On June 7, 2014, the Cleveland Metroparks unveiled their third mountain biking trail system to the public. Located in the Bedford Reservation in Bedford, Ohio, the Bedford Singletrack Mountain Bike Trail uses an innovative design and layout.
Very beginner-friendly, the trail consists of several short loops that start and end on the park's paved All-Purpose Trail (APT). So, you can try out the mountain bike trail in bite-size pieces, connecting as many or few sections of singletrack as you want, always with a bail-out point nearby on the APT.
If you ride the entire system of singletrack, plus the connecting sections of All-Purpose Trail, you'll ride a little over 12 miles.
The trail is open to mountain bikers and hikers. To minimize conflicts, the layout and signage is designed so that mountain bikers travel in one direction, while hikers travel in the opposite direction.
The trail also crosses and overlaps the park's bridle trails in a few places, so observe proper trail etiquette in these areas; stop and yield to horses.
The primary mountain biking trailhead is located at the Egbert Picnic Shelter, located at the northern end of the Gorge Parkway.
From Cleveland and other points north, west, or northeast:
- Take I-480 East or I-271 South.
- Take Exit 23 for Forbes Rd/Broadway Ave.
- At the first traffic light, turn RIGHT onto Forbes Rd.
- At the next immediate traffic light, turn RIGHT onto Broadway Ave.
- Make a gentle LEFT onto Union St.
- Turn LEFT onto Egbert Rd.
- Turn RIGHT onto Gorge Pkwy.
- Parking lot is just ahead on the right.
From Akron and other points south or southeast:
- Take I-480 West or I-271 North.
- Take Exit 23 for Forbes Rd/Broadway Ave.
- Turn LEFT onto Broadway Ave.
- Continue at step 5 above.
Ample parking is available at the Egbert Shelter, as well as restrooms and a water fountain.
There is also a do-it-yourself bike fix-it station located here, next to the All-Purpose Trail, near the far end of the grassy area where the Egbert Picnic Shelter is located. This station has a bicycle work stand, air pump, plus a selection of common bike repair tools (tire levers, screwdrivers, hex wrenches, open-end wrenches).
There are secondary trailheads located at the intersections of Overlook Lane and Egbert Road, or at Alexander and Dunham Roads. There is limited parking at both places, but no restrooms or water fountains.
With all of the entry/exit signs, one-way trail, and All-Purpose Trail (APT) connections, it can be confusing at first to find your way around. However, we've put together this guide to show you the best way to ride the entire singletrack trail system:
1. Park at the Egbert Picnic Shelter. Take the gravel trail that leads directly in front of the picnic shelter.
2. As you enter the woods, you'll cross the equestrian trail, then come to a fork in the trail. Turn LEFT, following the sign in the proper direction for mountain biking. At this point, you're actually near the very end of the Volunteer Spirit Trail.
3. After about a quarter-mile, you'll come to an intersection where the singletrack, the equestrian trail, and the All-Purpose Trail (APT) meet. Proceed across the APT, then across the road (be careful to look out for cross-traffic).
4. Proceed a short distance on the bridle trail, and you'll see a sign on your left to enter the Parallel Universe trail. Follow the white blazes on the trees to continue on this trail. It will meet up with the bridle trail one more time before turning off on its own again.
5. When you get to the end of the singletrack, turn LEFT onto the APT. Follow the APT for a short distance, and turn LEFT at the sign for the second half of the Parallel Universe trail.
6. When you get to the end of the singletrack, turn LEFT onto the APT. There will be a steep uphill where the APT is right next to the road. It will be about four-tenths of a mile (you may think you've missed the next turn-off), but then you'll turn LEFT at the sign for the Wight Oaks Loop trail.
7. A short ways into the Wight Oaks Loop trail, you'll come to what looks like a trail intersection, even though it doesn't look like an intersection on the map. Keep LEFT here in order to stay on the proper part of the Wight Oaks Loop trail.
8. Near the end of the Wight Oaks Loop trail, you'll see a sign for the Mars Quarry trail; turn LEFT here, then turn LEFT onto the APT.
9. Almost immediately, take the next LEFT onto the uphill dirt trail, and you'll see a sign for the Karl's Corners Loop. Go to the right of the sign to follow this trail in the proper direction, and you will end up back in the same spot. Turn LEFT onto the APT.
10. This is the longest section of the APT that you'll follow; it's about half a mile, but it will be obvious when you've reach the end at Egbert Road. Proceed across Egbert Road, then look for the entrance to the Touch Stone Loop on the left. The equestrian trail also crosses here, so don't follow that wider path, but bear right to take the narrower singletrack.
11. The Touch Stone Loop will fork soon after it starts; be sure to bear LEFT to make sure you are following it in the proper direction. Follow this trail for about a mile until it ends in the parking lot near the intersection of Alexander and Dunham Roads. Look to your right across the lot to continue with the uphill section of the Touch Stone Loop.
12. When you get to the top of the Touch Stone Loop, you'll be back at the intersection of Egbert Road and Overlook Lane. Cross over the APT and over Egbert Road, and you'll see the entrance to the Mars Quarry trail on your left:
13. At the end of the Mars Quarry Trail, cross the road, then turn LEFT onto the APT, then almost immediately, turn RIGHT onto the dirt trail. Turn LEFT at the sign to go onto the second half of the Wight Oaks Loop trail.
14. Near the end of the Wight Oaks Loop Trail, you'll come to the mid-trail intersection again; keep LEFT to follow the sign towards the Eddie's Wildlife Pass trail.
After a short bit, you'll have to cross over the APT, then cross the road, then continue straight onto Eddie's Wildlife Pass.
15. About halfway through Eddie's Wildlife Pass, it will appear to end with nowhere to go except the road:
Don't worry; you're not lost. Look to your left to where the trail continues down the ridge right next to the road:
16. At the end of Eddie's Wildlife Pass, turn LEFT onto the APT. A short ways up, turn LEFT at the sign onto the Friendship Trail. CAUTION: this trail crosses the bridle trail and runs concurrently with the bridle trail for a large stretch in the middle.
17. At the end of the Friendship Trail, turn LEFT onto the APT. A short ways up, turn LEFT at the sign onto the Moore Trail.
18. At the end of the Moore Trail, turn LEFT onto the APT. A short ways up, turn LEFT at the sign onto the Volunteer Spirit Trail.
19. Near the end of the Volunteer Spirit Trail, the trail will fork and you'll see a sign pointing to the Egbert Picnic Shelter. Turn left here to return to the parking lot.