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  1. #1
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    What is and What should be

    Riding in Ontario whats the deal ?

    I have been riding here in Ontario for 23 years and I still do not understand what the rules of land Access is all about ?

    there are Provincial lands / Municipal /and Federal.. Now aside from the actual conservation parks where we know whether or not cycling is allowed. what about the green belts such as Seaton the Rouge , Bronte, Humber, Credit, are we allowed to Ride these ? Do They not fall in the same Category as the Don ?
    I remember years ago where the Town had Hired security Guards to enforce no ridding at the Seaton Trail. When we put some resistance, they told us that this was a private company hired buy an undisclosed group to persuade riders from ridding the trail. It had nothing to do with the government in any level.
    Does anyone know the actual Rules ?

  2. #2
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    To call this topic complicated would be a giant understatement. We'd almost need a matrix in a sticky threat to sort it all out.

    If you dip your toe in the Copeland thread you can see how confusing things can be. A lot of the building is rogue. The Province owns the land but the Conservancy has stepped up to set the rules...
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    It seems like at least one member on this forum is knowledgeable about every significant land manager in Ontario. Collating this information ought to be the business of something like the IMBA RLAC council, but if it isn't we should make a list; sticky thread would be good. And, despite over-use and occasional abuse of the term, each parcel of land that's interesting usually comes with a bunch of stake-holders in addition to the land manager, who should be mentioned as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    It seems like at least one member on this forum is knowledgeable about every significant land manager in Ontario. Collating this information ought to be the business of something like the IMBA RLAC council, but if it isn't we should make a list; sticky thread would be good. And, despite over-use and occasional abuse of the term, each parcel of land that's interesting usually comes with a bunch of stake-holders in addition to the land manager, who should be mentioned as well.
    If the collective of this forum would like to start posting up any known correlations between land managers and properties in this thread as Kay. suggests above, I can help to reorganize posts as a new sticky thread (if we get enough info to make it worthwhile).

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    Let us collect the Info needed, Because I think it is a good Idea. To me it is always better to get cyclist off the Roads and on to Trails ( for no other reason then Safety) I have lost 2 friends to Cars

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    Rouge Valley is now in transition to National Park. Maybe J Murray has some info from Parks Canada about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Rouge Valley is now in transition to National Park. Maybe J Murray has some info from Parks Canada about this.
    What does that mean to us riders ?
    about 15 years ago the rouge was a Mecca for mountain bike.. Now its like a ghost town.
    and what about Clairville are we allowed to ride there ??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    Riding in Ontario whats the deal ?

    I have been riding here in Ontario for 23 years and I still do not understand what the rules of land Access is all about ?

    there are Provincial lands / Municipal /and Federal.. Now aside from the actual conservation parks where we know whether or not cycling is allowed. what about the green belts such as Seaton the Rouge , Bronte, Humber, Credit, are we allowed to Ride these ? Do They not fall in the same Category as the Don ?
    I remember years ago where the Town had Hired security Guards to enforce no ridding at the Seaton Trail. When we put some resistance, they told us that this was a private company hired buy an undisclosed group to persuade riders from ridding the trail. It had nothing to do with the government in any level.
    Does anyone know the actual Rules ?
    thus the importance of trail plans, it clears the the muddy waters...

    around the gta most of the land is controlled by the trca... though who controls what within the organization sometimes gets muddied. some areas might have a different way of doing things and operate independently. though they are still bound by the entities regulations/statues and other laws/procedures. input is often taken from committees that represent the communties stakeholders in a given watershed.

    TRCA: Jurisdiction and Participating Municipalities
    TRCA: Boards and Committees

    and some more info for the rest of ontario
    Conservation Ontario - Natural Champions
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    Rouge is I think up in the air. J Murray of DMBA who sometimes posts was going to all the meetings in the last year. Word was at the time the land managers where wanting to let mountain bikers in officially. Last meeting he was at we got thrown under the bus. But doesn't mean much as those people are no longer really in charge. It will be up to Parks Canada to decide this.

