Ontario County Park is home to some of the best singletrack in the western Finger Lakes area: rocky, rooty, with short, steep ups and downs and fine flow in between. While there are many ways to ride this trail system, this recommended loop links up nearly all of the trails in their more fun direction while repeating very little.
The park is located high on a plateau at the top of Gannett Hill, offering expansive views to the east and west. The park features a variety of amenities for the whole family, including camping, cabins, bathrooms with showers, indoor and outdoor pavilions, picnic sites with tables and grills, baseball diamonds, a basketball court, a fishing pond, and a playground for the younger visitors.
The route has many intersections, so be sure to bring the MTB Project mobile app
. The trails are well-blazed with color and intersection numbers. Paper maps are available at the park entrance, and maps are posted in kiosks at trailheads, although they may not be up to date.
The trails at Ontario County Park generally drain well, but it's a good idea to check reported conditions on the GROC website
Be sure to visit The Jumpoff on the west side of the park for spectacular views.
Reservations are recommended if you plan on camping.
This ride starts at the parking lot at the Wilson Lodge, near the ball fields and playground. Follow the pavement from the parking lot toward the park road, cross it, and enter the Green Trail
. Ride it counter-clockwise and cross the park road again to the Violet Trail
. Bear straight/right as Violet splits and follow it straight across a paved path. Enjoy the nice S-turns as you zip through the trees.
Violet will end on a grassy hillside with the park road to your right. Cross the road and find an entrance into the woods. Stay right until you drop into the Brown Trail
, heading west parallel to the road. This begins the first real climb of the route, a punchy 100' to the top of the hill on the northwest side of the park.
After Brown loops around, you'll begin the big descent of the ride. The next 1.6 miles are a nearly-uninterrupted downhill ride to the lowest point in the park, 500 feet below - a rarity in this region! As Brown starts to descend, bear left when you come to a Y with the Black Trail
, and bear straight when Brown crosses the FLT. Careen down Brown until the trail levels off, and veer right to cross the red boardwalk bridge.
Just beyond the bridge, veer right again onto the Black Trail
. From here, you'll ride Black as a figure-8, doing the top half clockwise and the bottom counter-clockwise. Bear straight as a switchback connector splits to your right. After a rock-armored stream crossing, you'll see another part of Black parallel your path and merge with yours. After another short rock-armored section and a bermed right turn, there will be a split to the left. Stay straight/right and keep the fun rolling downhill. You'll enjoy some sweet flow as the trail gets a little rowdy. Whoop!
Now that you're at the bottom of the hill, and the lowest point in the park, there's only one place to go. You'll be climbing for a bit, at least by this region's standards. Cross the neck of the figure-8 and take a left turn to loop the top clockwise. Take a right onto the Black Trail Connector
, a series of switchbacks, and a left back toward the point where you first entered Black. Merge onto Brown and cross the red boardwalk again.
Turn right after the boardwalk and head uphill toward the road. The trail here will be blazed orange for a short stretch, and then white. When you're almost back up to the road, take a hairpin right onto Brown Trail
and do it as a loop clockwise. Keep right at the southern end of the park, and after a tight rocky descent you'll end up at the red boardwalk yet again.
Climb again back toward road and this time veer right paralleling road and take the second Yellow Trail
into woods. Turn right onto the Purple Trail Connector
, climb into purple, and turn right at the T to ride purple counter-clockwise to the intersection with yellow. This is the only stretch that repeats later, but you'll be coming from the other direction.
Continue until you reach an intersection with the Yellow Trail
and turn right. to take yellow as a loop clockwise. After you enjoy a sweet flowy section, you'll come to a five-way intersection. Turn right onto Purple Trail
, then left when it tees to ride the rest of Purple clockwise. Hop out of Purple onto Yellow where you did earlier, but turn left this time.
Descend a bit yellow and turn right into the top of the Red Trail
. Enjoy this last fun descent, and Red will drop you off near the road. Climb back up the road a short stretch to Violet Trail
, but this time look for an entrance further to the right than where you exited early in the ride. That will take you back to the car without repeating a section.