Best rides in the TO area?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Best rides in the TO area?

    Hi all, recently moved into the area, and haven't had much time to explore the MTB scene yet. Looking for some places near the Toronto metro area for long twisty singletrack, prefereably with some technical sections thrown in. I rode Kelso recently, but found the trails a little broken up by the dirt roads. I've also tried out the Don Valley. I was thinking of checking out Durham/ Glen Major this weekend - how do they compare? Better suggestions? Which trails are the 'best'?

    Thx
    ES

  2. #2

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    Ravenshoe

    If u dont mind the drive, about 45 mins north, Ravenshoe has a pretty good trail system.
    lots of tight twisty technical single track and some nice open trails. It even has some freeride elements, nothing too scary but def. worth a try.

    safe riding

    Lt. Saad

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    Which trails are the 'best'?
    Thx
    ES
    IMO, for fast xc riding there's no better place than Albion Hills (just past Bolton on HWY50). If you're looking for something a bit closer, and more on the technical side (lots, and I mean LOTS of rocks) - try Hilton Falls, just on the other side of the 401 from Kelso. If you've never been there, try to hook up with some people in the parking lot, as the best trails are off the beaten, color-coded paths on the map, and can get pretty confusing. But there's enough stuff in there for hours of riding, and you still will have more to explore for next time. Full suspension and possibly some shin/knee pads recommended.

    Arek

  4. #4
    Space for rent...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    IMO, for fast xc riding there's no better place than Albion Hills (just past Bolton on HWY50). If you're looking for something a bit closer, and more on the technical side (lots, and I mean LOTS of rocks) - try Hilton Falls, just on the other side of the 401 from Kelso. If you've never been there, try to hook up with some people in the parking lot, as the best trails are off the beaten, color-coded paths on the map, and can get pretty confusing. But there's enough stuff in there for hours of riding, and you still will have more to explore for next time. Full suspension and possibly some shin/knee pads recommended.

    Arek
    The guys from Spokes 'n Slopes in Milton, have a shop ride ride every Tuesday night. You may want ride with them a few times, so you can find some of these hidden gems.

    Details are:-
    Spokes 'n' Slopes tuesday night group rides

    Where: Hilton Falls, www.conservationhalton.on.ca

    When: Tuesday's 6:30pm gather, 6:45pm ride(starting May 23/06)

    Cost: season pass or $7

    For any question please feel free to Call Mark at Spokes 'n' Slopes, (905) 876-7676
    It's only pain......

  5. #5
    I already rode that
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    I like Durham and Glen Major/3 rocks with GM/3 rocks being more fun. Albion is a great place too.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  6. #6
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    I vote for albion hills. Do the full single track loop. Look for S1 to S21 signs through the trails.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    I like Durham and Glen Major/3 rocks with GM/3 rocks being more fun. Albion is a great place too.
    I like starting at Durham and riding down to Three Rocks and then back. It's one of my favourite rides.

  8. #8

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    we did S1-S18 today, great riding, builds up the cardio nicely.

    i like albion so i vote albion,

  9. #9
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    Kelso has some great fun on the extreme and a full other trails. With some faster sweeping sections built in. Can be hard to find your way around.

    Albion has some fun sections along the black trails, a little more hilly than kelso.

    Durham is my favorite after work ride. The trails are smoother, not really as many rocks to worry about smashing your body on, but still has technical stuff and great long training and relaxing runs.

  10. #10
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    I just rode albion for the first time yesterday and i loved it. Nice and fast with lots of good single track and a fair amount of climbing.

    Ravenshoe is also good, but although some of the trails are technical just because of how much they twist around. Not as long as albion.

  11. #11
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    Just came back from hardwood hills.
    The 8hr relay race loop actually seemed quite easy (technical wise). So I expect super fast lap times.

    the gnarly course isn't so technical and isn't that flowing either. It's quite broken up by the need to move into double track to get to the next single track.

    The radicle loop is crazy. I was a bit in over my head in terms of skill inorder to do the climbs through rutted rooted rocky ascents where 3/4 of the way up you gotta make a tight turn with more roots causing your front tire to wash out. Even making some of those turns without the roots would require a bit of skill. Combine that with random roots and rocks right at the apex or where you need to make the bike turn = fall. It also didn't help that this was the 3rd and last loop of the day after a greasy burger for lunch.


    All in all it's decent. I prefer albion still.

    Hardwood entrace fee is also 12 bucks and 1.5+ hour drive from Downtown toronto.

    My next adventure is going to be Durham Forest.

  12. #12
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    Buckwallow!

    No one mentiond Buckwallow just outside of Bracebridge. Definitely worth the 2 hour drive and $7 trail fee.

    If you want directions just ask.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    My next adventure is going to be Durham Forest.
    You'll then wonder what you were thinking when you paid to ride at Albion and Hardwood.

  14. #14
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    The $5 at Albion is well worth it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Braids
    You'll then wonder what you were thinking when you paid to ride at Albion and Hardwood.
    Granted, but Albion is worth the $5 to ride there. Hardwood on the other hand for $12...That's a little steep. At least you know that the trails will be maintained and marked (has been improved this year).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    Granted, but Albion is worth the $5 to ride there. Hardwood on the other hand for $12...That's a little steep. At least you know that the trails will be maintained and marked (has been improved this year).
    Not really worth 12 in opinion. For albion I got a 1 year pass. 47 bucks. I go there so often it already paid for itself

  16. #16
    I wonder why?
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    Durham/Glen Major, Buckwallow, and Dufferin Forest rate highest with me....

