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A long distance/multi-day mountain bike route with a mix of challenging backcountry singletrack and gravel roads.


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Map Key

62.6

Miles

100.7

KM

75%

Singletrack

1,123' 342 m

High

606' 185 m

Low

6,473' 1,973 m

Up

6,614' 2,016 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

46%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Overview

Beginning at the Wayne National Forest Lamping Homestead Campground and ending in Historic Downtown Marietta, this 60+ mile route covers some of the most rugged backcountry terrain in the state. This is Ohio's backcountry. Historic Covered Bridges, centuries old home foundations, beautiful flowing rivers and streams, giant rock outcroppings, backcountry singletrack and scenic gravel roads highlight this extremely challenging bikepacking route. Little to no cell service is common so be prepared.

Need to Know

Marietta has everything you'll need (bike shop, lodging, food, shopping) but the rest of the route has virtually no access to amenities. Take what you'll need with you!

NOTE: Knowlton Covered Bridge is currently closed and will be rebuilt in 2022. Stay on SR 26 just past the bridge and take your next two left turns to get back on the route.

Description

Beginning at Lamping Homestead, go left on the Lamping Short Loop following it to the Lamping Long Loop. Stay left and follow Lamping Long Loop until you see the Buckeye/NCT trail splitting off on your left. This short section of trail drops down to Clearfork Rd. turn left on Clearfork Rd and follow it to Witten Creek Rd. Turn left on Witten Creek Rd and follow it to SR 26. Turn right on SR 26 and follow it to TWP 384 on your left. Take TWP 384 to Knowlton Covered Bridge, cross the covered bridge and turn right on Old Camp Rd.

After a very short distance you'll turn left onto a gated forest service road. After a decent sized climb, you'll intersect the Buckeye Trail/North Country Trail at the top of the hill. Turn right on the Buckeye/NCT. From this point the route of the Pioneer Trail is concurrent with the Buckeye Trail/NCT for the next 40+ miles and is marked with blue blazes. Expect rugged singletrack through this portion of the route. Near the 15 mile mark you'll reach Archer's Fork Loop Trail.

Turn right on Archer's Fork Loop Trail to stay on the route. Be sure to check out the natural bridge and the great cave while on Archer's Fork Loop Trail. Near the 20 mile mark the trail crosses a stream the can be a little deep if it has been raining. You may need to take your shoes off to stay dry when crossing. Near the 22 mile mark you'll turn right on to the 9 Bell Trail to stay on route. Caution- the next half a mile of trail is very steep. Skilled riders will be able to ride the entire hill but watch your speed and be aware! Near the 25 mile mark the 9 Bell Trail reaches the Scenic River Trail parking area.

This is a great place for a gear drop. There is a primitive campsite near the parking lot that can be utilized. If you're carrying all of your overnight gear, there are plenty of suitable sites along the trail before and after this point. (note: camping is permitted anywhere in the national forest as long as it's 25ft off of the trail and 200 feet from a water source). From the parking lot, follow the Buckeye/ Pioneer Trail/North Country Trail which will be the first trail on your right in the parking lot. At the bottom of the first downhill, the trail over laps with the Greenwood Trail at a creek crossing.

Turn right, cross the creek then turn right again following the Buckeye/NCT/Pioneer Trail (blue blazes). At the top of the next hill turn left onto the dirt, oil well service road. Watch for the singletrack to pick back up on your right. Be sure to check out the waterfall on your left at the bottom of the next downhill. For the next several miles the trail crosses and hops on and off of CR 9. Continue to watch for and follow the blue blazes. Near mile 37 the trail begins a 500 vertical foot decent to the Little Muskingum River bottoms. *Note: In the summer months vegetation growth can be thick along this ~1 mile section.

Near the 39 mile mark the route will join Brooks Rd. From hear the next ~15 miles will follow a series of roads (mostly gravel) and will continue to follow the blue blazes until the intersection of DAV Rd near the 50 mile mark. Turn left on DAV rd. You are no longer following blue blazes at this point. At the intersection of SR 821 turn left and continue on the overpass over I-77. Stay on SR 821 turning right into the GWB industrial complex near the 53 mile mark.

Climb the access road to the top of the hill behind the complex. Take the Lime Trail on your left. Follow Lime Trail to the Red Trail. Turn right on the Red Trail following it to the bottom of the hill exiting to the Broughton's Wildlife Area parking lot. Ride to the exit of the parking lot at SR 821. Continue straight across SR 821on the Pioneer Trail. Follow the Pioneer Trail to Colegate Dr. Continue straight across Colegate Dr climbing up Academy Drive. Go left on Tiger Trail then left on Cisler Trail then right on North Hills Trail (Western Section). Turn Left at the McDonalds, right on Glendale Rd then right on Putnam St, left on Front St

History & Background

Begin your ride through Wayne National Forest (Ohio's only national forest) and finish in Historic Downtown Marietta. Founded in 1788, Ohio's oldest city, Marietta was the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory!

Contacts

Shared By:

Ryan Smith

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1375

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#25

in Ohio

#1,375

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Photos

Climbing "Stone Bridge" on the Archer's Fork Loop Trail.
Sep 8, 2015 near New Mat…, OH
Down in the valley on the Archer's Fork Loop Trail on a spring day.
Sep 8, 2015 near New Mat…, OH
Railing one of the many berms on Licensed to Ill!
Apr 29, 2018 near Marietta, OH
Many scenic sheer rock faces in this area.
Nov 11, 2017 near New Mat…, OH
Natural Land Bridge
Nov 13, 2017 near New Mat…, OH
Superbly built benchcuts on Archers Fork.
Apr 15, 2018 near New Mat…, OH

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