Biking at Provincial Parks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Biking at Provincial Parks

    Im just starting to think about making plans for the summer and i was thinking biking and camping would be a good thing to try. Im mainly thinking of using a drive-in camp site, and then just bike trails either in the park or near by.

    If you have done any mountain biking at a park, which park were you at, and were there lots of good trails, any thoughts, opinions, etc. Im not necessarily looking for super single track, just good general trails.

    Thanks,
    Charlie

  2. #2
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    Good question, not sure about any Provincial Park riding..
    The Haliburton Forest has both great riding and camping.
    The Trail Reviews section of this site will give you lots of info about this place.

  3. #3
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    Check out Albion Hills, they have an awesome marked trail system that is maintained by the guys at Chico Racing, some of the best camping and riding there is. Also check out Turkey Point Provincial Park, they have decent camp sites, marked in park trails that spur off into trails in the Spooky Hallow / Crown Forest Tract trail system. Good singletrack, mixed with some doubletrack. The trails are generally unknown to all but the local MTBer's, they are technical in areas and the further from the park you get the more rugged they are. Its worth a look, if you want a little more info send me a PM.

    Eric

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    Silent Lake

    Silent Lake seems to have an abundant of trails some of which are biking. If you get bored of those, it's a hour to Algonquin park from there, plus there are lots of fire roads and skidoo trails in the area

    Great park too, head south to petroglyphs and try to take the High Falls trail in on bike, I haven't ridden it, only hiked in winter time, but I think it's passible..

  5. #5
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    Bon Echo

    ......has tons of hiking trails, most of which seemed to be closed to riding. Go figure. You can ride some other areas in this park....such as from Bon Echo to Joe Perry Lake and a few side areas. Not great but enough to get you a work out while on vacation.

    You can check all the parks here:

    http://www.ontarioparks.com/

    JG

  6. #6
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    thanks for all the suggestions, ive searched a bit on the ontarioparks website, but it doesnt really say if the trails are good or not.

    the suggestions for places outside of provincial parks are great because so far ive only been searching on the ontarioparks website, and i wouldnt have found any of those on there.

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    I concur with the haliburton suggestion, haliburton always seems to be the first to be mention ed to questions such as this. 300km of trails and roads, 50 lakes for your choice of lunch/swim/break spots and a few (reserve early) nice tent sites. I've only been once, and it was incredibly wet (early July) I intend to return but will go later in the season, august or even sept for far superior riding conditions.

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    Haliburton is wet and buggy in the early summer when you ride the tougher singletrack stuff. The fireroads and more used hiking trails are fine. Well, dry atleast still pretty thick bugs, but hay this is Northern Ontario in the summer. The fall changes this place for the better. With no bugs and drier trails this place rocks. Great veiws, Tons and tons of riding, Cold Beer and tasty burgers back at the parking lot. O ya they also have a bike wash which you will need even during a drought in September.

  9. #9
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    da bears

    Watch out for black bears in Haliburton.... Had a run in with an all-too-freindly b-bear that thought I was a snack!
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  10. #10
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    Algonquin

    I was looking into algonquin park last fall and it has some bike friendly loops, but I think you can also get access to 100's of kms of logging roads (active and abandoned). Also, if you're in the southwest corner you're a short drive (I think) from Buckwallow in gravenhurst - a singletrack playground for the whole family. I'm sure locals can give you some 411 on other riding opportunities.

    I've also done some riding in Sleeping Giant Prov. Park (Sibley Peninsula near Thunder bay)

    I don't know where you are, but thunder bay is a little far from most of ontario. But if you go you get lots of riding in Sleeping Giant - some long doubletrack, some exhausting singletrack, and enough hike-a-bike to get your fill for life. Tonnes of riding in Thunder Bay proper, too.
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  11. #11
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    yeah im pretty far from Thunder Bay (ill either be in hamilton or newmarket (just north of toronto) for the summer), but if i get adventurous i might try a road trip up there.

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    If you do make the drive up to thunder bay, stop for a couple days in Sault ste. Marie. We have a very enthusiastic group of riders here with great riding right on the edge of town. Some additions to a big singletrack loop will start as soon as the snow leaves.

    j

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    North Shore road trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jason74
    If you do make the drive up to thunder bay, stop for a couple days in Sault ste. Marie. We have a very enthusiastic group of riders here with great riding right on the edge of town. Some additions to a big singletrack loop will start as soon as the snow leaves.

    j

    Its a spectacular drive. The scenery of the north shore is awesome. If you stop in the Sault, make sure you stop in Marathon a few hours down the road. Great riding there. And I'm told Wawa has some good riding too.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad-WL
    Silent Lake seems to have an abundant of trails some of which are biking. If you get bored of those, it's a hour to Algonquin park from there, plus there are lots of fire roads and skidoo trails in the area

    Great park too, head south to petroglyphs and try to take the High Falls trail in on bike, I haven't ridden it, only hiked in winter time, but I think it's passible..
    Just a heads up about venturing onto snowmobile trails. If the trail is on Crown Land it's OK to use during the off season. However landowners generally aren't too thrilled about people using the trails on private property once the snowmobile season has ended.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie
    yeah im pretty far from Thunder Bay (ill either be in hamilton or newmarket (just north of toronto) for the summer), but if i get adventurous i might try a road trip up there.

