Hilton "Hike Your Bike" Falls-Sarcasm Warning!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hilton "Hike Your Bike" Falls-Sarcasm Warning!

    Well, being that the Halton Region Conservation Authority decided to close Kelso as they typically do after a rainfall yesterday, I thought I would give Hilton Falls another shot (my third visit there). Being that I try to keep my road rides to a minimum due to boredom, Kelso is the closest, and Hilton is a reasonable alternative, I figured I would head there to get some trail time.

    Following about five minutes of riding into the singletrack, I was asking myself why I had such a brain cramp deciding to ride my 3.5" travel XC bike in the quarry again...The three times I have been there, I have ended up in different areas, lost (that's okay, I expect it now), so I think I have experienced a variety of what this rock garden has to offer. Let me say, that I do consider myself technically sound and can handle most rocky sections of any local trails in Ontario (ie. Buckwallow). However, it was a little moist yesterday and there are sections there that there is no friggin way an expert with six inches of travel will get through wet or dry.

    Are there any actual xc trails there with some flow? And I don't mean 100 metres of smooth trail. These trails are a rattletrap for my equipment and bones...And wow, it's really fun to head out for a ride and do 10 km/hour for two hours, hike my bike a total of 2kms of a 20km ride, interrupt my ride by getting off my bike periodically to avoid killing myself and my bike, not to mention my wretched, injury riddled feet (heel spurs, achilles tendonitis).

    Now, I am sure the flames will again fly here, but here goes...If I am paying $7, which really isn't much at all, I expect an inkling of reasonable trail markings...I can't believe they even offer the map that they provide at the gate to use...I don't expect the Agreement forest to be marked, but there is so much in the "Conservation Area" without so much as a painted tree or sign. If we are paying, then get it right and put some signage up...It's a f$$king joke in there...I really just can't figure out the appeal of this place...

    With the above in mind, does anyone know of any trails excluding Kelso (which is okay, but short and flat for the most part) near Georgetown (that are cross country oriented where I can ride for 20-25KM without getting off my bike climb fences and to walk sections...I get on it to ride it, not to practice getting on and off...Sorry for the rant, but I used to be ten minutes from Albion Hills, where there is great downhills, uphills, singletrack, and trail length. I am having a hard time finding a good place to do leisure/training rides around G-town...

    Neil

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    G-Town......The Lost World

    I hear you. My brother in law lives in G-Town, so I had to make a little jab.
    Hilton Falls is either wide single-track (as marked as hiking trails), or the rock and roll stuff you describe. The trails get a little smoother in the north-west section of the park, although you will get lost faster. I don't particularly like the stuff with my 80mm travel XC bike either.

    Bruce Trail is your main local ride. Some good stuff around the 8th line and 27 sideroad area, but hiking your bike will happen (get the Bruce Trail guide).

    You are now close to Inglewood, home to some great trails managed by the Caledon Cycling Club. However, they have exclusive private access to these trails (as negotiated with the land owners), so you need to join the club and get a club jersey. They have organized club rides there every Monday night to give you the inside tour. Snoop around Caledon Hills Cycling bike shop.

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    Thanks...but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    I hear you. My brother in law lives in G-Town, so I had to make a little jab.
    Hilton Falls is either wide single-track (as marked as hiking trails), or the rock and roll stuff you describe. The trails get a little smoother in the north-west section of the park, although you will get lost faster. I don't particularly like the stuff with my 80mm travel XC bike either.

    Bruce Trail is your main local ride. Some good stuff around the 8th line and 27 sideroad area, but hiking your bike will happen (get the Bruce Trail guide).

    You are now close to Inglewood, home to some great trails managed by the Caledon Cycling Club. However, they have exclusive private access to these trails (as negotiated with the land owners), so you need to join the club and get a club jersey. They have organized club rides there every Monday night to give you the inside tour. Snoop around Caledon Hills Cycling bike shop.
    Thanks Ricksom...I have have ventured onto some of the Bruce in that area. I have unfortunately not been lucky enough to find a reasonable section of trails to hit...I have heard of the trails in Inglewood. Not sure if I could bring myself to join the CCC though. My race team seems to compete very closely with these teams in the Chico events and my team members might linch me... However, I will look into it though because I am continually frustrated with the situation and will have a home base somewhere to train next season...Would I have to get a club jersey?

    Neil

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    Sent you a private message for further details.

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    It's a technical rock ride for sure, I had the same reaction the first few times I rode there. It did give me a lot more confidence and skill on rocky obstacles though, so at a place like Kolapore I can pretty much spin through everything and not get dismounted.

    What I don't get is charging cyclists an extra $2.50 to use the conservation area. What's with that? In lieu of any explanation, I guess I don't have much compunction about using the back door.

