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  1. #1
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    Ashland KY Trails????

    Hello, may be relocating to Ashland Kentucky? What's the MTB situation around there. Any in town trails as well as how far to the nearest epci riding?

    Tx

  2. #2
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    Ashland isn't too terribly far from the Cave Run/Morehead area. Lots of trails in that area.

    I don't know about too much in the immediate area around Ashland other than Greenbo Lake State Park. I'm going down there in a couple weeks for a family reunion and plan on checking out the trails. I know they're multi-use trails, so I'm not expecting them to be all that great.

    I live in the Northern Kentucky area, but my wife's family lives about 20 minutes outside of Ashland so I'm down there every now and then.
    ---What good is a man who won't take a stand?---

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    I just camped out at Greenbo Lake last night and walked about 4 miles of the lake trail this morning. I gotta say, I'm going back & taking my bike. The trail is a little rooty and steep in spots, but it looks to be as good as anything at Cave Run Lake. I hope the rest of the trail system is half as nice as the section I hiked.

  4. #4
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    Hey Innocent, haven't been in Kentucky to long, only been riding here the last month. You say you're from Northern KY huh? What have you found from louisville to the east? I've found quite a bit far west, and from Mammoth Caves to E-town there's been a few, but haven't heard to much north or east of L-ville. Just wondering if you can fill in the gaps.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  5. #5
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    I'm in Independence, more of a suburb of Cincinnati than part of Kentucky, but anyway...

    We have quite a few options between SW ohio, and N. KY. England-Idlewild in Burlington is very nice. 12+ miles of well maintained singletrack ranging from very easy beginner stuff up to some nice techy stuff with lots of man made playthings. Tower Park in Ft. Thomas is very hilly, very techy. I ride rigid singlespeed, so I don't get over there too much.

    On the Ohio side, East Fork State Park is very nice (a lot like Idlewild). Fast trails that are well maintained. Others in the area are Harbin Park, Ceasars Creek (a little farther north of Cincy) Hueston Woods, and Mitchell Park (brand new).

    East of Lexington is where you'll find some of the best MTB'ing in the state. Between Cave Run and Morehead, there's a lot of options. I was down on the Sheltowee Trail last month and had an absolute blast. The terrain is far different from what I'm used to up here in the Ohio River valley, but it was also much much more scenic.

    Check out singletrack.net, it appears to be back up and running (not a lot of members back yet though).

    ...iC...
    ---What good is a man who won't take a stand?---

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentCriminal
    East of Lexington is where you'll find some of the best MTB'ing in the state. Between Cave Run and Morehead, there's a lot of options. I was down on the Sheltowee Trail last month and had an absolute blast. The terrain is far different from what I'm used to up here in the Ohio River valley, but it was also much much more scenic.

    Check out singletrack.net, it appears to be back up and running (not a lot of members back yet though).

    ...iC...
    Cave Run is really nice, but there's presently a conflict with horse-caused trail damage. Several formerly-great trails (Iron Furnace, Caney Loop, etc.) have been made unrideable in the recent couple of years by horse traffic (see the open letter posted by the owner of Cave Run Bike Shop). There's greater pressure on the trails now because of population increases, and I hope that ALL user groups can be accomodated. It's too bad, because with the right trail management, Cave Run could be the Kentucky version of Pisgah.

  7. #7
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    Good job! Greenbo Lake

    Just got back from Greenbo Lake State Park near Ashland, KY...

    I had a very limited amount of time, seeing as I was there for a family reunion. (We go to a different Kentucky park each year. All of us are from northern Kentucky.)

    My wife and I got there early Saturday morning and a some of my extended family was getting ready to go hiking on the Michael Tygarts Trail. Knowing that my wife really wanted to get some hiking in this weekend, I conceded and we hiked the 9 or so hilly miles of mostly singletrack with my parents, my brother, my cousin, and his girlfriend.

    While hiking, I noticed an almost complete lack of tire treads throughout the entire trail and was concerned over whether or not the trail would even be worth riding. There were however, a handful of sections that I thought to myself "I bet this section would be pretty sweet." or "This hill section might be a bit tough."

    After finishing the hike, my wife decided to take a quick nap and get cleaned up for dinner. While she was doing this, my cousins and I decided to hit the same trails on our bikes. They both have full sus. geared, and I have a fully rigid, singlespeed, 29er.

    What a pleasant surprise...The trails although not very technically challenging were quite a bit of fun. Decent sized hills to climb, some very fast, flowing sections, and a couple moderately difficult sections near the lake. (roots and rocks)

    The MT trail was the only one we had time to ride, but I wouldn't hesitate to stop back by the next time I'm in the area and try to hit up the rest of the trail system.

    ...iC...
    ---What good is a man who won't take a stand?---

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    I had a good freind of mine who is a local give me a tour of Greenbo,. I really enjoyed it. If I was in Ashland, I would go to Greenbo instead of Cave run. Its just too much of a crap shoot with cave run and the horse damge as stated earlier.
    I would defaintly go back to Greenbo again.

