This is an awesome backcountry experience which includes many scenic rock outcroppings, creek crossings, a natural land bridge, and a super fun, flowing-7.0 mile descent near the end.
This loop includes some intermediate level sections, but overall, it's definitely an advanced loop that will challenge riders. None of the segments by themselves are overly difficult, but the length and consecutive trails make for a long day.
Park at the Ohio View Trail
trailhead. There's limited parking so use Leith Run Campground or the Scenic River Trailhead (USFS storage shed) 3.9 miles south on Ohio 7.
Cross Ohio 7 and begin climbing on Ohio View Trail
. This is arguably the most taxing climb of the whole loop. The reward at the top is a great view of the river below (there is a sign directing you to overlook). This is a good place for a quick break.
From here, the trail turns away from civilization and goes into the remote outback of WNF. Continue to follow Ohio View Trail
to Jackson Run Trail
. There are nice wooden signs at most intersections which are helpful at keeping riders on track. Turn left on Jackson Run.
Jackson Run continues to sink further into the remote wilderness. It seems like Jackson Run goes on longer than what shows on the map. Eventually, there will be another wooden sign designating Archer's Fork Loop Trail
. Turn right, cross the creek, and turn right again while exiting the creek to stay on Archer's Fork.
Archer's Fork Loop Trail
is a really neat trail with multiple creek crossings, rock outcroppings, and well-built bench cuts. Follow it to 9 Bell Trail
. The entrance to 9 Bell Trail
is on a dirt access road, which is part of the Archer's Fork Loop Trail
. When you pass the metal gate, look for the 9 Bell Trail
sign on the right approximately a mile further. Good descending starts here. Enjoy it while it lasts, because there is a climb at the end.
At Road 9, the trail gets noticeably easier. It may not feel like it because this will be at least three hours into the ride. Follow signs for Scenic River Trail
. Do not make the mistake of turning onto Pioneer Trail/North Country Trail
. That's quite a challenge best saved for another day.
From this point down to the river (Ohio State Road 7) is a section of fun, flowing trail (relative to all the previous trail). Swoop through the woods until you see a sign for Greenwood Trail
. All your work up to this point is about to pay off. Let go of the brakes, lower your seat, and have fun for the next 7.0 miles.
Greenwood eventually meets Scenic River Trail
. Turn right to travel to the USFS storage shelter on Ohio 7. Stay on the trail and follow it further down where it crosses the road. Your car is 4.0 miles north on Ohio 7. If you don't like pavement, you can cutoff almost a mile of it by staying on the trail after crossing Ohio 7 (as mapped).
The trail will go into Leith Run Campground near the river and run parallel to Ohio 7 in the direction of your parked car. The trail eventually leads to Leith Run parking lot. Turn right when exiting Leith Run onto Ohio 7 and ride 3.3 miles to the Ohio View trailhead where you left your car.
Pat yourself on the back because you've accomplished a very challenging loop that only a small percentage of riders are capable of doing. You also got to see some spectacular views and some of mother nature's best work that so many other people on this planet will never get to experience.