    And Parks Canada has been doing stuff over the last 2 years in regards to mountain biking in national parks. Shirk who posts here I think knows more on that as out west is where those efforts to date have been occurring.

  10. #10
    humber river advocate
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    you can be thrown under the bus at anytime. but lets keep the focus on eastern canada... mtbers have been weak on the lobbying front and have paid dearly for it. for example how many of you know the name of the top person within the trca that oversee's trail development? have any of you met the board of directors? have any of you joined committees that move in these circles? it is very important to get out there and be seen and heard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Rouge is I think up in the air. J Murray of DMBA who sometimes posts was going to all the meetings in the last year. Word was at the time the land managers where wanting to let mountain bikers in officially. Last meeting he was at we got thrown under the bus. But doesn't mean much as those people are no longer really in charge. It will be up to Parks Canada to decide this.

    And Parks Canada has been doing stuff over the last 2 years in regards to mountain biking in national parks. Shirk who posts here I think knows more on that as out west is where those efforts to date have been occurring.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    for example how many of you know the name of the top person within the trca that oversee's trail development? have any of you met the board of directors? have any of you joined committees that move in these circles? it is very important to get out there and be seen and heard.
    I agree completely.

    Just don't forget that Eastern Canada doesn't begin and end with the TRCA.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    you can be thrown under the bus at anytime. but lets keep the focus on eastern canada... mtbers have been weak on the lobbying front and have paid dearly for it. for example how many of you know the name of the top person within the trca that oversee's trail development? have any of you met the board of directors? have any of you joined committees that move in these circles? it is very important to get out there and be seen and heard.
    Funny how you toss aside Parks Canada issue. All stuff to date they are doing has been out west in developing their plan. This will effect elsewhere in Canada including the Rouge or any other national park in Ontario.

    Next thing you missed... I said that we got thrown under the bus by the previouys managers. But that is no longer relevant as Parks Canada is now the group that the riders have to develop a relationship with.

    Next, you are aware that there are more riding areas other then the GTA or TRCA right? Oh, wait unless it occurs in tthe GTA and within 100km's of said black hole it doesn't exist.

    All tthis crapola does not engage me at all. It makes me less wanting to be engaged and not give a crapola. No wonder all the smart one's leave.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Just don't forget that Eastern Canada doesn't begin and end with the TRCA.
    *cough* *cough*

    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    and some more info for the rest of ontario
    Conservation Ontario - Natural Champions
    It would be cool if there's even some people lurking around who can share some info right over to the maritimes.

  14. #14
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    Back on topic.

    In regards to the land access and such. Interesting editorial in the recent issue of Mountain Bike Action.

    Trails,

    Kingston- nothing official. Unless you want to shell out $125 to Kingston MTB. The rest is a no man's land at Collins Bay.

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    Brockville's Brock Tel or Black and Decker trails made the news. Issues with sharing the trails with 4x4's. Turns out it's private land. While some suggested that they should officially organize the consensus seems to be it will all blow over and like the other thread on here.. " Stay offa my trails" type mentality.

    Just like what happened in Kingston earlier this year.

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    who does Kelso and Albion fall under ?
    I mean don't get me wrong ?? I live 10 minutes from Albion and 20 from Kelso. This is not for my benifit but it just erks me that a bunch of local dog walkers have more right then a cyclist. lets face it all the years that I have ridden all over ontario. I have yet to meet one cyclist that did not respect the land and was careless on the trails. Kelso and albion are as clean and as pristine as the day I first steeped a foot on them some 23 years ago. Yet all those years the Horses took their toll on the rouge.
    Lets Face it mountain biking is an Adult sport. And as adults we pay our Taxes, and should have as much right as any other outdoor activity such as bird watching.
    I am a nature photographer as well and I know for a fact one nature photographer can cause more stress on wildlife as 20 mountain bikers.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    who does Kelso and Albion fall under ?
    Now you're getting to the meat of it. Kelso belongs to the HRCA and Albion belongs to the TRCA. Puslinch belongs to the GRCA...
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    Ok lets get every single mountain bike club, Organization, personal , future mountain bikers , wives , grandams and grandpas, neighbours and pets and have a day organized to ride to Queens Park and put this to bed once and for all. If you are allowed to walk it you should be allowed to Ride it.

