With the second annual Summer Biking Spree under way, officials from Summit Metro Parks are reminding users of the district’s trails built for hiking and biking to use good trail etiquette.
“Visitors should behave on multipurpose trails the way they should when driving on roadways,” spokesperson Nathan Eppink said. “It’s really that simple.”
The two-month, at-your-own pace spree began July 1 and continues through August 31. First-time participants who ride five different sections of local trails – the Bike & Hike Trail, the Freedom Trail and Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail – will earn a bicycle license plate, a reflective sticker for their plate and a vehicle-window cling. Returning riders will earn a 2014 sticker and cling. Rewards are free to Summit County residents, and $5 for out-of-county participants.
Eppink said the park district is offering these simple guidelines:
- Be Courteous: All trail users should be respectful of others regardless of speed, skill level or mode of travel (i.e., bicycle, wheelchair or on foot).
- Pass on the Left: Pass other trail users on their left. Give an audible signal before passing, either by voice (e.g., “On Your Left!”) or other means (e.g., ringing a bell). Pay special attention when passing children and pets.
- Stopping: Move to the right when stopping. If possible, exit the trail. Be cautious of others approaching from behind and make sure they know you are pulling over.
- Be Predictable: Travel in a consistent and predictable manner. Always look behind you before changing positions on the trail.
- Don’t Block the Trail: Use no more than half of the trail. Do not block the flow of other users.
- Obey All Traffic Signs and Signals: Use extra caution where trails cross streets. Stop at all signs and intersections. When entering or crossing a trail, yield to other users.
Spree forms with the list of trail sections are available online at summitmetroparks.org and in person at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (1828 Smith Rd., Akron), the park district’s administrative offices (975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron), Century Cycles (1621 Main St., Peninsula), and all Acme Fresh Market stores in Summit County. Round-trip distances on the spree range from 6.2 to 11.4 miles.
Biking spree participants will have until October 15 to turn in their forms. One lucky participant –– drawn at random from submitted forms –– will win a new Raleigh bicycle from Century Cycles. The drawing will be held October 16.
The 34-mile Bike & Hike Trail travels southeast from Sagamore Hills to Munroe Falls and Stow. The 4.2-mile Freedom Trail starts at Middlebury Road near the Portage County line and continues to Southwest Avenue at Tallmadge Circle. 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.
For more information, call 330-865-8065 or visit summitmetroparks.org.