January 14, 2015
Hueston Woods is a standout in the region for having a bit of everything; old school gnarl married with new school IMBA creating quite a diverse trail system. The trail crew seems to have been a lot more active lately as they have been gradually improving wet spots, removing confusing connectors and adding new mileage regularly. You won't find yourself bombing down hill hitting banks like Devou or constantly chugging up grades like Harbin; what you will find is a happy medium with time spent climbing and descending in about equal parts and plenty of nice scenery in between.
The difficulty ranges from easy breeze rides on the Green trails, the ability to get fast and flowy with the Blue, and plenty of narrow hillside climbing and descending over roots, drops as well as a small air bridge that is deceptively high on the Red. Hueston Woods is now home to one of the stops on the Tri-State 6HRS race and rumor has it that a legit bike rental shop is slated to return to the park in the near future. Things are definitely looking up for the trails at Hueston Woods.
- Almost a mile (my phone and gps disagree about how long it actually is, between .6 and .9) of new trail has been added over the winter with some gnarly log overs and a jump, all with bypass lines if you are not into that sort of thing. In addition to the new trail is a reroute of a large portion of the green loop that takes the trail out of the low lying area that never seemed to drain and adds a few armored drainage crossings to the mix. A reroute of the parking lot trail (which was closed at the parking lot entrance) has been put in which now takes you from the new trailhead to a road crossing that dumps you off near the old trailhead.
- Bikewise of Oxford is slated to open up a rental service sometime soon. I don't know any specifics other than they'll probably rent Trek bikes, and they may sell refreshments.
A few things to note:
-Julie's is no more.
-Yes, some sections of the red trails are weedy in the summer but never anywhere near overgrown. A number of sections on red are difficult and don't see the amount of traffic that the rest of the system sees. Also, weeds tend to grow fast. Keep that in mind.
-The cabin has been moved to the new trail head at the Hedge Row picnic area (off Hedge Row Rd., just up the road from the old trail head) next to the sled hill. Changing rooms, fire pit and a hanging bike rack have appeared there in the last 6 months which is a good sign.
-If you find yourself on an extremely overgrown trail, there's a good chance you're on a trail that was closed so it could return to nature. Some of the more ornery riders in the area have been known to remove obstacles to ride closed trail.
-As another reviewer states, this is SW Ohio, there are roots. Get used to it. These are mountain bike trails not beach cruiser bike paths. Stop creating side tracks around things. If you cannot ride it, get off the bike and walk over it.