Devou Park

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↑ 1,000 ft
↓ 800 ft
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4.27 out of 5
About This Trail
added by stephensondl4 Bunny Hop on June 15, 2011
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This trail is a great single track trail that is a out and back currently however it is being worked on daily and it get longer everytime I ride it. The out is a begins with a pretty steep climb the level off when you get near the top with some great switchbacks and nice bermed turns. With the climb being pretty steep on the way out it should go without saying that the trip back down is very fast and fun. Some areas can be a bit technical but the trail is well groomed. Great trail!
Phase I & II and part 1 of III complete. I &II West of Sleepy Hollow, and III is to the East. Incineratore, described above, leads to Bates-Coombs, a main loop flowing around the top of Western high ground. There is also Back Bowl, esentially a side loop from Bates, wich drops to base of hill and up again, and Train surfer (a 1 mile direct return to switchbacks and exit.) Plus two connectors.
Of Phase III There is access from dirt lot near the golf course off Montague rd, or Devou rd near Montagure. with at least 3 miles complete, and can be connected into loops of several lengths. maps and info at
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49 check-ins
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rwhunt on December 15, 2014
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Here in the Greater Cincinnati area, we've been lucky to have had a lot of quality mountain bike trails built, improved and/or enlarged in the last five years. Bordering on being blessed is having our office located just a couple miles from Devou, one of the finest trail systems in the Midwest; it's an incredible gift to be able to stash the mountain bike at work and ride out the back door when opportunity beckons. Designed and developed by an IMBA-trained local wunderkind, Chad Irey, he kindly passes on the credit to the City of Covington and "thousands of volunteers donating millions of hours" over the years as the Devou Park Trails have gone from drawing board to reality.

For this review, I started in downtown Covington, an urban area just across the river from Cincinnati. It's a good warm up to zip down the paved streets leading to the Lewisburg section of trail, which features a shale-like trailbed not found elsewhere in the park, with some big berms cut into the hillside that drain well. Via a short paved connector at the top, the next section (Full Monty) was as flowing and wild as a whitewater river, cascading down the backside of the park. I barely needed to pedal for over a mile as the trail swooped down, which meant gravity worked its magic and spirited me down the hill. Occasionally technical rocky transitions slowed me, but for the most part, it was a wide-grin ride that made me forget the lingering fatigue from the climb to the top.

This brought me to the site of the Devou Park Trails Phase I, where the grizzled veterans recall it all began with a handful of volunteers armed with shovels and rakes. The well-groomed path climbs via a series of switchbacks from the map board at the base to a section of trail called Devou-tion. This part is the only one-way section of trail in the system; both hikers and bikers are warned against trying to climb Devou-tion as the grade is too steep and those descending are moving fast through some tight corners. My first few times on this section had me jumbling the name from Devou-tion - which suggests polite homage to the gods of balance and stability - to De-evolution, which in my mind more suitably applied to the crazy idea that the shortest distance between two points is a line, albeit not exactly straight, but one that runs smack downhill.

Forging forward, it was back up the top half of the hill, bouncing over familiar roots and rocks while negotiating a few tight passes and an equal number of fast troughs. Cresting the ridge, the Bates-Coombs loop trail encircles around the top - a welcome chance to catch my breath while racing around the rim. By far the longest stretch of trails, it takes a little topographic homework to connect the spurs off the top to the series of trails midway up the hill.

Only three sections remained unridden, all of them comprising the Sleepy Hollow section that just opened in late fall 2014. Beginning just beyond the locked gate that keeps cars and trucks from driving a stretch that was clearly graded and traversed by motorized traffic at some point in long-ago history, it's now called the Old Montague Road Trail. Now it's the most gentle rise in the park, like the rope pull up the beginner's slope at the ski hill. Next, a second creek crossing and then more churning up a series of hills to the peak. Here the trail goes through a hairpin turn and, picking back up the skiing metaphor, it's as big and bold as a mountain run in Vail, CO. Sculpted from a remarkable hillside, I literally flew down this section, up and down-down, a little up, and down-down, turn, down, curve, down, and across a final creek crossing. Wonder of wonders, it then opened up into an even wider section of more downhill, more gravity, more fun. Truly, amusement park roller coasters hold little allure after running these trails time and again. For free. No lines...except for the one I focused intently on following down the run while not falling down.

Soon, I had covered every inch of the trails as intended. I was dirty and tired, but unfortunately not quite done as I had to now climb what had been the fun part of the first downhill (Full Monty), then truly finish by zipping down the rocky return into the heart of Covington.

