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.

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6 responses

  1. Steve Z

    Hey, I was out riding Beaver Creek just a week or so earlier! That steep section has some nice tech riding, but there are tooooo many knobby rocks for any speed. I’ve been working to get some new trails down there for the last year, and the park seems receptive to improvements. Who knows – maybe if they got some new trails and like having more riders they would consider allowing some DH.

    Come to think of it, you should have checked out the last mile or so of the Vondergreen Trail, where it comes out at the group camp at Sprucevale. Once the trail leaves the creek it goes straight up the 250 ft plus ridge. Most of this hill is nothing like the rockfest at Dogwood, though there is a babyhead section of fall line trail just before you reach creek level. Betcha a FS bike would make that section a blast.

    Steve Z

    January 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    • Hey Steve! I’ve followed some of your posts on the OMBA board, thanks for posting up! I appreciate the work you’ve done out at BC. I’m bummed I missed that last mile of Vondergreen, from the map it didn’t look like it had much elevation change and I figured the stuff down by the river would be too claggy to ride.

      I’m only about 1:20 away from BC, so I would definitely consider helping out there. Dogwood is a rockfest, but I scouted some alternate lines that would keep the flow going. It’s going to be a busy year for me, with child on the way and trying to get the DH trails at Vulture’s in. But maybe we should meet up at BC and pick each others brains a bit!

      Cheers,
      Aaron

      January 7, 2011 at 8:35 am

      • Steve Z

        Aaron,

        Vondergreen is a creekside trail at the upstream & downstream ends, but it has a big climb up the ridge in the middle. If you were to approach it from the downstream end it would be an easy ride in – about 1/2 mile along the old towpath, which stays relatively solid & smooth.

        If you have some ideas on alternate lines out there I’d be glad to meet up with you some time and see what you think. I’m not a DH rider myself (too old & broken up) but I’d be interested in your input. I’ll post up when it looks like I’m headed down that way for some trail work.

        Steve Z

        January 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

  2. Andrewl

    I live in Youngstown. I would be apart of trail work to get bc up in running! So much potential

    February 6, 2011 at 1:09 am

    • Steve Z

      Andrew,

      If you or anyone else is interested in helping out at Beaver Creek, please send me an email at swampboy62@yahoo.com. I’ve got a small list of volunteers, and hope to get a trailwork day going once the snow melts.

      Thanks a bunch for being willing to get involved.

      Steve Z

      February 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

      • Right on Steve, I’ll drop you an email.

        February 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

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