Over the weekend of July 28th to the 31st I camped with family and friends at Barkcamp State Park in Ohio. Our camping group wanted to visit Wheeling WV and I wanted to mountain bike on vacation so the State Park seemed to be a perfect fit.
The park was a pleasant surprise for camping. The sites are spacious, fairly level and there is a nice amount of shaded sites. We arrived a day after heavy storms came through and the park employees sure put allot of work and care into cleaning up the park.
The mountain bike trails are located on the right after the second bridge down at the lake. There is a large road sign at the trail entrance with a bicycle on it. A trail map would have been nice to have but there does not seem to be one yet. The local trail builders were in the process of getting approval for direction arrows which will help substantially. The first day there I ended up riding the trails backwards because I chose the wrong direction at the first fork (go up the hill to the left not straight).
On my second day of riding I decided to bring my camera and take some trail photos while exploring the trails in the opposite direction. I have attached a photo of one of the trail features to this thread. About half way through my first lap I ran into one of the trail builders from the Ohio Valley Mountain Bike Association. I am so sorry but for the life of my I can not remember her name. She mentioned that there were others out working on storm damage and trail expansion so I tagged along on the ride to find the others. We found that all of the trees had been cut out that came down in the storm a couple days ago and also came across a trail expansion that was done that day. The builders sure have a great eye for taking advantage of the natural surroundings and the bermed turn and roller were a pleasant surprise. The immediate attention to the storm damage was great to see also, it really shows how much care goes into the single track here.
After finishing our first lap around the trails we met up with the 2 other guys out working on the trails. Again I am sorry but I can not remember your names. I came along again for another lap with the 3 from OVMBA for a fast paced lap through the trails. Let me tell you what a blast it was to ride with them.
The trails are fast and smooth, a nice change from the rocks of Eastern Pennsylvania. The lines that the builders picked matched the terrain wonderfully and this made the trails flow extremely well. While riding it was hard to pick a section or loop in particular that stood out to me as my favorite since every section had its neat characteristics which made my want to ride it again.
It was great to hear the goals they have for the future trail expansions here at the park. Right now i would guess there is around 4 miles with no repeats at this point. In the near future, or already completed, another loop within the riding area was going to be constructed. They already had the lines planned and were going to start benching soon. A loop around the lake is also in the future. Barkamp is already a great place to stop in and ride but it is really going to become a riding destination in the near future. With more millage, which is planned, you will easily be able to make a day of riding at the park. With the camping right at the park, staying here to enjoy the trails should definitely be considered by all.
I would like to thank the trail builders from OVMBA and everyone I rode with that afternoon. It was great to meet everyone. Please pass on my greeting and thanks to everyone I met that day.
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Thread: Barkcamp Ohio State Park
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