Bike trail “gears up” for another summer

Why everyone should experience Mitchell Memorial Forest’s mountain bike trail


With summer quickly approaching, the opportunity to partake in one of my favorite things to do will present itself yet again: mountain biking at Mitchell Memorial Forest.

Mitchell Memorial Forest, or “Mitchell Park” as my family has always referred to it, is located on Zion Road, right up the street from our neighborhood. Its close proximity to our home has made it feel like an extension to our neighborhood over the years; it’s a special place where many memories have been made, are being made, and where they will continue to be made.

When plans were announced to construct a bike trail back in 2007 my family and others were a little skeptical as to what the addition of a mountain bike trail would do (if anything) to our beloved park.

The trail opened on June 10th, 2008 after being built by the Cincinnati Off Road Alliance (CORA), which devotes itself to integrating mountain bike trails all over the Cincinnati area.

Six years of constantly elongating the trail since its opening have led the trail to its current 8 mile length. The mountain bike trail at Mitchell Memorial Forest has proved itself to be a fantastic addition to the park.

Mitchell Memorial Forest Bike Trail Map
Mitchell Memorial Forest Bike Trail Map

I am not an expert mountain biker, nor do I aspire to be one. When riding on the trail I still use my mongoose from 2006, which has a seat that is so stiff I have bruises in places I didn’t know you could get a bruise (despite me stuffing the seat cover with various kinds of padding), the wire which manipulates the brakes is fraying which causes scrapes and cuts on my legs (despite me trying to repair them on several occasions), and the gear shifts are so faulty that I have to stop periodically to put the chain back on the gears.

Even though my bike may not be top of the line, it gets the job done.

The trails themselves are exhilarating. Up, down, over, around, beside, and across, the trail is extremely dynamic. A feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment is always experienced when I finish any part of the trail because, though exhilarating, it can really kick your butt. But hey, if I can do it so can you.

Besides being physically entertaining, the trails are absolutely stunning to see. I have always connected with nature, and in the spring, summer, and fall (when the trail is open), the trees and wildlife become postcards for the seasons. The beauty of the forest is unleashed when it is just you and it. As you proceed deeper and deeper into the woods the trail gets more and more quiet, giving the trail a kind of somber and spiritual vibe.

A cathedral of trees on Mitchell Memorial Forest's mountain bike trail
A cathedral of trees on Mitchell Memorial Forest’s mountain bike trail

Not a bike person? The trails are open to hike as well! Sometimes when I’m not feeling like putting up with my afore-mentioned bike, I decide to just walk the trail instead. Walking the trail is equally as rewarding and fulfilling, minus the cuts and bruises.

As you are planning your summer bucket list, be sure to include the mountain bike trail at Mitchell Memorial Forest, and since you will have to buy either a season pass or one day pass to get into the park anyway, take advantage of the other features of this gem of a park in the Great Parks of Hamilton County family!

Another fantastic shot of the bike trail
Another fantastic shot of the bike trail


Check out these videos of the mountain bike trail!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3