Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where We Ride: Smith and Jones Parks Tour

Cathy Kasper is a Sales Associate at our Medina store. She enjoys taking medium-to-long rides on the rural (and preferably flat) roads around Medina County and the surrounding region. This ride is one of the many variations she does on a regular basis.

The route is mostly flat, and totals just over a very manageable 50 miles. Starting at Public Square in downtown Medina, head south on Court Street, and take the first right onto Smith Road. You've got a couple of short climbs at the beginning, but then a long, gradual downhill as you head due west. Smith Road eventually takes a right-hand bend, and then dead-ends on, you guessed it, Jones Road.

Continue west on Jones Road. You'll run across State Route 58. If you're up for a snack or lunch to fuel up for the rest of the ride, turn right on Rt 58, and it becomes Main Street, leading you right into downtown Wellington. Look for Bread-N-Brew on the left-hand corner. Sorry; despite the name, it's not a brewery, but they've got a scrumptious selection of sandwiches and coffees.

To contine the route, go back down the way you just came on Main Street, and turn right on Jones Road. Here's where the "park" part of the ride starts. You'll go through the Wellington Reservation, where you can take a detour on a few miles of paved and crushed stone trails. If pedaling your bike is not enough, you can rent a paddle boat and pedal around one of the two reservoirs!

As you continue on several more county and state roads, you'll pass near Findlay State Park, home to one of Northeast Ohio's favorite mountain bike trails.

As you make your way back east towards Medina, you'll go through Spencer Lake Wildlife Area, a public hunting and fishing reservation where you can also enjoy some short hiking trails. Just up the road is Letha House Park, where you'll find more nature trails, wildlife viewing areas, picnic shelters, and even an observatory. From here, you're about a 10-mile cruise back to your starting point in Medina.

Click here to go to an interactive map of this route, with notes, mileage, and elevation charts.

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