SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) - Mercy Health and Metroparks Toledo have teamed up to build a new bike course for all skill levels.
"FitPark Ride" lies near the trailhead of the existing bike path at the Beach Ridge area of Oak Openings, offering a practice area of sorts to hone one's skills.
"You can get your feet underneath you here and get some experience," says Metroparks marketing director Matt Killam, "then head out onto our 12-mile single-track course through the Oak Openings region. It's just another way to get outside yourself at our Metroparks."
Obstacles range in size from smaller boardwalks to large hills -- 21 obstacles in all, which Metroparks says will be rotating on a regular basis.
"There are 10 resting obstacles," explains Killam, "but they will change. We want people to come out and have different experiences almost every time they come out."
Mercy Health is donating $100,000 a year for five years to fund five FitParks, this bike course being the third. Park commissioner Molly Luetke says "we really appreciate the partnering with Mercy Health, so Metroparks can continue to do great things in different ways to engage people in the outdoors, so we're excited."
"The most recent [park] was FitPark Paddle in Farnsworth Metropark, where you can rent kayaks and go out on the river. The first one that opened was at Wildwood Metropark, [focusing on] exercise equipment... using core strength, balance and things like that."
The early reviews are in, and beginners and pros alike appreciate the newest addition to the Metroparks.
The grand opening on Sunday will feature local bike shops offering bike rides to traverse the course for yourself, along with food trucks, DJ music and free ice cream to the first 100 guests.
FitPark Ride Grand Opening
Beach Ridge Area of Oak Opening Preserve
3250 Waterville-Swanton Road (SR 64)
Sunday, Sept. 15th, Noon-2pm