  6. #6
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    How bout..

    Waterdown area trails, 15min southwest of Kelso. Hilton Falls people either love it or hate it...I like the challenge it brings, there is a lot of riding in there, but you have to enjoy exploring (good sense of direction doesnt hurt either)
    But check out Waterdown ( a mini Albion Hills) A Turtle Jacks in town for after wings and beer...
    Enjoy what ever time you get...snows a comin

    Cheers

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    How about the trail around the gellert centre, you can ride with out any technical distractions, and get in some hot laps

    Or you could go explore more of the bruce, it get's easier with practise.

    Or you could go back to riding boring old Albion, it's not that far from Georgetown.


    I really don't understand your gripe, having lived in Georgetown for years, i think we have some of the greatest trails, and lots of them.
    it tied the room together man!

  8. #8
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    I remember doing a TT race there last fall, sometime in October, it was hell because all the rocks were covered with leaves. Most of the riders in the race were walking. Just craziness.

  9. #9
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    I'm in Georgetown, and I try Hilton Falls once a year, leave frustrated, and spend the rest of the year driving to Albion Hills. If I don't have the time to go to Albion, i ride the road bike...

  10. #10
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    I have never been to Hilton falls but every time I hear someone talk about it I feel that I am not missing anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    I have never been to Hilton falls but every time I hear someone talk about it I feel that I am not missing anything.
    Yeah your not missing much........but Kelso on the other hand good stuff if you've never been there.

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    Read the other's comments and you can see...

    Quote Originally Posted by canadian-clydesdale
    How about the trail around the gellert centre, you can ride with out any technical distractions, and get in some hot laps

    Or you could go explore more of the bruce, it get's easier with practise.

    Or you could go back to riding boring old Albion, it's not that far from Georgetown.


    I really don't understand your gripe, having lived in Georgetown for years, i think we have some of the greatest trails, and lots of them.
    Hey Tony,

    Unfortunately, I lost my sense of humour about Hilton after the second time I went there and I am not sure why I went again. Other than that Kelso was closed and Abion is too far. Read the other poster's comments and you can see my thoughts are obviously not exclusive to me. Thanks for the Gellert recommendation. That one is walking distance from my house. Paved path, yummie!!!

    My gripe is that there is not a trail network I can leave from my driveway or a short driving distance that is any good for xc riding. And technical riding I don't have an issue with. If you want to go for a ride to grade my skills, let me know...

    I like obstacles and rocks, just not a ride experience that is completely broken up by them. Also, the Bruce is weak in that you have to go on and off the road and what I have ridden is much like Hilton, devoid of any flow whatsoever...Not to mention, very little hills, up or down...I know you have graciously pointed me in a few directions, but I am not interested in what's close by...

    N.

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    The Bruce is generally closed to cyclists. What bits are open?

    (it's easy to find yourself on it by accident in the Beaver Valley as so many other trails cross it... it goes around three sides of my property for a start!)

  14. #14
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    I would just drive it to albion. Gerorgetown to albion hill isn't that far of a drive.

  15. #15
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    Well, yeah but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    I would just drive it to albion. Gerorgetown to albion hill isn't that far of a drive.
    It's not that far but I used to be seven minutes and now it's 45 minutes. So my ride experience has gone from a total of 1.5 hours total including the drive to three hours inclusive of the 45 minute either way included with the getting ready in the parking lot prior to the ride. It's not that far, but I have a 14 month old daughter and wife that I like to consider into my ride sched, especially since I am typically trying to get four rides a week minimum into the works.

    Neil

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    try out Terracotta, some good XC trails there and close to G Town.

  17. #17
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    I routinely drive from brampton to 3stage/kolapore up in collingwood, bike both of them in 1 day and drive back to brampton. The drive is easily 2 hours straight up airport road.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatchAttack
    Yeah your not missing much........but Kelso on the other hand good stuff if you've never been there.
    I have been to Kelso but I didn't realy like it. Only because next to the one fire road climb at the start it's flat as a pan cake. I like to ride places with lots of rolling hills and with lots of climbing.

  19. #19
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    I have to agree with you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    I have been to Kelso but I didn't realy like it. Only because next to the one fire road climb at the start it's flat as a pan cake. I like to ride places with lots of rolling hills and with lots of climbing.
    Yeah, you're right about the flatness, that's why trying to go as fast as you can there is the best way to get a decent workout. However, I rode the O-Cup course layout the other day and there are some hills in it. You have to work at it, but you can make it more hill. That said, there aren't enough trails there, traffic goes both ways, and there is often lots of it...