  9. #9
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    You have some close options to Ashland in both WV and OH. In WV Barboursville Park is within a 20min drive and Beech Fork State Park is probably 30 min. Info on both of these can be found at www.bikebfat.com

    An option in Ohio is Bob Evans Farms in Rio Grande OH, which is about an hours drive from Ashland. You can get more info at Ohio Valley Bicycle Club website A trail map is available or you can view the trail system in Google Maps.

    Other close trail systems would be Putnam County Park in Eleanor WV (about an hour) and Kanawha State Forest in Charleston (about 1hr 15min).

    I hope that helps.

  10. #10
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryG
    Cave Run is really nice, but there's presently a conflict with horse-caused trail damage. Several formerly-great trails (Iron Furnace, Caney Loop, etc.) have been made unrideable in the recent couple of years by horse traffic (see the open letter posted by the owner of Cave Run Bike Shop). There's greater pressure on the trails now because of population increases, and I hope that ALL user groups can be accomodated. It's too bad, because with the right trail management, Cave Run could be the Kentucky version of Pisgah.
    I live very close to Cave Run and ride it whenever I get a chance. The conflict between the user groups is unfortunately true. The equestrian use when the trail is wet completely destroys the trail system until the summer, but there is hope and I'll elaborate in a second.

    The trail system is roughly 120 or 130 miles long. 90% of this gets destroyed by the equestrians because they use it during the thaw and anytime. If we get 3 inches of rain like today I'm sure they'll be out there tomorrow pot holing the trail. They fortunately do not ride one trail. I'm not sure why, but I'm grateful. By riding the Sheltowee from the Visitors center you can ride about 8 miles of singletrack in a 15 mile loop and it's the best downhill I've ridden. You can easily hit 20+ mph here. There is also a lot of climbing. This trail can be ridden after rains because it's on a hillside and drains great.

    During the late summer and fall Cave Run is a great place to ride. We have the above mentioned loop combined with the Caney Loop there's 25 miles of fantastic trail open to mountain biking. Around October when things dry out even more you can do loops over to Zilpo and you could easily do a 40 or 50 mile loop only have to overlap on a 3 mile connector trail.

    The forest service is doing a NEPA (sp) over the current trail system. It would be impossible for the study not to conclude the massive damage caused by the equestrian usage. The photos published by the lbs owner is an example of what the trail system looks like in the spring except for the one trail I mentioned above. Hopefully something positive will come out of this situation and I'll keep everyone posted.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    They fortunately do not ride one trail. I'm not sure why, but I'm grateful. By riding the Sheltowee from the Visitors center you can ride about 8 miles of singletrack in a 15 mile loop and it's the best downhill I've ridden. You can easily hit 20+ mph here. There is also a lot of climbing. This trail can be ridden after rains because it's on a hillside and drains great.
    I agree. That's the best trail there, by a long shot. When I moved to Lexington 8 years ago, I thought it was going to be great for mountain biking. But unfortunately I have to drive 130 miles (Cave Run) or 190 miles (Laurel Lake) round trip to get some real backcountry mountain biking, which just seems a bit too much driving to get in a 3-hour ride. There's a small park in Frankfort (60 mile rt), but MTB is getting to be pretty boring here. With a family, dogs, a house and a job, it's hard to fit in 6-8 hours just to do a ride.

  12. #12
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryG
    I agree. That's the best trail there, by a long shot. When I moved to Lexington 8 years ago, I thought it was going to be great for mountain biking. But unfortunately I have to drive 130 miles (Cave Run) or 190 miles (Laurel Lake) round trip to get some real backcountry mountain biking, which just seems a bit too much driving to get in a 3-hour ride. There's a small park in Frankfort (60 mile rt), but MTB is getting to be pretty boring here. With a family, dogs, a house and a job, it's hard to fit in 6-8 hours just to do a ride.
    Hopefully it will be great for mountain biking in time, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. I drive to Laurel Lake sometimes with my wife for a different type of riding. She enjoys the lake trail. I agree that it's a long way to drive to ride. If you have a free day sometime I'll post back here whenever you can ride to Zilpo again. I haven't been on that side of the lake since the ice storm so I'm not sure what it will look like over there. I cleared the Sheltowee down to the swinging bridge this year. Unfortunately 3 trees have already fallen on the 1 mile section of trail that I reopened. Maybe we'll meet on the trail someday. I'm usually out maintaining the trail or riding it whenever I get a chance. I try to enjoy the mountain biking while the trails are in nice shape.

  13. #13
    ilmfat
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    check out bikebfat.com. most of the locals are cool. barboursville is fun and i hear the kanahwa trace is tough. i like bikes way more than riding, so i don't get over that way too much. i live in ashland. their bike path is an alley running by the flood wall next to the river. not good for urban tho.

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