get back to where you started.
The trail passes through stands of coniferous and mixed deciduous forest, has a few stretches of shared doubletrack (equestrian trails), and a short stretch of road ride from the covered bridge to a real grinder of a climb. A couple of gas line right-of-ways, and a couple of road crossings are the only interruptions in the flow until you get past mile 23 and have to cross the campground road for the final leg.
Notable spots include:
As you climb from mile 7 to mile 8, make sure to stop and say hi to the gnome.
The mile 9 climb is well-rewarded shortly thereafter with some really fast, flowy downhills. The switchbacks on the way down have been bermed, and the washed-out ruts have been cleaned up. FAST!!!
The covered bridge past 12 is a nice place to take a break. Don't get too comfy though, or your legs will rebel as soon as you start the climb out of the river valley.
Somewhere around 16 is a side trail to the fire tower. Never bothered to check it out myself but I have seen many pics from the spot, and the view is incredible.
About the 20-mile mark is where you get into some rock gardens. Start with a stretch of baby heads and progress through some truck-sized boulders. (Don't worry, you aren't going to have to huck the big ones...the trail winds between them, but it is all rocks regardless.)
The climb at mile 21 may or may not put you to the test. You get a nice fast downhill approach to it but it's steep once you start climbing.
From there to mile 23 is a great stretch of flow. Hammer down if you can and enjoy it - you're close to the home stretch. As you make the last downhill back into the river valley, there are more reworked turns and enhanced features to keep the blood pumping.
As you finish that stretch, you'll cross a wooden bridge that takes you back onto the road. If you absolutely can't make another mile and a half, take a right on the pavement and it will take you back to the campground office where you started. DON'T DO IT!
Instead, cross the paved bridge over the river in front of you as you come off the wooden bridge. As you cross, you'll see trail signage on the other side of the road. Take that trail (shared with a hiking trail), and about 20 yards in the MTB trail switchbacks up to the right. (Again, the PVC pipe trail markers are there to guide you.) You're now on the home stretch! It follows the hillside, without much elevation change, but there will be rocks, and likely some water. As you finish that final mile or so, don't get complacent when you see the end of the trail spilling out into the sunshine... there's a little whoop of a jump that can put you OTB right at the finish.
Some of the information on this page has been sourced from: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/960984/mohican-state-park-mtb-trail
33.258 km / 20.666 mi
836 m / 2,744 ft
837 m / 2,746 ft
416 m / 1,366 ft