Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is spending $400,000 to build mountain-bicycling trails, complete with viewing areas for spectators, at the new Quarry Trails Metro Park.
“We want this to be a spectator event, as well,” said Tim Moloney, Metro Parks executive director.
He said the climbing wall at Scioto Audubon Metro Park near downtown Columbus often has as many spectators as participants.
Moloney said three to five trails are planned, each three-quarters of a mile to a mile long and in varying degrees of difficulty. Riders would negotiate jumps, ramps and obstacles.
Jody Dzuranin, the marketing committee chairperson for the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund board, said the trails would be attractive not only for local residents but also for those riding the Ohio to Erie Trail, most of which has been completed from Cincinnati to Cleveland through Columbus. Trails will connect the park to the Ohio to Erie Trail.
“It’s an active adventure metro park,” Dzuranin said.
Moloney said the course could be open by fall.
“This has a chance of being the first publicly accessed area in the park,” he said.
The Metro Parks board of commissioners voted Jan. 21 on the design and build contract with the Kleingers Group of Westerville for the project.
Heidi Coulter, president of the Central Ohio Mountain Biking Organization, said she believes the park off Trabue Road on the west bank of the Scioto River, near Upper Arlington, would be a regional draw but close to the heart of Columbus.
“I think demand will be very high,” she said.
Metro Parks is spending $2.5 million this year on projects at the 220-acre Quarry Trails Metro Park. Work would include utilities, connecting ponds on the site to the Scioto River, redirecting a ditch, creating a single-track bicycling area and building an observation deck and parking lot near a waterfall.
The rest of the first phase of Quarry Trails on 62 acres is scheduled to be completed by spring 2021.
Wagenbrenner Development plans to build a mix of housing and other buildings near the park. The entire site, including the park, is more than 600 acres.