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Level: Beginner
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +784/539 ft
Total: 25 riders

Mountain Biking Paint Creek State Park

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#78 of 107 mountain bike trails in Ohio
#11225 in the world

two loops, north and south. Best to do North for a warm up, then south for the singletrack. Nothing really special here for the more advanced, but this would be a great intro to singletrack for beginners. Races are sometimes held here (which is how I found it.) Campground nearby.

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
Rt. 50 to Rapid Forge Rd (north) to the state park.
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(on Oct 10, 2015)
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Tacky (on Apr 25, 2016)
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  • mboone

    I too live fairly close to Paint Creek and would love to see the trail better maintained. I have ridden there over many years and the maintenance has been very hit or miss. I tried going over Memorial Day thinking that maybe the trails would be maintained with it being a holiday, but they were basically not rideable due to thorns, weeds, etc.

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  • nm456

    Turn my experience here all the trails are wide not singletrack trails they're very bumpy and it was overall pretty poor experience. I wouldn't go back here I don't recommend my friends to go here. The trails are not maintained. It's confusing such that it's hard to tell the difference between the mt biking trails in the frisbee golf course trails on the south end. As for the north end trails there was one interesting downhill part and the area near the lake is interesting because you can actually go down near the lake and hang out. Again if you're a beginner I would not recommend this course. It could even turned someone off to mountain biking but if you are an intermediate or expert mountain biker just looking to get out on some trails or get some exercise or practice maybe going up over logs or over some very gnarly tree roots this might be a good option for you but otherwise you aren't going faster than 5 to 8 mph throughout Most of the trail unfortunately. This is not a singletrack trail and unfortunately most of the track has tall grass near it

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  • JMSC & RRC

    We rode this last weekend and it was a gorgeous day. Trails are nice and not too constructed in the sides. But many sections need a now and trim. Wasn't expecting grass over most of the north loop and done of the south. That made for slower going. Being early in the season I should have taken a pair of hand pruners with me to trim back rogue thorny branches that haven't been trimmed yet this year. There were still a number of spots, especially on the north loop, that were quite soggy, but with the long grass you didn't see them coming until you were bogged down and tire was spinning. Went and did a loop around the campground too which afforded some great spots to check out the beautiful lake (and the two osprey conducting aerial mating courtship displays!). All in all a fun good ride and worth the drive over from Mason.

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  • kfuller1000

    This trail could be great if maintained which is why I gave it a 3. Based on today's ride it would get a -1. North loop could be easy and super fast but it is soo overgrown that I was hunkered down over my bars dodging overgrowth. The one extension I tried to take literally disappeared and I was swallowed by poison ivy. Very disappointing and left me longing for Carolina singletrack!

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  • skierdave

    Also rode July 16. Parking lot and trails are easy to find. Only did the north loop. It's an ok trail that really just needs some maintenance. The north loop is mostly grassy doubletrack about 4 feet wide. Not much in the way of views, for the most part you're in very brushy forest. This can be ridden quite fast, just stay ready to absorb unexpected bumps as the grass tends to hide features of the ground underneath. There was quite a bit of overgrowth (some of it prickly) to duck & dodge. The north loop has two sections of singletrack that split off the main loop. I took the first (riding counter clockwise) That set of single track really needs a chain saw crew. There were multiple fallen trees across the trail including one huge dead fall that was difficult enough to get around it had me doubting this was the actual trail. I spent enough time dragging my bike though dense undergrowth that I didn't have time to try the second length of single track. Minus the dead trees it would be an enjoyable though somewhat unremarkable bit of singletrack. (except for a rather steep stream crossing that was dry at this time.) Wish I'd had time to try the south loop.* Review edited 7/17/2011* Review edited 7/17/2011

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  • Trail_Jogger

    I rode these trails on July 16th and the drive down from Columbus was worth it. I would rate this trail as Outstanding. The parking lot and trail head are located at 36-16.245N and 083-22.839W on Taylor Road right at the entrance of the campground. The lot is paved with a restroom and the trail head, both north and south, are well-marked and clearly visible from the parking lot. The north trail is mainly very, very fast single track through a grass path with optional stretches through woods. I recommend riding in a clockwise direction to get the longest downhills. The only hazards on this trail are quite a few leaning trees that you'll need to duck to get under and a few raspberry bushes that you should try not to hit. The south trail starts through some great pines then winds through the woods to reach Little Pine Pond. There were about six major trees down where you'll need to hike-a-bike, but the trail was worth it. There is very little scenery on the ride. After the ride, though, make it a point to
    turn right out of the parking lot and go down to the boat launch ramp where you can see alot of the lake. Then go back up the hill and drive along Reservoir Road and across the dam where the scenery is outstanding on both sides of the dam. Once across the dam, turn left at the US Army Corps of Engineers building and go down to the park at the bottom of the spillway. When you're on the dam and looking toward the lake, the peninsula out in the water with the fence on it is the southernmost point of the South Loop. The sign says No Mountain Bikes because there is a trail leading here from the playground so you don't want to accidently hit anyone. It was early morning so I rode it. The north loop is where I would take a newbie to get them excited about riding fast singletrack while the south loop is where I'd take them to learn more technical skills.

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  • jeff.neuman

    After Rapid Forge take a left into the park main entrance. There will be a parking area on the right after driving through a gully. It's been a couple of years, but I thought the trails were worth the drive if you like serious speed. Very much like Ceaser's Creek.

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  • John Fisch

    Theres a couple stretches of highly entertaining singletrack here. Unfortunately, the singletrack is very short and separated by long stretches of boring dirt road or doubletrack. Unless you live nearby, there's no reason to venture here.

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