Cincinnati may be home to the American Cornhole Association, but obviously we think mountain biking is a much better use of time in the Queen City. And hey, there’s no better way to burn off calories from endless bowls of Cincinnati-style chili than going for a mountain bike ride!
If you’re planning a trip to visit Cincinnati, here are five must-ride mountain bike trails to add to your itinerary.
Don’t let the Kentucky address keep you away from the bike trails at Devou Park. Located just across the Ohio River and only a few miles from downtown Cincy, Devou Park offers about a dozen miles of trails set among forested river bluffs. The Cincinnati Off Road Alliance (CORA) has worked hard over the years to build and maintain these trails, which feature excellent signage and flow throughout. Singletracks reviewers say Devou Park “is probably the most fun you could have on a mountain bike” and it’s “a totally fun place to ride.”
Hueston Woods State Park
According to Doug McClintock, president of CORA, Hueston Woods State Park is the largest trail system maintained by the club, with more than a dozen miles of singletrack to explore. Singletracks reader Croy769 says Hueston Woods “is [a] very nice ride–well maintained [with] great flow.”
The England Idlewild Bike Park is also located on the Kentucky side of the Cincinnati metro area, about a 30-minute drive from downtown. Visitors will enjoy the pump track, wooden ramps, and teeter-totters, plus the 10 miles of singletrack arranged in a stacked loop configuration. Once again, CORA gets high marks from visitors for excellent maintenance and signage. Singletracks reviewer manduro says, “the trail system was amazing [with] great flow, as well as technical and advanced sections!”
Mitchell Memorial Forest
The trails at Mitchell Memorial Forest are also maintained by CORA, with four loops totaling about 8 miles of singletrack to explore. Located just inside I-275, the trails are about 18 miles northwest of downtown. Riders won’t find a lot of elevation gain or loss here, but there’s plenty of everything else, according to Singletracks reviewer wyoming_cruiser: “several whoop-dee-doo roller coaster sections throughout keep the flow rolling, while some great switchbacks, narrow […] tree passages, rock gardens, and a log-over or two make this trail great for beginner and […] intermediate rider[s].”
East Fork State Park
Doug McClintock tells us East Fork State Park is the second most popular trail system in the Cincinnati area, and judging by the photos and reviews, it’s easy to see why. Singletracks readers report the trails are great for beginners and early intermediate riders, though there are still a few fun technical sections to be found within the trail system. There aren’t any sustained climbs or descents to speak of, but riders will find themselves climbing and descending often on a typical 8-mile ride.
Visitors to the Cincinnati area who are able to travel a bit further afield have many excellent singletrack options within a 2-hour drive. However, none are as highly revered as Brown County in Indiana.
Brown County Park
Sprawling Brown County State Park in central Indiana is located less than two hours east of downtown Cincinnati, offering at least 30 miles of forested singletrack bliss. IMBA has named Brown County both an IMBA Epic and a Bronze-level Ride Center, making it a worthwhile destination for anyone visiting the region. Singletracks reviewer Mitch Bird says Brown County is the “best of the best in the Hoosier state. [The trail system has] great flow and not too many strenuous climbs.”