    Charlie,

    Not sure of your riding preference, but I have ridden in Algonquin, Silent Lake, and talked about Haliburton with my riding pals for the past couple of years. I have ridden a couple of the Algonquin loops. They aren't overly technical, with the exception of a couple of lengthy rock piles. Fairly straight forward cross country riding, with an extremely fast downhill toward the end of all loops, but be careful of loose rocks. (Now there is a reasonable climb, up, but not crazy). A decent ride, but nothing to write home about.

    Silent lake has varying offerings. The actual riding trails are sketchy in respect to what you might be looking for. We didn't ride the 20+ km loop when we were there on July 1st 04' due to previous information about a swamp issue that you might have to cross halfway. However, we did the "medium" loop and it was fairly straight forward doubletrack, fireroad terrain. Not as good as Algonquin's trails...

    Still on Silent Lake, if you have some technical skills, and big balls, pardon the expression, the hiking trails are some serious fun. Some really tight rocky stuff to manouvre through. If you're kind the hikers (we only saw a few actuall along Silent Lake, and there are other trails), they actually marvelled at us riding our bikes through this stuff. Also, noone seemed to mind us or be monitoring who was on the trails, just be polite. Fun stuff, will really help with your technical availability if you don't find it intimidating.

    Well, that's my experience in Ontario Provincial Parks. Some decent riding, not overyly technical (with exceptions), but a decent workout out depending on your ability. Hope this helps your cause.

    BTW, Silent Lake is overall a very nice park to stay at. And at Algonquin, you have to drive from one of the sites (Three Rivers, Mew, etc...) to get to the trails...A short drive though.

    Meister

  16. #16
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    thanks for all the detailed information, it'll help me make my plans. at this point i havent made any plans, just starting to think about making plans.

    i ride xc, i do enjoy technical stuff, but i enjoy single track, double track, fireroad, etc.

  17. #17
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    I have not been riding in algomquin in a long time, but when i was there, i had a blast. It was late in the season, so mud was not a problem. I enjoyed the rocky terrain, as well as the downhills.

    A little more recently, i was at silent lake. When i did that, i found the trails very poorly maintained. Several trees down. At the trailhead, it also said something about use at your own risk. One huge tree was actually down, and i almost got lost when going around it, because i could not find the trail again. (lol) There were lots of bugs at the time too. Had a good time, but as mentioned already, not too technical. This was a few years ago.

    Most parks have hiking trails, but biking is not usually welcome on them. Too bad.
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    Silent Lake

    Biked at Silent Lake 2 years ago and where the 20 km loop goes around the far end of the lake is WET and MUDDY. I mean unrideable. Probably had to manoever around 2km worth of muck. All in all a half decent ride though.

  19. #19
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    I'll be spending more time in Apsley (just down the highway from Silent Lake) now, so I'll try to find out what the trail situation is like. I'll post any updates. Chomp's post doesn't sound too promising though.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatchAttack
    Check out Albion Hills, they have an awesome marked trail system that is maintained by the guys at Chico Racing, some of the best camping and riding there is. Also check out Turkey Point Provincial Park, they have decent camp sites, marked in park trails that spur off into trails in the Spooky Hallow / Crown Forest Tract trail system. Good singletrack, mixed with some doubletrack. The trails are generally unknown to all but the local MTBer's, they are technical in areas and the further from the park you get the more rugged they are. Its worth a look, if you want a little more info send me a PM.

    Eric
    +1 on this suggestion. When the rest of our extended family wanted to know where to go camping last summer, we picked Albion. The cousins loved it and want to go back! It's great for kids - it has a beach, playgrounds, it's not as busy as provincial parks so they can ride around the campground as well as some of the trails...

    I'm going to start a separate thread for advice, but does anyone know the site #s of the spots near where they have the kids race in the 24 hour events. There's some easy enough singletrack through the pines that the kids could do anytime if we were camped right there, so I think that's where I'm going to suggest we camp this year.

  21. #21
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    The Bruce Peninsula Mountain Bike Adventure Park in Wiarton is pretty fun for a couple day riding trip and you can camp over at Cape Croker Indian park .

  22. #22
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    Algonquin

    I've noticed over the years that Algonquin doesn't get much good recognition for its trails. Personally I've ridden the Minnesing trail for years and it has to be one of my favourite trails. In the 26km loop you're likely to find some downed trees but for the most part I think they're great trails. Don't bother with the 5km loop though... Lots of climbing and rock gardens and in general its an awesome trail system. You can camp in Cannisbay Campground and ride to the trail head.

    As for the east side of the park, the Achray campground has access to multitudes of logging/park dirt roads that slowly turn into double track leading into the interior of the park. Just ask the people at the front desk/cabin and they'll direct you to some of the best roads for riding into the park. A few years ago I rode in on a 10km road that started out as a dirt road that turned into double and eventually single track that lead to a secluded campsite on White Partridge Lake, which was just a magnificent destination. There's no one else around, not even canoers and the lake bed is really shallow (~1ft deep) sand for hundreds of feet out.

    Personally I'd say check both out, they were awesome experiences. (Better than Silent Lake IMO).
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpm7
    +1 for Achray, and the natural water slide at the North end of Stratton lake.

    a dirt road that turned into double and eventually single track that lead to a secluded campsite on White Partridge Lake, which was just a magnificent destination. There's no one else around, not even canoers and the lake bed is really shallow (~1ft deep) sand for hundreds of feet out.

    Personally I'd say check both out, they were awesome experiences. (Better than Silent Lake IMO).
    That 14 km trail to White Partridge is supposed to be a great place for seeing bears and moose crossing.

    Stosh
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