    I've ridden extensively on virtually everything within a two hours drive of TO and my top three choices (that I can share) are, in no particular order:

    Durham/Glen Major - great very diversified trail system, take it easy or get a great workout, plenty of hills with some technical challenges. Explore on your own or hook up with someone who knows the trail system.

    Buckwallow - what can I say, I love this place. Immaculate, well marked diverse trail system. Great technical ridding, no major hills though.

    Dufferin Forest (north or above Mansfiled Outdoor Center - Not very technically challenging, but a very fun flowy place to ride. If you pick up the pace, a great place for a workout. One or two challenging hills if you know where to go. Explore on your own or better yet hook up with someone who knows the trail system.

    My next two choices would be, again in no particular order:
    Ravenshoe - Fun technically (i.e., tight, twisty, rooty), nothing really in the hills department, and pretty much ridable year round. A good place to go to practice picking correct lines. This place has seen more inexperienced riders this year, to the detriment of the trail system. If you ride here please try to stay on the trails and not cut corners.

    Kolapore Uplands - Very large diverse trail system that offers plenty of terrain change and technical challenge. It's pretty far to go from TO, but if your staying near Collingwood a good place to visit.

    Next I would list:
    Albion Hills - An okay place to ride, but not somewhere I would like to go on a regular basis. Again, a diverse trail system with plenty of single track interspersed with double track. Varying levels of challenge from the cardio perspective (i.e., hills) though overall not particularily technically challenging. Pretty much only one challenging loop which for me get's a bit boring after awhile.

    Kelso - Similar thoughts as to Albion Hills. An okay place to ride, but not somewhere I would like to go on a regular basis. A diverse trail system with plenty of single track interspersed with double track. Varying levels of challenge from the cardio perspective (three different routes up and down the escarpment). Overall not particularily technically challenging, though there are a few spots that will definitely focus your attention. The trail system here has taken a beating over the past few years.

    My least favourite places to ride are:
    Hardwood Hills - I know some people like this place, but I can't really relate. There are some sections of great single track, but all too short, and for me one section does not flow into the next very well. It may be better suited to racing than "having a great time" riding. When you factor in the cost, Hardwood doesn't come close to other exceptional trails in the area.

    Hilton Falls - Yawn!!!!!! Bent Rim, big deal, one short very tecnical rocky section surrounded by predominatly double track. Good place to take your grandma for a walk. :

    There are plenty of other trail systems as well, Waterdown, Bayview/Stouffville, Coulson's Hill, Three Stages, the Don, etc. that fit somewhere in between.

    I'm sure others will have different views!

    i1dry?

  17. #17

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    I agree totally with 1idry. It all depends in your mood. Kelso and Ravenshoe are great if you're lookin for fairly flat areas to ride. Even though Kelso has the monster fire road hill, there are enough forks in the trail so you never have to see it. Ravenshoe is awesome for technical training. There is flowy areas, and one section of trail you're lucky to break 8km/hr it's so tight/twisty/technical. Glen Major is the best XC riding in Southern Ontario. I have ridden XC in B.C. and it is the closest to B.C. XC I have experienced here. It is a little more raw than Albion and Hardwood. Meaning it is run by a conservation authority and doesn't have as much trail maintainence as the other two (who have full time employees). Plus its free. I absolutely love Hardwood, but I haven't biked there in 4 years because they are 3x the distance (I'm in NE Markham) and they charge $12 for use of their trails. Albion is great too, very similar terrain (equal climbing and downhilling) to GM, but GM is bigger.... easily do 40km and never be on the same trail twice.. The Don Valley system (you probably haven't seen it all yet) is amazing considering it's in downtown T.O.It's mostly off camber since it's on the valley wall and is very technical. You can easily spend 2 hours there and is perfect for after work riding.
    Stay away from Hilton Falls. Riding on cobble stones the size and roundness of baseballs/softballs is not my idea of fun. If you're going to Milton, go to Kelso. They even have a section of loose rocky, slightly down hill to accomodate the Hilton Falls loving freaks! :-)

    1 Glen Major - North Pickering/Uxbridge - 1hr from dwntwn. Free
    2 Ravenshoe - Keswick - 45 mins. Free
    3 Albion Hills - Bolton/Caledon - 45 mins. $4 (?)
    4 Don Valley - Downtown - 5 mins. Free
    5 Kelso - Milton - 50 mins. $7
    6 Hardwood - Barrie - 90 mins. $12
    Dagmar RIP
    Pleasure Valley RIP
    Mansfield RIP

  18. #18

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    Lot's of great places to ride. Too much complaining about paying. Nothing is free. Even the steepest fee of $12.00 is cheap. Honestly is $4.00 or $7.00 anything more than a token payment? Free trails are great, but compared to most sports MTB is cheap (skiing, snowboarding, sailing, tennis, wieght lifting, car racing etc.). We really do have it pretty good.

    Sorry to *****, but I hate to hear guys who ride bikes worth thousands complain about paying for the right to ride across 10 or 20 kms of trails for about the same cost of movie rental. Perhaps if more of us supported our favorite trails they would have the revenue to make them better? Look what it has done for the sking/snowboarding industry. It's hard to see the incentive to maintain trails for guys who sneak in. The great advantage of having a pay for play type service is they have to keep up the service level or people will stop going and once they have invested in it that won't work for them.

    Don't mean to slag people but we have to contribute somehow. If we don't want to pay fees then we might have to put in some sweat equity and help maintian trails. Not saying all trails should be pay; but if you love a trail and it gives you two hours of fun for the cost of a beer, that's good value.

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