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Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State
As the new fall semester gets underway, a new bike-sharing program also gets underway at Kent State University. The system is called Flashfleet, and is free to students and staff using their FLASHcard, the school’s campus ID. The bike stations are located at six locations throughout the campus, and also provide a lock and helmet with each bike. More information about the program can be found at: www.kent.edu/flashfleet
The mountain biking trail system at Lake Hope State Park in Southeastern Ohio has been known as a destination-worthy place for quite some time. So, with the day free of other obligations on Labor Day, three of us decided to make the trip down there to check it out for the first time.
The trails were in excellent condition; very dry, which was not surprising given the recent dry weather. It’s hard to tell, but we suspected, based on several dry stream crossings throughout the trail network, that it gets a little sloppy in the springtime.
The park has several named trails that vary in length from about one mile to seven miles, which make it easy for a beginner looking for a short sample of trail riding. You have to do a little planning to do a longer loop that takes in all, or most, of the available terrain. We were happy with the loop that we ended up putting together, which ended up at 20 miles on the nose. Here’s what to do if you’d like to follow the same route:
This loop leaves out the Yosemite, Yosemite Falls, Wildcat, and Little Sandy Trails; a good excuse to return for more exploration at a later date!
The Hope Furnace Trail is relatively flat compared to the other trails, and has lots of wooden foot bridges, which you may or may not have to walk your bike across, depending upon your riding skills. All of the trails are multi-use, so watch out for and yield to hikers, especially on the Hope Furnace Trail.
A very good trail map is available courtesy of Cycle Path Bicycles of Athens.