The mountain bike trails at Alum Creek are some of the best and most fun in the state. I did Phase 1, the intermediate loop, this morning, and I'm continually impressed by the maintenance and course design. Hats off to the Central Ohio Mountain Biking Organization (COMBO) for a job well done.

What's cool about this trail is that it's a great intermediate trail in all aspects. It's six miles. It's not too hilly but has some ups and downs. It has technical elements that are challenging but never too risky to try.

Park at the trailhead on Lewis Center Road, do the two-mile beginner loop for a short, diluted preview, then hit the real thing. You'll enjoy small hills, miniature rock gardens, bridge crossings and a few tight turning spots. Most will have to pop off once or twice, but you'll end up on top and relatively unscathed.

Be sure to check this week's Alive for the Ohio Outdoors issue. I've got mountain bike trail reviews, a feature on state nature preserves, gear tests and other great stuff.