Summit Metro Parks will kick off its fifth Summer Biking Spree a month earlier than in previous years.
The three-month, at-your-own-pace event is now June 1 through Aug. 31. Previously, the spree ran just two months, starting in July. Park district spokesman Nathan Eppink said the extra month may encourage more people to complete the spree.
Biking Spree participants can ride five multipurpose trail sections the same section or any combination of sections for credit. First-time participants who complete the spree will earn a bicycle license plate and a reflective sticker for their plate.
Returning riders will earn a 2017 sticker. Rewards are free to Summit County residents, and $5 for out-of-county participants.
The event saw over 550 people earn rewards in 2016.
Included in the spree are three sections of the multipurpose Bike & Hike Trail, four sections of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and one section of the Freedom Trail. Round-trip distances range from 4 to 11.4 miles.
Spree forms with the list of trail sections will be available online at bikingspree.summitmetroparks.org and in person at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (1828 Smith Rd., Akron), Liberty Park Nature Center (9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg), the park district's administrative offices (975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron), and all Acme Fresh Market stores in Summit County.
For more information about the spree, call 330-865-8065.
The 34-mile Bike & Hike Trail travels southeast from Sagamore Hills to Munroe Falls and Stow. The 6.2-mile Freedom Trail starts at Middlebury Road near the Portage County line and continues to Eastwood Avenue in Akron.
Summit Metro Parks manages about half of the Towpath Trail in Summit County, from the Botzum Trailhead near the southern boundary of Cuyahoga Valley National Park to the Stark County line, except for about three miles in Downtown Akron.