I wish I could say that I rode every inch, but there were four separate short transitions that proved too challenging. But I had anticipated more, for I had done a race over these trails a couple weeks prior and more often than I would have liked, found myself pushing the bike uphill. It was rather remarkable to me that when free from the haste and hurry of a competition, my eye could see a line through the rocks and pitches that I missed when trying to ride fast and furious. This time, I dialed back a bit, concentrated on balance plus having a little in reserve to pop up and over the obstacles. But I know for sure that the four spots that humbled me this time will be the parts I focus on when running the tape in my head over the winter. A flawless, foot-free ride in Devou is now my goal to start next year.

Looking back, it was a fair amount of numbers ( >12 miles of gorgeous trails, plus countless smiles and panting gasps) and a lot of fun. Devou Park can now rightly claim to be a "destination" location for riders throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. For those coming in from far-flung locations, these trails will prove to be an economic boost for local hotels, eateries and other businesses since many visitors will stay overnight to get in two full days of riding (with hopefully a shower in between). For me, it was a perfect way to while away a couple hours immersed in the metropolitan area's crown jewel of greenery and healthy escape.

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Vise on November 29, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Great climbs. Nice flow downhill at Sleepy Hollow parts. Techy sections on backbowl.

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IMAMXR on September 7, 2014
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Review: Place is just F U N!!! And the only place to get your vert on in the Cincy area.

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Cutbert on August 13, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Fun ride, nice beginning climb and a fun loop at the top. Rode the loop at the top several times, each one faster than the last as I became more familiar with the twists, turns and obstacles. Very well groomed and maintained except for a few downed trees, very fresh, still green so no fault of the local trail crew. Downhills were a blast as well, nice banked turns, great rock platforms through water runoffs which made these fun to cross. Only drawback to this system is for an outsider getting there, GPS had trouble finding it. Once there the locals were very helpful. Had fun and will definitely add this to my list of trails to return to. Looking forward to my next trip to the Cincy area now!

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Guest on August 13, 2014
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Review: Best mountain bike trails around Cincinnati. You'll find a wide array of difficulty, fast trails, great jumps, and some technical sections. Well maintained and extremely fun

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agent6 on August 5, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: This is a great trail system. My first time being there today. I didn't have time for some of the larger loops, but rode Incinerator, Back Bowl, Pig's Tail, and Trail Devou-tion. I was really blown away by the time and effort put into all the banked turns and rock placements. There are some long, steep climbs, and some longer, awesome downhills. Trail Devou-tion is downhill only, and man is it fast. Very impressed with the system, and the train tracks and old incinerator at the trailhead add to the experience. I haven't been to Idlewild trails in Burlington in about a year, but given a choice between the two, I think Devou has a better ride throughout the park.

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armyjoe99 on May 24, 2014
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Review: Nice flow on the down hill and great banked turns

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mike_d_1583 on February 3, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Cool system. Starts by an old incinerator followed by a steady climb, watch out for people racing down the hill. They're always adding stuff. There's more trails across the street too.

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trekbikemaster on May 21, 2013
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Thus trail is great!! I had a lot of fun. I was a bit confused on where to park and where to put in at but I figured it out. Just a heads up, you start out by an old decommisioned incenerary and its mostly up hill from there for about 1.1 miles until you get to the top of the mountain. From there you can choose where to go and its fast and smooth from there on. The trail gives you options to veere off onto to expert sections which are a blast and well maintained. Overall it is a great course.

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cavedweller on September 11, 2012
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Fun ride, just not enough of it. I logged 6 miles but that was doing the loop twice. The "expert downhill" was fun...except for the part where the 50ft free fall ended with a hairpin turn into a rock garden. Overall- fun stuff, just add about 10-15 miles and you'll have a killer trail.

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oneeyeredeye on May 21, 2012
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: trail maintained well still waiting on the other 4 miles to be built. beginner to intermediate skills needed to ride trail. no creek crossings or logovers a few jumps on main trail if you have enough speed. still not impressed. good ride though.

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oneeyeredeye on October 24, 2011
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: rode trail on 10/23/11. after hearing all the hype could'nt wait to get down and ride, and was.................... not impressed at all!!! the ten minute climb to the top was cool though. i think getting through the gate at tressel was the most techinal feature. expert downhill was not double black diamond, maybe single black diamond at best. im sorry but i just did'nt see what all the hype was about. england idlewild down the road is more flowing and techinal

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mrichar3 on October 12, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Great job trail crew...uphill traverse to start is exactly the way I like to start to double diamond downhill section is exciting, but I still prefer the remaining hilltop section so I can enjoy the rather lengthy downhill...word is getting out so get here soon....excellently maintained!

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BZzz on June 15, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: This is the best maintained trail I have ever ridden. The builders have put alot of time into this one. I anxiously await for the full 9 mile loop to be opened!

Similar Trail: Harbin ParK

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stephensondl4 on June 15, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
Review: Great trail that will test your abilities and leave you smiling at the end.

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Devou Park MTB Trail 4.27 out of 5 based on 15 ratings. 15 user reviews.
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