West Branch State Park

West Branch State Park is located just east of the city of Ravenna in Portage County. The trails here are Northeast Ohio's oldest legal public mountain bike trail system. It started out when park officials allowed local mountain bike enthusiasts to use the snowmobile trails during the warm months. Volunteers began to build singletrack in between the existing trails, and in time, the trail network grew into the 11 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails that exist today.

Directions

From Cleveland:

  1. Take Interstate 480 East
  2. Continue as Interstate 480 East becomes State Route 14 South.
  3. Turn left onto State Route 59 East.
  4. State Route 59 East becomes State Route 5 East.
  5. Turn right onto Rock Spring Road, then see below.

From Akron/Canton:

  1. Take Interstate 77 to Interstate 76 East.
  2. Take exit 38B to State Route 5 East/State Route 44 North.
  3. Proceed on State Route 5 East.
  4. Turn right onto Rock Spring Road, then see below.

Follow Rock Spring Road across the reservoir. Less than ½ mile after crossing the reservoir, take the next left onto Cable Line Road. You'll see a sign on the right indicating the OPEN/CLOSED status of the mountain bike trails. The road curves sharply to the left, then take the next right into the trailhead parking lot.

Please do not park on the grass unless all of the gravel lot is full.

There is a pit toilet/changing room adjacent to the parking lot.

Trail Description

Follow the short access trail from the parking lot, then turn left onto Cable Line Road, then look for the entrance to the singletrack almost immediately on your left.

This part of the mountain bike trail is informally known as the "lake side trail," since it curves in and out of coves close to the shore of the reservoir. Made of the sections called the "2 Mile Trail," "Machine Trail," "Kitchen Sink Trail," and "East Davis Trail," this part is the most beginner-friendly of the West Branch Trails. There are a few brief rock gardens, short and steep climbs, and stream crossings to keep you on your toes. but there are some long, smooth, and flowing sections.

When you reach the end of East Davis Trail, beginners may want to turn right onto Cable Line Road and follow it all the way back to the parking lot. Otherwise, turn left onto Cable Line Road, then take a right onto Porter Road. Almost at the end of the uphill, look for the entrance to the "Quarry Trail" on the left. This is the newest trail in the area. While it has some smooth and flowing sections, there are a lot of extended rock gardens that will challenge even intermediate and advanced riders. The Quarry Trail ends at the same place it starts; turn right onto Porter Road, then left onto Cable Line Road.

Look for the entrance to the singletrack on your left. This part consists of the "Rock Run Trail," "Rock Wall Trail," "Bit O' Honey Trail," then ends with the "Exit Ramp Trail." As the names imply, there are LOTS of rock gardens here, some short, some long. There are also numerous sharp curves and narrow passages between trees. A skinny wooden and rock bridge tests your skills even further on the Exit Ramp Trail.

At the end of Exit Ramp Trail, turn left onto Cable Line Road, then take an immediate right onto the access trail that leads back to the parking lot.

Trail Closures

The West Branch mountain bike trails are usually CLOSED from February through late May due to wet conditions. There are also intermittent closures throughout the fall hunting season (November and December). Check the park's web site or the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association for details. As always, even if there are no posted closures, use common sense and do not ride if the trails are wet and muddy when riding would cause damage.