As a resident in the GTA I am very lucky to be within 2hr drive of 5 fantastic riding locations that provide a variety of different riding experiences. I have grown up riding and racing mountain bikes in Ontario which has introduced me to a diverse network of trails which have a unique feel to all of them due to Ontario’s geological formations. The escarpment in Collingwood, the rolling sandy terrain in Durham, fast clay singletrack at Albion Hills, urban Don Valley mecca and the flat technical rock at Buckwallow. I love every single location for its well known riding experience and the variety of trails which accommodate all levels of riding.
1) Collingwood/3 stage: I was introduced to this area 6 years ago while training for Trans Rockies with a friend who lived in the area. The combination of elevation change along the escarpment and technical rocky terrain provided the training stimulus required when training for long and challenging events.
2) Durham Forest: I was introduced to this regionwhen I did my first race put on by Bike NXS / Eric Orschel. It was a high school race which had me hurting quite a bit while hammering along the sandy hills of Durham. I now visit the forest quite often as I live only 15min from the closest trail head. The network of trails in this area is quite impressive espacially since its free to ride here. the Durham Mountain Bike Association deserves a lot of credit for the fun trails provided in this area!!
3) Albion Hills: I grew up in Caledon which is where Albion Hills Conservation Area is located. Needless to say I know these trails quite well and have developed a riding skill very well suited to this area. The 30+km of trails are very well built by Sean Ruppel of SuperFly/Chico Racing who has a great relationship with Albion Hills. Albion hosts multiple events every year which is a great way to experience the riding at this location as Sean knows exactly how to provide the best course possible! Be ready for the fastest singletrack around.
4) Don Valley: Drive down the DVP and you will notice there is a vast area of forested ravine that surrounds the Don River. This landscape has provided a great location for local shredders to build fantastic singletrack for everyone to enjoy. There is a solid 45min loop that starts at pottery and bayview and heads north along the valley. There are other options to extend your ride as you head north as well. Note: avoid riding here during and after rainfall!!
5) Buckwallow (Bracebridge Ontario): Always a great stop on the Ontario mountain bike race circuit. The terrain at this venue will blow your mind as you traverse along rock, rock, and more rock! It is awesome to ride here just because there is nothing else like this in Eastern Canada. There are a variety of trails here to accommodate most people but you must be comfortable riding your mountain bike to have a good time here. With a KOA campground down the road its definitely a great spot to have a weekend riding trip.
www.rbinc-sports.com – Jamis Canada
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