    There is our slogan .....If you can walk it I can ride it. Mountain-bikers Unite .

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    Unite the Clans.... Secret meeting

  20. #20
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    Rouge is a mess. The only trail work has been near the zoo- it's the nature paths off the old Beare Dump road. No one is doing any work.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    Ok lets get every single mountain bike club, Organization, personal , future mountain bikers , wives , grandams and grandpas, neighbours and pets and have a day organized to ride to Queens Park and put this to bed once and for all. If you are allowed to walk it you should be allowed to Ride it.

    There is our slogan .....If you can walk it I can ride it. Mountain-bikers Unite .
    If only it were that easy. Conservation Authorities, for example, are only very vaguely under the control of the Province. They're *almost* autonomous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    If only it were that easy. Conservation Authorities, for example, are only very vaguely under the control of the Province. They're *almost* autonomous.
    Ok with all seriousness How could this be ? If they are paid by a government agency then they must fall under some jurisdiction.
    Like I said in the past I have told Seaton where to go when they tried to stop us. And I have told the people at Rouge . the same now unless things have changed Drastically. In the last 10 years then I am unaware and forgive my ignorance..
    What about Ravenshoe ?? why is that working so well ? the hikers and riders get along just fine I have never scene or heard anything negative there ?

  23. #23
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    Parks Canada opening up trails to mtb isn't just a western Canada thing.

    Park finally updated and set guidelines trails. Now that there are new guidelines each individual park can look further into expanding their mtb trail offerings.

    More here - Parks Canada releases National Activity Guidelines for mountain biking | International Mountain Bike Association Canada

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    Can't we Have a secret meeting anyhow ? It sounds Fun

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    Ok with all seriousness How could this be ? If they are paid by a government agency then they must fall under some jurisdiction.
    Conservation Authorities only get a small part of the their funding from the Provincial government and most of that is earmarked for flood control and in that capacity, they are 100% responsible to the government. Everything else is a bit of mixed bag.

    I can't remember who "runs" Ravenshoe. IIRC, it's a "tract" so it might belong to the Municipality up there.

    Like I said, this stuff is complex.
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    Huge part of the problem in Ontario is lack of strong local trail advocacy organizations. There is a strong racing culture but not a strong trail advocacy at the local community level.

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    in All seriousness if I were to jump in the car drive down to the Rouge park under that old ski hill and start ridding my bike up on that ridge ... What would happen ? would they tow my car ? give me a ticket.. ?
    It should be like fishing ... As long as you get a years permit you can go to just about any Lake in ontario and fish all you want catch your limit and go Home. No Cottage owner can tell you to get out of the bay because you are disturbing his or her peace. But when it comes to old Mable walking her dog on the seaton Trail god forbid if a mountain biker should pedal by and say good afternoon.
    How is it any different with our Parks ??? These lands belong to Us the Citizens of this country and the residents of this province.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Huge part of the problem in Ontario is lack of strong local trail advocacy organizations. There is a strong racing culture but not a strong trail advocacy at the local community level.


    Please someone buy this guy a keg

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Huge part of the problem in Ontario is lack of strong local trail advocacy organizations. There is a strong racing culture but not a strong trail advocacy at the local community level.
    I second That

