Wooded singletrack on the moderate trail at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park
A wooded section of singletrack on the moderate section of trail.

Essential Information

  • Mileage: 9 miles
  • Activities:
    • Mountain Biking
  • Location: Canal Winchester

Chestnut ridge is one of only two places to mountain bike in Central Ohio. The nine mile trail is almost entirely singletrack, and it consists of two stacked loops. The first loop is designated as easy, the second is designated as moderate, and each section is of roughly similar length. The stacked loop design allows for the moderate section to be completely avoided if desired. That said, despite the different difficulty ratings, the technical and physical challenges of the two sections are really not that significant.

Although the challenges are similar, the character of the two sections is quite different. The easy trail traverses fields and wooded sections with very young trees and dense vegetation. The trail is very rooty, and there are lots of short up and downs. The moderate section goes through more mature forrest, and the vegetation is much less dense. The trail is still bumpy, but here it is mostly rocks rather than roots. The hills are also taller, allowing you to briefly forget you’re in Central Ohio. A highlight of the moderate section is a point where the trail reaches the peak of one of the taller hills in the area, the vegetation completely clears out, and there is a spectacular view of the surrounding area.

Singletrack mountain bike trail through dense vegetation at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park
Densely wooded singletrack is typical of the easy portion of the trail.

The trail here sees far fewer riders than Alum Creek, the other mountain bike trail in the area. The trail also handles wet weather much better than Alum. For both of these reasons, this is my favorite place to mountain bike in Central Ohio. That said, it can still get muddy, so be sure to check trail conditions before heading out.

Additional Information

  • View the current trail conditions.
  • View the Chestnut Ridge trail map on the Metro Park’s website.
  • The trail was built and is maintained by volunteers from the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization.
  • This trail is only open to mountain biking. Hiking and running are prohibited.
  • View the trail’s location on Google Maps. Note that the current street view image predates the existence of the trail, so it does not show the trail parking lot. Additionally, the spot that Google has listed as the Chestnut Ridge mtb trail is incorrectly located. The pinpoint I have added on the above linked map shows the roughly correct location. The trailhead is on the east side of Mason Rd. between Winchester Rd. NW and Slough Rd. This is a different parking lot than the main Metro Park entrance. There is a signage at the parking lot.