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  1. #1
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    Good job! Copeland Forest

    I'm heading up to Copeland Forest for the first time with a few other neophytes. One guy has spent some time there but isn't overly familiar with the forest.

    Does anyone have a map of trails? I do have the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guide Book which shows me the boundaries and RR, so I'm not to worried but It'd be nice to know where the really great stuff is located.

    I'll bring my compass and GPS in case something goes really wrong.

    Chad

  2. #2
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    I do not have GPS map, but I do have a hand drawn map and a video to help show the way. When going east on Horseshoe Valley rd. from the 400, look for Pine Ridge Trail on the left after you pass Horseshoe resort. Keep following Pine Ridge until you see the clearing featured at the start of the video, it'll be on the left side of the road.

    Then just follow the video, the first 3:35 or so is all in one cut except for a brief section near the start where the cameraman & I weren't on the same page. After that I can't exactly remember how it goes unless I'm there, but I do remember a right onto the doubletrack that goes to the top of the ridge.

    <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/27054565?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0"></iframe>

  3. #3
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    Looks like fun..... is that your place you started from? Would be nice to live so close to the trails.

  4. #4
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    I wish I lived there!
    It's my friend's family's cottage but I'm up there at least once a year.

  5. #5
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    other option to start from is the 4th line and Ingram side road parking lot. head down the double track, cross the railroad tracks and the fun begins in less than 5 minutes. hours upon hours can be spent in there without riding the same trail twice. there are no maps and even with it literally being in my backyard I doubt I've ever ridden every trail in there.

    enjoy

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    I have used the same way into the Copeland forest as the video shows. I rode with some local guys that know the trails in there, like the backs of their hands. The trail they took us on had a whole lot of climbing. More climbing than I was used to than at places like Hardwood or Albion. The trails were in great condition, but my fitness level that night was not all that sharp so it was a tough ride for me. Another entrance into the forest is from a parking lot across Horseshoe Valley road from the ski resort.

    The manager at The Bike Zone in Barrie, one of my LBS's says they routinely do a ride in there, that when completed, approaches 3000 feet of climbing in total. Since maps aren't available, try to find someone that knows the trails as, it is easy to get turned around in there and become lost.


    If the Couchiching Conservancy group gets their way, Copeland Forest may be off limits to biking. They are undertaking an environmental assessment of the CF and are known to be anti mountainbikes. From what I have been told there is a rare spider in that forest and mountain biking disrupts those spiders.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    I have used the same way into the Copeland forest as the video shows. I rode with some local guys that know the trails in there, like the backs of their hands. The trail they took us on had a whole lot of climbing. More climbing than I was used to than at places like Hardwood or Albion. The trails were in great condition, but my fitness level that night was not all that sharp so it was a tough ride for me. Another entrance into the forest is from a parking lot across Horseshoe Valley road from the ski resort.

    The manager at The Bike Zone in Barrie, one of my LBS's says they routinely do a ride in there, that when completed, approaches 3000 feet of climbing in total. Since maps aren't available, try to find someone that knows the trails as, it is easy to get turned around in there and become lost.


    If the Couchiching Conservancy group gets their way, Copeland Forest may be off limits to biking. They are undertaking an environmental assessment of the CF and are known to be anti mountainbikes. From what I have been told there is a rare spider in that forest and mountain biking disrupts those spiders.
    Yeah, i saw one once when in there.


    Pitty I couldn't help that poor hiker since, as a mountain biker I wouldn't want the add evidence to the stereotype that we are disrupting those spiders.

  8. #8
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    awesome video.... must visit that place...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    mountain biking disrupts those spiders.
    Does hiking disrupt them less???? Sounds like common sense is rare with the Couchiching Conservancy group.

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    Interesting as I know they are looking for a MTB representive for their copeland forest "takeover" for lack of a better term,

    I can see them shutting down some trails that are lower and wetter, but havent heard anything about a general MTB shutout.

    Gonna keep my equestrian comments to myself

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    Does this rare spider live in the ruts left all over by equestrians?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad-WL View Post
    I'm heading up to Copeland Forest for the first time with a few other neophytes. One guy has spent some time there but isn't overly familiar with the forest.

    Does anyone have a map of trails? I do have the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guide Book which shows me the boundaries and RR, so I'm not to worried but It'd be nice to know where the really great stuff is located.

    I'll bring my compass and GPS in case something goes really wrong.

    Chad
    If you have a couple of hours to burn, you should be okay without a map. I spent 1.5 hours there on Friday afternoon, and another two hours this morning. Both were my initial times in there.