  20. #20
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    Time to come to the defence of both Kelso and Hilton Falls. (they are my two closest places to ride) Hilton is one of my favorite places to ride and has a great flow!! With some experience with the routes (roots too), I take beginners to experts and all have a great time. (day or night, spring, summer, fall with the leaves or winter with the snow!!)
    Kelso has eight (count em!) different climbs up from the lower parking lot.....a good challenge is the one that used to be closed ...straight up from the the chalet (not of to either side that is straight up....not for the weak of lung or leg).
    Inside there are also many smaller hills and if taken at speed the trails also can seem fairly narrow (although they have been widened out from the days when you could ride in the rain/mud and lack of trail etiquette/maintenance). Yes there are better trails but for the price it is a great system of trails giving you about 50km of trail network (both trails makes a great day) In my opinion it is way better than Albion!!
    And at Hilton you can ride in the rain without doing any damage to the trails!!! (just ride light on the slippery rocks and roots)

  21. #21
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    Neil,

    I'm sure you are a good rider, probably very fast from all the racing shenanigans. There is so many fun trails around here but you have to be comfortable with techy rock bits which sometimes take some time and a few tries to get.

    If you don't like it thats fine, more for me!

    If you would like to go to some fun trails, that are a little easier on the tech I can show you around, but you will have to put up with my non racing pace (i make no apologies about my speed, it is what it is) I think I could even convert you to like Hilton, there is so much more than double wide gravel and bent rim, it really takes awhile to get the gist of the trail system there. And the map at the gate is useless.

    I just can't believe you can't find a flowy trail close to Gtown, I'm thinking of so many right now! But then again you like Albion Hills, of which I avoid as I find it too bland.

    You know how to get ahold of me, if you want a tour.

    T
    it tied the room together man!

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    Each to there own, I guess...

    Quote Originally Posted by s-worksalot
    Time to come to the defence of both Kelso and Hilton Falls. (they are my two closest places to ride) Hilton is one of my favorite places to ride and has a great flow!! With some experience with the routes (roots too), I take beginners to experts and all have a great time. (day or night, spring, summer, fall with the leaves or winter with the snow!!)
    Kelso has eight (count em!) different climbs up from the lower parking lot.....a good challenge is the one that used to be closed ...straight up from the the chalet (not of to either side that is straight up....not for the weak of lung or leg).
    Inside there are also many smaller hills and if taken at speed the trails also can seem fairly narrow (although they have been widened out from the days when you could ride in the rain/mud and lack of trail etiquette/maintenance). Yes there are better trails but for the price it is a great system of trails giving you about 50km of trail network (both trails makes a great day) In my opinion it is way better than Albion!!
    And at Hilton you can ride in the rain without doing any damage to the trails!!! (just ride light on the slippery rocks and roots)
    I do actually like Kelso and have enjoyed riding there this season. Lots of variety and some fast winding hills (mostly down). My only beef is that any amount of rain and they close the trails, and you have to double up on stuff to make the ride long enough. And oh yeah, people going whichever way they choose, the crowds, and the stuck up city folk who don't even return a greeting when you say hello.

    Not sure if you were referring to Hilton or not when you reference price. For the price, trail markings are an atrocity and non existent for the most part. I guess I would need to understand what you define flow as? Averaging less than 15km/hr on any ride to me is not flow, and that would be generous to suggest that is attainable on a ride in Hilton. Using Hilton Falls and flow in the same sentence? I just can't fathom that. And unfortunately, I am so turned off by the place that I don't know if I could go in there again, even with someone leading me to the mysterious promised land that a few have mentioned.

    I guess everyone likes different things, which is good. Otherwise we would be all riding at the same overcrowded place all of the time. I dabble in some xc racing through the summer and of the three of Albion, Kelso, and Hilton, Albion is the best area to enjoy training rides and get the most benefit from it. Not technical in having to navigate through the escarpment, but tight switchbacks, short chutes, and good hills both up and down.

    N.

  23. #23
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    I don't mind a bit of rock when I ride (I like Kolapore) I just hate riding where the trails ar so techy that you can't cary alot of speed. I know speed is relative to skill and fitness but if I cant go at my own personal max I just don't enjoy the ride as much. I don't realy get into racing other than 24 events but I do like to push myself. I usualy go to a place Buck wallow one or twice a year just for the sake of riding something different but I would never make it my main riding spot. I love fast flowing hills ( Albion, Hard Wood and like ) but the good thing about Ontario is you can get alot of diferent terain in a relativly small area, something for everyone.

