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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 23 mi (37 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,273/1 ft
Total: 99 riders
 

Mountain Biking Lake Hope State Park

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#24 of 107 mountain bike trails in Ohio
#1577 in the world

Quite possibly the best singletrack in OH. Well maintained trails and very flowy. Low on the technical side, but the flow and speed you can carry, coupled with the relative distance of the loops (25 miles or so of pure singletrack) make it darn near impossible to beat in OH. Have fun!

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Take OH-56 (Union St) out of Athens, OH about 12 miles, then turn left on OH-278 for another 5 or so miles. The park is on the right, look for signs to the campground where you can camp and jump on the trail from your site, or park in next to the giant furnace on the right off of 278 and ride in from the Hope Furnace Trail.
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(on Sep 20, 2019)
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Lake Hope MTB, Ohio
 

Mountain Bike Trails Near Athens, Ohio

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Reviews

  • Shad Bosh
    *****

    Really nice trail. You can tell it's well maintained. There were a couple of downed trees that were recent (had leaves) that hadn't been cleared, but no worries there. I am an older MTBer so the difficulty was plenty for me. In spots it's technical, where line selection really matters, but overall not too technical. Good mix of climbs and downhills. Great workout! I did 17 miles of it and am exhausted. Will definitely be back.

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  • Adam Angelona
    ****

    The trails here are great. Old school singletrack with nice flow. I recommend getting the nicer map from Little Fish Brewery. It's more accurate than the maps on the trail.

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  • bsmith7853
    ****

    Very fun trail. Several comments from the past refer to downed trees. I ran into only one. I also thought the trail markings were very clear at major intersections. No blazes, but clear signage at the junctions. Mostly fast, flowy single-track, with occasional rocky, rooty sections. Really enjoyed the campground. My wife and I had a whole loop to ourselves. Clean showers. Road Copperhead, Wildcat, Bobcat, Yosemite, all in good shape.

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  • jdmbird83
    *****

    This is my go to trail when I'm willing to drive over an hour to go for a ride. Which, in the summer months is nearly every weekend. Great flowy trails, some technical features. And lots of mileage, with multiple choices to change up your ride each time.

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  • mongwolf
    *****

    I hope to ride here in the future, maybe this fall. In reading the reviews I find the disparity of comments interesting. Even though I haven't been to Lake Hope yet, I'm going to make a hypothesis of why such differences in comments exist.

    When LH gets a low rating it seems mainly to do with poor trail maintenance, especially for large down trees. Positive reviews speak highly of trail maintenance, beautiful forests, great flow and speed ... high fun factor.

    So here is my hypothesis. I'm guessing that many of the trails at LH run through old growth forest. Old growth forest in Ohio have a high density of large old trees, and the forests regenerate themselves by windfall of these old trees. In forest ecology we call this gap phase regeneration. An old large trees falls in the forest, leaving a large gap in the forest canopy for sun light to reach the forest floor. In this opening an abundance of new seedlings are established. In the forests at LH there would be potential for an abundance of old trees fallen across the trails. This would require some pretty intense maintenance.

    It sounds like the trail caretakers can't get out frequently enough to cut up all these large fallen trees. It also sounds like when the caretakers do get out and clean up the trees that they do a good job. Thus it seems that at LH it's either feast or famine. Looking forward to riding at LH soon to see for myself.

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  • Jvickroy1013
    ****

    Rode this today for the first time today, did not get too ride the full thing due too time, but trails were in decent shape, up keep seemed good, spoke with a worker on the way in and he stated they had been clearing the trails. My only conplaint is the lack of marking on the trails, once you leave the lot you wont see a sign or mark, even where the trails connect which makes it tricky if you dont know where you are going

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  • Christopher M
    ***

    Was in the area for a family get together and was able to get in here for a few miles. I parked at the old furnace and rode in from there. Biggest complaint which has been noted a few times here are downed trees. Many too large to ride over or completely blocking the trail. If I was from the area I probably wouldn't go back but if your visiting it a decent trail. Probably had better loops but was on a time crunch.