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    In my Opinion >>>>>>>>>>> A small network of Trails such as Ravenshoe and Rouge should be available in most Municipalities, Its good healthy exercise , Clean to the environment, and keeps bikes off the roads ( or helps to keep bikes off the roads ) which I think it is dangerous.
    Also a small trail network is specially good to have for the days that are coming. Lets face it our season is short, and if we can hop in car, and drive 10 minutes to a park that we can ride at night in safety, during the dark months, Now that would be NICE.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    I second That
    Shirk's right and as someone mentioned, the IMBA RLAC thingy is supposed to be that Provincial-level MTB voice but it's been a little slow to get off the ground and it is somewhat limited by it being an IMBA thing (not everyone is an IMBA member and not all clubs are affiliated).
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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    In my Opinion >>>>>>>>>>> A small network of Trails such as Ravenshoe and Rouge should be available in most Municipalities, Its good healthy exercise , Clean to the environment, and keeps bikes off the roads ( or helps to keep bikes off the roads ) which I think it is dangerous.
    Also a small trail network is specially good to have for the days that are coming. Lets face it our season is short, and if we can hop in car, and drive 10 minutes to a park that we can ride at night in safety, during the dark months, Now that would be NICE.
    Comes down to you needing to push for trails in forests closest to you.

    Pick one specific spot you want to see trails opened up and rally the rest of the local riders in that community.

    Find out who exactly owns the land. Be prepared for many board meetings. Arm yourself with information. Eventually you'll get more trails.

    I personally think the Parks Canada thing is HUGE. Other provincial and regional parks look up to Parks Canada as the gold standard and as PC open up previously closed trails we'll see other parks get opened up also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    in All seriousness if I were to jump in the car drive down to the Rouge park under that old ski hill and start ridding my bike up on that ridge ... What would happen ? would they tow my car ? give me a ticket.. ?
    It should be like fishing ... As long as you get a years permit you can go to just about any Lake in ontario and fish all you want catch your limit and go Home. No Cottage owner can tell you to get out of the bay because you are disturbing his or her peace. But when it comes to old Mable walking her dog on the seaton Trail god forbid if a mountain biker should pedal by and say good afternoon.
    How is it any different with our Parks ??? These lands belong to Us the Citizens of this country and the residents of this province.
    A huge part of the problem is the combination of 50% institutionalized thinking regardless of if it's true. The other half is all the nonsense that has been spewed as scientific facts by groups like the Sierra Club over the decades

  34. #34
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    parks canada i believe has to follow the rules put forth by the trca and has to go through them for approvels of work (permits), parks canada can't bypass it. if the committee does not approve the work then your up the creek without a paddle. of course i might be wrong but that's the way it looks to me...

    so this is a possible scenario:

    -parks canada loves mtbers throws you the key
    -certain group is mifed, lobbies committee, permit not issued
    -mtbers have a key they can't use

    your under the bus again... look how much power the snowmoble, atv, horse groups, developers have... we should learn from them

    ummm you followed all my links? of course there is more then the gta, ont, etc. but the general model of influence is the same... you got to get out there and schmooze the layers of bureaucracy with your agenda.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Funny how you toss aside Parks Canada issue. All stuff to date they are doing has been out west in developing their plan. This will effect elsewhere in Canada including the Rouge or any other national park in Ontario.

    Next thing you missed... I said that we got thrown under the bus by the previouys managers. But that is no longer relevant as Parks Canada is now the group that the riders have to develop a relationship with.

    Next, you are aware that there are more riding areas other then the GTA or TRCA right? Oh, wait unless it occurs in tthe GTA and within 100km's of said black hole it doesn't exist.

    All tthis crapola does not engage me at all. It makes me less wanting to be engaged and not give a crapola. No wonder all the smart one's leave.
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  35. #35
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Huge part of the problem in Ontario is lack of strong local trail advocacy organizations. There is a strong racing culture but not a strong trail advocacy at the local community level.
    reallly? the problem is that racing cultures numbers is decreasing in proportion to their represention as stakeholders... we are going through a transitional phase and there is alot of damage to be undone...
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    reallly? the problem is that racing cultures numbers is decreasing in proportion to their represention as stakeholders... we are going through a transitional phase and there is alot of damage to be undone...
    I'm not seeing it myself (that's to be taken mostly figuratively, and partially literally) but you can keep saying it if you want.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    parks canada i believe has to follow the rules put forth by the trca and has to go through them for approvels of work (permits), parks canada can't bypass it. if the committee does not approve the work then your up the creek without a paddle. of course i might be wrong but that's the way it looks to me...
    Last I checked areas under Parks Canada fall completely under Parks Canada control. What you are suggesting is like me wanting to be involved at Banff National Park yet telling me to visit the Town of Banff's Parks dept.