    I have to say, it's one of the best places I have ridden at in a long, long time. Some much to do. Lots of climb, decending, flat stuff, different forest makeup, and just amazingingly tall, old trees that make the canopy quite majestic.

    Hope you enjoyed your day today. Perhaps we crossed paths as I saw and greeted a couple of groups there.
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    I forgot to mention this earlier, but watch out for bears. I was riding with the locals there a year or two ago when a bear cub crossed the trail about 30-40' in front of us, followed a few seconds later by momma bear. We were taking a break at the top of a climb before doing a DH run when this happened, some of us thought the bear cub was a large dog but there was no mistaking what it was when the big one came through.

    I haven't heard of any confirmed sightings this year but be aware that they're in there.

  14. #14
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    I suspect - no need for chammy butter after that encounter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I forgot to mention this earlier, but watch out for bears. I was riding with the locals there a year or two ago when a bear cub crossed the trail about 30-40' in front of us, followed a few seconds later by momma bear. We were taking a break at the top of a climb before doing a DH run when this happened, some of us thought the bear cub was a large dog but there was no mistaking what it was when the big one came through.

    I haven't heard of any confirmed sightings this year but be aware that they're in there.
    A guy that I used to work with that has a farm about 3 miles south east of the Copeland Forest told me that a cougar has been spotted in Horseshoe Valley (he did not mean the two legged variety either). Supposedly a woman was chased by one, only escaping into the safety of her parked car.

    However I have not cannot corroborate his story in the media or online. It's always better to ride in a group.

    Maybe even have at least one slower rider than you too

  16. #16
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    Oh yeah, that too. No cougars (other than the two legged variety) have been sighted so far but we have seen cougar tracks in the woods. Or they might be wolf tracks, we hear them all over the place at night but we haven't seen any of them either.

    Fortunately I'm the rider with the best sprint so if someone's going to get eaten it's not gonna be me. But if it turns into a marathon chase I'm screwed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad-WL View Post
    I'm heading up to Copeland Forest for the first time with a few other neophytes. One guy has spent some time there but isn't overly familiar with the forest.

    Does anyone have a map of trails? I do have the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guide Book which shows me the boundaries and RR, so I'm not to worried but It'd be nice to know where the really great stuff is located.

    I'll bring my compass and GPS in case something goes really wrong.

    Chad
    Hmmm...I ride alone regularily on rides. Mainly due to schedule and convenience of what works for me. I rode here yesterday and today alone. I was very concious that there could be bears there as it's such a large parcel of land rich in resources without too much human activity save for riders and hikers.

    I was examining a few piles of horse dung trying to determine if they were perhaps bear crap being the location I was would have been a hike for horses to get into. Generally, I am pretty aware of the potential for bears north of Barrie, especially in a huge forested area like this. If you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, things could get a little sketchy anywhere like this, but being aware and paying close attention to your surroundings is important. I would have no doubt there are bears around Copeland, but will still ride alone cautiously being this gem of a trail system is 25-30 mins from the family cottage.

    Be safe and enjoy all...
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  18. #18
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    This may be too late for the OP but I believe there are 2 main parts of "Copeland Forest". The north section is accessed off of Ingram road with the entrance to the parking lot kind of hidden. There is a large map at the parking lot but IIRC it only shows the main trails. There are LOTS of trails on this section that vary from double track, to fast XC to DH. I found the runs up the DH trail to be the most challenging, naturally.

    The south section can be accessed off of 7th or 8th Line east of Hardwood Hills. This part reminds me of Albion without any maintenance for 2 years. Not as much variation as the north part nor as many trails. Overall they are more xc and flowy but not as fast as Albion.

    Have fun if you haven't gone out already - both are nice hidden gems from the usual GTA hot spots.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    A guy that I used to work with that has a farm about 3 miles south east of the Copeland Forest told me that a cougar has been spotted in Horseshoe Valley

    Maybe even have at least one slower rider than you too
    golden rule!

    don't be the slowest rider in the pack when in backcountry. Screw the bells and sprays... get the motor working and let the slow sucker be dinner...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    golden rule!

    don't be the slowest rider in the pack when in backcountry. Screw the bells and sprays... get the motor working and let the slow sucker be dinner...
    Ok, now I see your true colors and motivation for riding with me, Oggie. I believe that yesterday's ride was our last together!

  21. #21
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    Bear crap looks quite different than horse crap - speaking of which i'm glad it's raining now because the horse **** spread across Ontario's trails was just piling up and piling up without some rain to wash it away.

  22. #22
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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Bear crap looks quite different than horse crap.
    care to share smell and taste?


  23. #23
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    care to share smell and taste?

    If it's still warm... watch out!

