New mountain bike path caters to new and experienced mountain bikers


WHITEHOUSE, OH (WNWO) - A new attraction at Oak Openings is appealing to both extreme sport enthusiasts and cycling novices alike. NBC 24 visited the new Beach Ridge mountain biking trail to learn all about what the attraction has to offer.

The 5 and a half mile, multi-loop trail has been 10 years in the making. However, the projects wheels really got rolling last year.

"About a year ago, we were able to acquire a large parcel of property on the west side of Oak Openings," explained Joe Fausnaugh, Chief of Operations at Oak Openings. "And that gave us an opportunity to put in a large mountain bike trail system that would have minimal impact on the rest of the park. So in February we brought together a stake holder group of local bike advocates and bike shops. And we asked them, 'If we're going to do this, how do we make it cool?' "

The answer? A variety of twist and turns, not to mention the multiple man-made obstacles. The existing path has a rolling bridge, jumps, and a teeter-totter, just to name a few. Not to worry, though, if you don't feel ready to start doing wheelies.

"Those who aren't looking for that challenge: whenever we add a feature like this, we add a way to get around it."

Due to the course's narrow width, the entire construction process had to be done by hand.

"Over 100 volunteers, who completed over 1000 hours of volunteer labor. So it was raking, it was shoveling, and using a hand tamper to pack the earth afterwards. So a lot of sweat."

The course has only been open since May 7th, but it is already attracting praise.

"The teeter-totter was definitely a challenge," expressed Aaron Sage, as he packed his bike away after a long ride through the trail. "I've got to get a little better at bike handling that. But just the overall beauty of it. It's just really well laid out. A lot of fun features and a challenge for many different levels of bike handling."

This course is only phase one. Next, Fausnaugh says they hope to extend the trail for a total of eleven miles, and to, of course, add a few more tricks along the way

Park officials say they expect over 70,000 people to use the trail annually. And they believe people will travel up to 4 hours to make it here. Access to the trail is at the Springbrook area off of State Route 64.

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