The opening of a new mountain bike trail at the Royalview Picnic Area in Strongsville has fueled speculation that the Cleveland Metroparks is creating new access to the park off Drake Road.
Construction equipment has left a bumpy-but-passable trail into the woods from the end of Greenbrier Drive, which some residents believe is offering a new way to get to the heart of Mill Stream Run Reservation and its paved hike-bike trail.
Not exactly, a park official says.
"That's not a trail," said Jane Christyson, director of marketing for the Metroparks. "Those are construction ruts."
In fact, crews are already repairing the tracks and re-erecting the guard rail at the end of Greenbrier.
"We don't have a formalized trail there," Christyson said. "There are no plans for a trailhead or parking in the area."
A over the last few days on whether the park system has intentionally opened up access to the park by creating the tracks.
Some residents in the Drake-Hunt area say it's needed.
"What I would like to see is a all purpose bike/hike connector from the Royalview Picnic Area to where the road ends on Greenbrier Drive (Drake-Hunt), which would open the shole south Strongsville area to the all-purpose trail in the Metroparks," one reader commented. "Nobody even knows there is even a park back there."
But a Greenbrier resident said he was concerned about people parking on the narrow, dead-end street and using the neighborhood's private lake.
"I just want to make sure all the . . . trail riders and hikers realize that the Greenbrier Lake area is a private association and NOT part of the Metroparks," he wrote.
Christyson said that section of the park "has always been open to that neighborhood" despite the lack of a dedicated trail.
"People find their own way in," she said.
She said there are hundreds of "bootleg trails" throughout the Metroparks that neighbors have built on their own.
The starts at the Royalview Picnic Area and winds for 10.1 miles through the woods.
The Metroparks has planned to officially open the new trail.