FROM BACKROADS AND BEACHES to farmland and forests, the bike trail options in Lorain County capture it all.
For some of the most striking views — and a good workout to boot — Jennifer Kennedy, a spokesperson for Visit Lorain County, recommends the Backroads and Beaches route. Located on the shores of Lake Erie in the middle of northern Ohio, bikers will experience miles upon miles of picturesque scenery.
“It really makes for a pleasant, rolling ride. It’s actually pretty rolling in some places,” Kennedy says with a laugh.
For those bikers who may need a rest from those rolling hills, the bike trail offers more than a few convenient stops along the way, including wineries, museums, galleries, shops and eateries. It also winds through a few charming city centers, such as downtown Oberlin.
“We have people from all over come visit Lorain County to visit the bike routes and the local businesses along the way,” Kennedy says.
Kennedy adds that Lorain County is focused on connecting its trails with those of other Metroparks of neighboring counties. “It’s like a bit of a puzzle the way they can all interconnect,” she says.
The Silver Wheels Cycling Club, perhaps champions of Lorain County’s trails, have seen their share of what the trails have to offer.
What began in 1998 as a way to ride with friends turned into one of the area’s premier cycling clubs with a membership hovering around 350 and about 600 rides and events hosted per year.
“We try to offer something for just about every cyclist, from beginning adults to enthusiasts to those who are serious about the sport,” says Cheryl Burkhardt, vice president of the club. “Don’t be fooled by the word ‘silver’ in our name. Our members range in age from teens to over 90. We have an almost even split of 50/50 males and females. We work hard to create a fun place to be for anyone who wants to ride.”
Burkhardt says the club’s trail of choice is North Coast Inland Trail, a 13-mile straightaway-style route that loops through large stretches of countryside. The trail begins in Oberlin and is paved all the way through to Wakeman, so bikers can stop at Wakeman Elevator Craft Beer and Wine Barn for lunch or snacks.
She adds that the Steel Mill Trail and the trail running through Black River Metropark are also well used.
From casual bikers to more serious cyclers, Burkhardt says the trail options in Lorain County are valuable for the community.
“Bike trails are certainly beneficial to those who enjoy riding at a moderate pace and chatting while they ride,” Burkhardt says. “They also offer a great way for cyclists who are a bit leery of riding on the road to enjoy the sport.”