Two mountain bikers enjoying the fresh air in Belmont County, Ohio.

Backroad Biking Loop is Newest Outdoor Recreation Offering

Belmont County offers tons of outdoor recreation, including mountain biking trails. Amid the cycling surge that occurred during COVID-19 quarantine last year, mountain bike sales and trail usage also increased. According to an online article published by Forbes magazine, mountain bike trail counts across the United States showed increases of 100% to over 500% compared with the same time in 2019. And bike makers continue to see a surge in mountain bike sales. Mountain biking is a great family activity. It is a great way to get outside, exercise and take in the beautiful scenery in Belmont County!

The Ohio Valley Trail Association has launched three back road biking loops in Belmont County. The first is an 18.95 mile loop that takes you through Barnesville, Fairview, Hendrysburg, Ollivett and Tacoma. The second 25 mile loop takes you through Egypt Valley, Bethesda, Belmont and Lafferty and connects to become a larger 46 mile loop. The trails offer a variety of terrain including gravel, tar and chip, and a little pavement. Visit the Ohio Valley Trail Association on Facebook for more info. For links to each route, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Ohio Valley Trail Association was formed in the fall of 2013 by representatives from several regional trail advocacy groups in order to collaboratively develop a trail network across Belmont County. The association is a collective partnership of area organizations, supportive individuals, and contributing enterprises working to acquire right-of-ways and to develop recreation trails throughout the region. One-hundred percent of the funds raised by and contributed to the group support the all volunteer efforts toward this goal.

Click here for more information on other biking opportunities in Belmont County.

If you need a bike or want to upgrade your current ride, check out Quick Service Bicycle Shop, 701 N. Lincoln Ave. in Bridgeport. Family owned and operated since 1973, this “rider centric” shop sells and repairs bicycles. They are adding a coffee bar, featuring Dirty Girl Coffee LLC, a roastery in Athens County that supports the creation of jobs for women in Appalachia.

Take a ride with the family and help raise money for a good cause at the Bike A Thon, Saturday, May 1, 10 am-9 pm (Barkcamp State Park). The St. Clairsville Rotary Club is hosting this World Bicycle Relief fundraiser May 1st for a family fun bike-a-thon. The event will have options for two-wheeled fun for all levels all starting at Barkcamp State Park. A family fun ride will be a 1/3 mile loop of the beach parking lot. Turn up the adventure a notch with a six mile loop of the mountain bike trails. Others can put in some mileage on the newly developed ‘Backroads Trails’ starting from Barkcamp heading to the Egypt Valley Wilderness Area. This may turn into a virtual event.

The club’s goal is to have a fun, safe event getting more people on their bicycles while they raise enough money to purchase 50 of the Buffalo Bikes for the World Bicycle Relief, $7,350. Participants are encouraged to find sponsors for their ride. Club members will also ask local businesses and individuals to donate at different levels to support anything from a new wheel to a whole fleet of bikes for a community. – to register and/ or donate.

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