Beaver Creek Reccy
I spotted Beaver Creek State Park near Lisbon, OH as a potential DH spot a while back. Google Earth shows 200+ ft of vertical drop and steep gradients, and even better the XC trail looked like it might ride as a DH trail. I had not to BCSP in over 10 years, so I went out for a reccy today.
It was a great day to get out on the trail bike. Amazing scenery, next to no people, and impressive rock gardens. The area I was interested in was the Dogwood Trail Loop, starting in the campground and dropping to the river. I went down the western side, which is more gradual, but this had a few small climbs and quite a few flat sections, so no good for DH. This shot was on the riverside portion of the trail.
It turns out the steeper, more direct leg of the Dogwood trail which goes from the campground straight down to the lower picnic area in less than 1/2 mile is far more suited for a DH bike. But even this trail has a few flat sections, and the rock gardens are not meant for speed. However, with a bit of sprucing up and some minor line changes it would be a respectable challenge on a DH bike.
Here is the route plotted on Earth. There is a long flat in the top section, but I found a way this could be avoided by dropping in at a different location. The trail isn’t cut and it we’d have to get permission. Towards the bottom there is a rock garden that is pretty rough and too flat and slow for a DH bike. However, this can also be avoided by dropping towards the river just before it where the faint outline of an old trail is just visible. The white line above is the DH leg of standard Dogwood trail, and the yellow lines would be my choice for an alternate start and finish (but not rideable at the moment).
Overall, it’s not worth bringing the DH bike here in it’s current form. However, there is a load of potential, some of which could be realized with just an afternoon’s work. There is great elevation drop, lots of rock and steep, technical terrain, and great facilities to match. The shuttle route is all paved and about 6 minutes from top to bottom, although it is a zig zag route and one sharp turn means you couldn’t pull a large trailer. Pushing up wouldn’t be too bad either. All this and it’s actually closer to where I live between Cleveland and Akron than Mohican. So a possibility for the future then.