Situated amid the tranquility of rolling woodlands and placid waters, A.W. Marion State Park's 9-mile singletrack is an idyllic escape from the urban grind. The 309-acre park has managed to offer a sanctuary for bikers seeking both challenge and serenity. Nestled in Circleville, Ohio, this intermediate-level trail has become the go-to destination for many mountain biking aficionados in central Ohio.
Address: 20480 Sharon Dr., Circleville, OH 43113To optimize your cycling experience, two parking options are available:
Starting from the west side offers easier access to the trail, just north of the bait shop, without any post-ride awkwardness of retracing your route.
The 9-mile loop begins along the edge of Hargus Lake. For the best experience, a clockwise direction is recommended. Trail markings are clearer this way and help navigate past key features like the boat dock, wooden bridge, and steep stairs. Yes, you'll likely be walking your bike up those stairs, but what waits ahead is worth the effort.
The track is mainly smooth and flowy but punctuated with leg-burning climbs that will test your stamina. For those seeking a less challenging experience, the hiking path towards the campground is an alternative after the stairs.
What sets this trail apart is the diverse experience it offers. You feel as though you're traveling through different ecosystems. The upper lake loop, a 7-mile subsection of the main trail, changes almost 900 feet in elevation and features steep drops into creek beds. The climbs may compel you to walk your bike at times, but the view from the top and the exhilarating descents make it all worthwhile.
If you're looking for a trail in central Ohio that offers an exceptional blend of natural beauty, challenge, and flow, look no further than A.W. Marion State Park. It's a complete package, scoring higher in overall experience compared to local favorites like Alum Creek or Chestnut Ridge.So gear up, ride past the sign that says "ROAD ENDS IN LAKE," and discover what makes this trail a cherished gem in the Ohio mountain biking community.