    Horse poop has a lot of fibre in it, due to hay or whateever those things eat.


    No mistaking the two.

    Watch out for a 3rd type with white paper on top of it... hikers nearby!

  24. #24
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    After reading the great posts from everyone on this place.......I decided to get up early this morning and check it out for myself. Parked where Matt 24 suggested....and spent 2 great hours exploring.
    Thank you.....I will be back!!

  25. #25
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    glad you enjoyed the big backyard, I sometimes forget how spoiled I am to have all these trails 15 minutes from the house. By the way, notice all the freshly paved roads we have also. Rad riding has also been taken to a whole new level in this area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt 24 solo View Post
    glad you enjoyed the big backyard, I sometimes forget how spoiled I am to have all these trails 15 minutes from the house. By the way, notice all the freshly paved roads we have also. Rad riding has also been taken to a whole new level in this area.
    yup the RAD riding is sick, also 15 minutes of driving? must be a big backyard.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Screw the bells and sprays...
    Bear Bells- bears aren't stupid... they learn that bells means food source.

    Pepper Spray- 95% of the population will be to stressed out and panicy to check wind direction before pressing the trigger. End up more fracked up then if they didn't have it.

    Friendly Black Bear tip... the bastards will fight to the death. They are scrappers of the species. Prepare to fight it out with them.

  28. #28
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    If you are riding in a group there is usually enough noise being made to give the bear(s) enough advance warning to clear out, so no worries. Howvever a solo rider flowing at speed through buff single track can be virtually silent and startling a bear especially one with cubs in close proximity is not cool!
    Hence the benefit of the bear bell. I have one of the large bear bells with the magnet/sock that keeps it from ringing when not needed; I keep that attached to my hydration pack and pull the sock off most of the time on solo rides. I scare up bears many times each season riding in Muskoka, most recently just last week in the evening. Anyone who kids themselves that they could out ride/race a bear has never seen one run through the bush! Best possible scenerio is give the bear enough advance notice so that it can make it's escape before it feels threatened and has to defend itself.

    I was told of a Copeland group ride that meets at the ski chalet parking lot near the Horseshoe XC facility each Sunday 10ish. Anyone know if this is still happening?... it was a couple of years ago and I was invited to join but have never made it over. I love the XC ski trails in Copeland...probably my favourite especially Mile High and the curvy downhill run that follows the long climb
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Pepper Spray- 95% of the population will be to stressed out and panicy to check wind direction before pressing the trigger. End up more fracked up then if they didn't have it.
    Too complicated. I prefer to be proactive by mounting the cannister to my handle bars and pointing it directly ahead of me on continuous spray for the entire ride.

    On an unrelated topic, my eyes have been really itchy lately. Any suggestions?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Too complicated. I prefer to be proactive by mounting the cannister to my handle bars and pointing it directly ahead of me on continuous spray for the entire ride.

    On an unrelated topic, my eyes have been really itchy lately. Any suggestions?
    With that method you might only be marinading yourself first. You might cross paths with a bear that has a penchant for spicy foods?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister View Post
    If you have a couple of hours to burn, you should be okay without a map. I spent 1.5 hours there on Friday afternoon, and another two hours this morning. Both were my initial times in there.

    I have to say, it's one of the best places I have ridden at in a long, long time. Some much to do. Lots of climb, decending, flat stuff, different forest makeup, and just amazingingly tall, old trees that make the canopy quite majestic.

    Hope you enjoyed your day today. Perhaps we crossed paths as I saw and greeted a couple of groups there.
    You forgot to mention that you were lost and needed directions out.


    .

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    If the Couchiching Conservancy group gets their way, Copeland Forest may be off limits to biking. They are undertaking an environmental assessment of the CF and are known to be anti mountainbikes. From what I have been told there is a rare spider in that forest and mountain biking disrupts those spiders.
    I learned that Copland is actually managed by MNR not Couchiching Conservancy, so no real worries there, Also I know that there is a very avid MTB'er that sits on the board with the MNR that looks after Copland, He lives and rides in Horseshoe all the time.
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  33. #33
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    Yes, thank you...And they were good directions too!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Too complicated. I prefer to be proactive by mounting the cannister to my handle bars and pointing it directly ahead of me on continuous spray for the entire ride.

    On an unrelated topic, my eyes have been really itchy lately. Any suggestions?
    What's the difference between Black and Grizzly Bear Scat?

    Grizzly has Bear Bells and the scent of Pepper.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    A guy that I used to work with that has a farm about 3 miles south east of the Copeland Forest told me that a cougar has been spotted in Horseshoe Valley (he did not mean the two legged variety either).

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