    If Parks Canada wants to tell the TRCA to pound sand they can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'm not seeing it myself (that's to be taken mostly figuratively, and partially literally) but you can keep saying it if you want.
    If you increase your Insularity you will see it.

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    Ok but worse come to worse what can they do if we ride ?
    Let's take heart lake for instance why is that little Tommy can take his bike and ride during the family pic nic. But if I go there and roll my bike I would get booted out ?

    Anyone in Brampton want to ride ?
    I would like to get a small group together 4 to 6 riders and roll there weeknights

  40. #40
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    I wish the 3 part article on trail access that ran this year in Singletrack was online.

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    Ok I just checked the parks Canada site an there is only 5 national parks in Ontario ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    Ok I just checked the parks Canada site an there is only 5 national parks in Ontario ?
    It's all Harper's and Rob Ford's fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    It's all Harper's and Rob Ford's fault.
    Let's roll those 2 bums

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    Quote Originally Posted by the bob View Post
    Ok I just checked the parks Canada site an there is only 5 national parks in Ontario ?
    What do you mean national parks?

    I honestly have no idea what this issue is all about... When I want to ride my bike I hit the nearest trail which is like right outside my house (Oakville) and thats that. If I want something more serious or have the time I hit up Kelso which is about 30min away. I've never been told I cant ride a trail and if I was I honestly wouldn't give a **** I hardly ever drive to a specific trail so the way I see it is unless they can catch up to me and forcefully knock me off my bike, I'm not getting ticketed.
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

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    bob - find who owns / manages the land. Look up their bylaws and see what the consequences of poaching are.

    What are the chances you'll get caught? What are the chances you'll get caught by someone able to actually charge you? What are the chances they will actually charge you?

    Weight those odds and then poach away.

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    It's not a manner of a few individuals riding . It's what happens when a few dozen start using the trails
    Basically what happened at the rouge and seaton

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    bob - find who owns / manages the land. Look up their bylaws and see what the consequences of poaching are.

    What are the chances you'll get caught? What are the chances you'll get caught by someone able to actually charge you? What are the chances they will actually charge you?

    Weight those odds and then poach away.
    First rule of the club is we don't talk about the club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    First rule of the club is we don't talk about the club.
    I've been advised by legal counsel to exercise our rights as defined by Section 11c and Section 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and hereby refrain from any discussions about mountain biking on trails. I'm told that it's still ok to talk about beer, barbecues, cupcakes, muffin runs, and riding at Joyride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I can't remember who "runs" Ravenshoe. IIRC, it's a "tract" so it might belong to the Municipality up there.
    The Brownhill Tract (aka Ravenshoe) is a York Regional Forest.
    From what I've heard, they allow mountain biking on all their other forest properties as well, but only allowed single track development and building of features on one. Result? Thats where all the mountain bikes go. The other tracts have much shorter trail systems, consisting mainly of forestry service roads.

    Brownhill Tract map here:http://yorkexplorer.york.ca/yorkexpl...df/Trail46.pdf
    Context map of all properties: http://maps.york.ca/yorkexplorer/pdf...Tracts_Sml.pdf
    Main webpage: York Regional Forests
    TRCA
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    Email: info@trca.on.ca
    Web: http://www.trca.on.ca/
    Phone: (416) 661-6600

  50. #50
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    You're welcome to travel on any crown land and camp there for a limited period provided you're a citizen.

    At the municipal level it works differently and as well as at the national and provincial park level since iirc these are in a different category than crown land. Either way unless you are threatened with being in trespass by the owner and told to leave or the property is marked with a fence or red blazes such that their property is a distinguishable line you can within reasonable deniability travel across it. In some European country you may freely travel on any "mans" land provided you are not causing harm to it.

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