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  • kwille
    ****

    Nice flowing trails, limited technical. My favorite location in Ohio. Camping & cabins available. Great restaurant in the park.

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  • Brad Urwin
    *****

    Lake hope is a fantastic XC ride. Miles of well marked and maintained single track. Fun, flowing and fast with a little bit of technical twists and bumps to keep it all mixed up. Plus camping and a lake. Its easy to spend a weekend there.

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  • rsb201
    *****

    Great trail system. Tons of flow and well maintained. Easy to navigate with great signage. There is a bit of tech sections but mostly moderate flow. If your near SE Ohio. Check it out for sure

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  • khapkaos
    *

    Trails are trashed - at least the 6 miles I rode before I gave up in an unmarked swamp. I've ridden on almost every type of trail in 20 years in the saddle. When built these trails must have been great - maintenance is very poor since then. It was a matter of ride 1/2 mile - climb over/thru a downed tree - and repeat.

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  • Jim Cummings
    ****

    Great network of trails through the hills and forest around Lake Hope. The camping is great but the lake is not really suitable for an after-ride swim.

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  • NinerJ
    ****

    Lots of downed trees on the wildcat trail we started out on as well as some of the other trails after talking with a few riders last sunday near lake ridge rd and long ridge rd junction. Other than that good fast ST trails, that shed water quickly. Like others have said park at grouse point for the best combination of trail access.

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  • RelytJJ
    ****

    I recommend following malva's advice in his posting below. I did, starting at Grouse Point and taking Wildcat -> Bobcat -> trail I forgot the name of -> Copperhead back around to Grouse Point. You could make several different circuits from this starting point. Good flow and very well marked signage. Will be making the trip out from Cincy to ride again for sure.

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  • phasty
    *****

    Nice trails!I like the fact there are plenty of places to get water or use the restroom if needed. The trails where marked really good. I normally ride Great Seal but I will defiantly be back when I need a more relaxed ride.

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  • oneeyeredeye
    *****

    great singletrack ride. probably the best in ohio. nice climbs and great downhills. trails are easy to remember for how many miles there are. there is water at the cemetary above wildcat trail.

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  • T.McGee
    ****

    For the most part these trails are pretty well maintained. Nice single track with smooth rolling hills. We try to come here at least once a year. It is a good challenge for beginners and a fast flowing ride those who are more experienced.

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  • malva
    ****

    I would reccomend parking at the Grousepoint on which you access Wildcat trails which is a fun downhill course after while you will reacha n intersection where there are signs and you can take Bobcat which is more technical since its a narrower trail with the cliff to your left side with some rocks ups/down. Later on taking Copperhead would be a great options which is a fun ups and downs. This trails are well marked and have maps in several points.
    On another ocassion I tried a short ride parking next to the Dam and did Sidewinder which haves steeps ups and downs but trail maintainance is not that great. Tried to take Little sandy trail to the left (after doing Sidewinder) but found that its almost overtaken by vegetation...so had to turn back in order to avoid getting lost. Did not love Sidewinder much, but had a blast doind Wildcat, Bobcat, Copperhead! Excellent trails but expect some climbing ahead!

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  • mtn417
    *****

    All the trails are fun! I agree with other reviews. I'd add that the Lakeside Trail is pretty fun IMHO, despite having more roots. Many places to park, grills, swimming(awesome mid-summer post ride)

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  • getsomemorrison
    *****

    This is some of the fastest flowing single track that I have ever ridden, you can really crank out the mileage here. After riding here a few times I recommend parking at grouse point it gives you the option of doing multiple loops. and in the summer time you can jump in the lake and cool off after riding. Oh yea also Ive never seen a park that has better signage unlike some other places ive been, its really easy to figure out where you are and where you need to go* Review edited 9/19/2010

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