Mountain Biking

Cincinnati Parks is planning a new mountain bike skills training trail in Mount Airy – The Cincinnati Enquirer


Cincinnati is getting a new bike skills park, the first of its kind in the city.

Representatives from Cincinnati Off Road Alliance (CORA) and Cincinnati Parks have been working hard to bring this new trail, targeting avid mountain bikers, to Mount Airy.

The planned biking trail will be be beginner-friendly, youth-friendly and will have adaptive options for those who do not ride a traditional two-wheel bike.

CORA, a non-profit, full of volunteers dedicated to mountain-biking and maintaining trails across the city. “It’s one thing to build a trail but you gotta’ keep the trails, drainage and things like that maintained. There’s a lot of volunteer hours that go into that,” said Liv Birkenhauer, President of CORA.

CORA already has partnered with Cincinnati Parks to create around 4 miles of trails in Mount Airy: the Creamy Whip Trail and the Cherry on Top trail near Putz’s Creamy Whip. CORA, with its over 500 members, built these trails for mountain bikers as well as walkers.

The new bike skill training area is still in the planning phases but the Cincinnati Parks board has approved the trail.

A rendering of a skills park in Bentonville, Arkansas, was shown on the Cincinnati Parks Facebook page to show what the new trail in Mount Airy Forest could look like.

Wyoming resident Ron Callahan visited the Arkansas park last year, and shared a photo of how the rendering compares to the actual park.

 There’s no word yet on how much the new trail might cost but CORA and Cincinnati Parks with Progressive Bike Ramps to design the new skills park. It will be the first place in the city for bikers to practice riding over bridges, through tunnels called runners and over uneven terrain.

“Right now, there’s been a concentrated effort among surrounding communities as well as parks to look at Mount Airy and identify better ways to use the space,” said Rocky Merz, Communications, Engagement & Volunteers, Division Manager for the Cincinnati Parks.

Mount Airy Forest is Cincinnati’s largest park at almost 1,500 acres.

Merz says that the Cincinnati Parks will consult community members throughout the planning and design process. “There’s no design done deal because we do want to engage the community with this,” Merz said. There will be opportunities for the community to give feedback, he said

CORA has already begun fundraising for the new bike trail. Cincinnati Parks Foundation has also agreed to assist with funding.

In addition to the new trail, the parking lot at Mount Airy will also be expanded. 

“We want to make sure that we get it right, that we are putting something in there that people are going to use. That it best serves that park and that use of that space,” Merz said. “People love Mount Airy but it is under utilized. We want to evolve this to the next level.”