9 Great North American Indoor MTB Parks to Mix Up Your Wintertime Riding

While threats of trail closure continue to climb at an alarming rate, a relatively new concept of riding is on the rise and sweeping the nation (and beyond) in the form of indoor mountain bike parks. For most, these indoor riding oases will never take the place of any outdoor trail, but in times of inclement weather, a roid-driven El Niño, in regions where dirt lies beneath several feet of snow, and in cases where you just want to mix it up, wax some skill, or try something different, the indoor bike park is there for you.

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photo: Lumberyard

There are certainly more, but here we’ve gathered nine of the most exciting, feature-filled indoor parks spanning the lower 48 and Canada so you can beat the wintertime blues right now!

Ray’s Indoor Bike Park: Cleveland, OH & Milwaukee, WI

  • Sq ft: 130,000 (OH), 110,000 (WI) (12,077m² & 10,219m², respectively)
  • In-house service/repair: No
  • Rentals: bikes and bike storage. Helmet and armor is FREE with admission.
  • Specials: 1st-timer deals Mon-Fri
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Ray’s Women’s Weekend, 2012. photo: Emily Mills via Flickr Creative Commons (no changes made)

We’ll start off with the big guns. The first of its kind and the one that started them all: Ray’s! If you’ve ever spent a winter in the Upper Midwest, you understand why an indoor MTB park in Ohio and Wisconsin couldn’t make more sense. Ray Petro invested all of his life savings plus a $25,000 loan for start-up simply because he wanted to ride during the winter. Not only did he accomplish that, but he also became an indoor park industry leader, inspiration for so many would-be indoor bike entrepreneurs, and a hero for locals looking to escape the punishing Midwest off-season.

Lumberyard: Portland, OR

  • Sq ft: 48,000 (4460m²)
  • In-house service/repair: Yes
  • Rentals: bikes, helmet, armor, bike storage to members for a fee
  • Specials: Two-for-One every Tuesday from 6p-10p
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Lumberyard. photo: Chris Daniels

When the Lumberyard threw open its doors in Spring 2012, it became the first indoor MTB park west of the Mississippi and gave the mountain bike-unfriendly city of Portland a much-needed opportunity. Will Heiberg and Michael Whitesel co-founded Lumberyard, revamping an old bowling alley (heads up!) into a beautiful mosaic of pumps, bumps, and jumps with all ages and skill in mind. When you visit, don’t forget to sign up for the Sniper Action Photo to snag your high-flying no-hands banger.

CranX Bike and Sports Park: Syracuse, NY

  • Sq ft: 90,000 (8361m²)
  • In-house service/repair: Yes
  • Rentals: bike, helmet, armor, bike storage available to all and free to members
  • Specials: discounted entrance weekdays and weekends after 5p
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photo: CranX Bike Park

Watching video after video of each park listed here was a ride in and of itself, but CranX in Syracuse, NY gets my vote as the most intriguing. And never mind the high-flying action to be had indoors–come summertime, Cranx has an outdoor bike yard in excess of 3 acres! To put that into perspective, CranX outdoor park is as big as Ray’s of Cleveland, the second largest park listed.

The Wheel Mill: Pittsburgh, PA

  • Sq ft: 80,000 (7432m²)
  • In-house service/repair: yes, but limited to small repairs
  • Rentals: bike, helmet, armor, bike storage to members
  • Specials: Ladies Night every Monday, MTB night every Thursday
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photo: The Wheel Mill

The Wheel Mill is the brainchild of Harry Geyer and was built through careful collaborative efforts, by local volunteers alongside legendary trail builders, and as organically as possible. In fact, 75% of the park was assembled with reclaimed lumbar and other scrapped material. Opened Spring of 2013, The Wheel Mill has since prided itself as a cycling hub for Pittsburgh, providing space for all ages and skill level, events, clinics, and some serious thrashing.

Wasatch Indoor Bike Park: Salt Lake City, UT

  • Sq ft: 27,000 (2508m²)
  • In-house service/repair: No
  • Rentals: bike, helmet, armor, bike storage to members
  • Specials: monthly overnighters (BYOB… sleeping bag, that is)

As it stands, there are only three indoor MTB parks located in the lower 48 west of the Mississippi, and two are in the Pacific Northwest. For those anywhere in between, it’s the Wasatch Indoor Bike Park located near downtown SLC, UT. Since opening in September, 2014, creator Spencer Randle has been busy expanding the park from the initial 11,000 sq ft space to a potential 50,000. With each successive expansion comes bigger features, faster lines, and more good times.

 Burlington Bike Park: Burlington, WA

  • Sq ft: 40,000 (3716m²)
  • In-house service/repair: Yes, Skagit Cycle
  • Rentals: bike and helmet
  • Specials: Free lesson Friday with instructors on course
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Burlington Bike Park. photo: Tony Archibeque Jr. of Northern Embassy

What would you do with 180 semi truck loads of dirt? Well, if you take a peek inside Burlington Bike Park’s indoor facility, you’ll see what they did. Burlington’s one acre of pumps, bumps, and jumps has been brought to you by real dirt! Word on the street is that founder and park builder, Joe Prisel, is the brains behind Portland’s Lumberyard and numerous features at Ray’s in Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Joyride 150: Toronto, ON, Canada

  • Sq ft: 100,000 (9290m²)
  • In-house service/repair: Yes
  • Rentals: bike, helmet, armor, bike storage to members
  • Specials: Old guys (30+) Night every Thursday, Women’s Night every Tuesday
Photo: Linda Shin
Photo: Linda Shin

Joyride 150 was established six years ago by avid riders Scott Bentley and Mark Summers in order to keep riding throughout the year, improve skills, and welcome new folks to the biking community. In 2016, the passion continues rolling forward upon a foundation of capable staff, the ability to change the riding features in the park, and a commitment to having a good time.

Mega Cavern Underground Bike Park: Louisville, KY

  • Sq ft: 320,000 (29,728m²)
  • In house service/repair: limited
  • Rentals: bike and helmet
  • Specials: daily and multi-day pricing, punch cards, group rates
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photo: Mega Cavern Bike Park

Finally, what list of this nature could possibly be complete without Mega Cavern? Never mind the comforts of a climate-controlled bike park, Louisville’s bike cave is 100 feet underground! Talk about off-the-chart trails, this subterranean system is literally under the radar. Mega Cavern has over 320,000 square feet including over 45 trails comprised of jump lines, pump tracks, dual slalom, BMX, and cross country singletrack all in a limestone cave 10 stories below the earth’s surface, making this “underdoor” park not only one-of-a-kind, but the largest of its kind.

Other honorable indoor mentions include the Air Dome in Whistler, BC and the Highland Training Center at Highland Mountain Bike Park, NH, but they are only open in the summer during the outdoor bike park season.

The beauty of an indoor bike park’s “trail” design is that it’s only limited by a builder’s imagination (and maybe the walls and ceiling, too). What begins as a blank canvas, ends up becoming nothing short of fun, fast, high-flying works of art.

If there’s an indoor bike park we missed, we and Singletrackers everywhere want to know! Tell us about your indoor bike park in the comments below.