  24. #24
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    Hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    I don't mind a bit of rock when I ride (I like Kolapore) I just hate riding where the trails ar so techy that you can't cary alot of speed. I know speed is relative to skill and fitness but if I cant go at my own personal max I just don't enjoy the ride as much. I don't realy get into racing other than 24 events but I do like to push myself. I usualy go to a place Buck wallow one or twice a year just for the sake of riding something different but I would never make it my main riding spot. I love fast flowing hills ( Albion, Hard Wood and like ) but the good thing about Ontario is you can get alot of diferent terain in a relativly small area, something for everyone.
    Sounds like we like the same things. Some rock is good, just not every two feet...Not sure if you get anywhere near it, but I rode the Brant Tract yesterday. I know you like climbing and there isn't a whole lot of it there, but very nice flowing trails, tight switchbacks, with great scenery.

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    Sounds like we like the same things. Some rock is good, just not every two feet...Not sure if you get anywhere near it, but I rode the Brant Tract yesterday. I know you like climbing and there isn't a whole lot of it there, but very nice flowing trails, tight switchbacks, with great scenery.

    N.
    If you ever get out near Picton you ill most likely love Mccauly mt. Very tight very twisty but still lots of flow. realy well thought out and built trail system. I have ridden about 15 km of trail their but I think their is more that I haven't found.

  26. #26
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    Understood with your scheduling priorities, Neil. I'm not sure exactly where you live, but I feel you really owe it to yourself to get someone who know's Waterdown (SW block of Hwy 5 & 6, in Dundas) and try there. Not much in the way of rocks, but rooty with climbs and even an area where some obstacles/jumps have been made. With the exception of parking (chalk it up to an "every rider for themself" motive) I believe it would be a place you'd enjoy. It's free, too.

    Same goes for taking a bigger bike to Hilton along with someone who knows the trail network. Something worth looking into. (unless I mis-read your post earlier, i'm assuming you have two bikes)


    Now if you'll excuse me, i'm going riding to boring ol' faithful - Albion.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

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    I thought I would chime in as I LOVE riding Hilton. First off, technical, rocky, rooty trails are my favourite. And believe it or not, flow is not relative to speed. You can be plowing along Bent Rim at 8 km/h and still find good flowy lines to choose from! Actually, we did some trail work on the maintenance day they had earlier this year and did add more ‘flow’ to the trail. Now I can confidently ‘clean’ Bent Rim most of the time I ride it. I really like these trails because you always have to be on your toes, anticipating your next steps.

    It’s also bike related, IMHO. As fun as it was to ride Hilton with my full squish 4x4” travel XC bike, I just built up a SC Nomad this year, and that’s when you really have fun on these trails.

    There are some really nice trails off to the Mohawk Rd. side of the park, that have less rocks and more speed (if that’s your thing).

    So I guess to each is own… If you’re a downhiller type that loves technical riding, Hilton is definitely the place to ride! If smooth, up and down single track is your thing, stick with Albion Hills or even Waterdown.

    Just my 2 cents

    philshep

  28. #28
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    I used to hate Hilton Falls too...

    That's right. I got 'reformed'. I went to Hilton for a Rocks and Logs clinic put on by WOW. We sessioned rock outcrops and wheelied over large logs. I really began to enjoy Hilton after that. I really feel like I am working on my bike handling skills when I am in there. It is also much more of a mental workout for me. 'Flowing' in Hilton takes massive concentration.
    It is also a great upper-body work-out for me... but that might just be becasue I ride a rigid bike... who knows...

    moto
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    hilton falls... christ what a nightmare.

    Riding a hardtail with clips = worst combo ever, i never got so mad at clipping in an clipping out as i did in hilton falls. I walked half the bent rim trail if not more, some stuff was cool, i`ll give it that the whole look of the place is cool, BUT

    i think it needs a touch of the north shore, that place would be just great if that was allowed there (maybe it is but no ones gotten to it)

    Other then that its just way too much, my crank doesnt have nearly enough clearance for a place like that and i dont think anyones does, bash guard absolutley a must there.

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    Bigbore, you're right, most of us ride middle ring bash guards, skip the big ring altogether.

    But all of us do ride clipless pedals...

    I agree there should be some cool bridges and skinnies built in as options around some of the really rocky areas! It would be nice if the Halton Conservation Authority allowed it...

    It's funny, I was just on their website and they describe Hilton as novice to intermediate trails, and Kelso as Novice to Advanced!

    phil

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    Yeah, that is funny...

    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    Bigbore, you're right, most of us ride middle ring bash guards, skip the big ring altogether.

    But all of us do ride clipless pedals...

    I agree there should be some cool bridges and skinnies built in as options around some of the really rocky areas! It would be nice if the Halton Conservation Authority allowed it...

    It's funny, I was just on their website and they describe Hilton as novice to intermediate trails, and Kelso as Novice to Advanced!

    phil
    Never noticed that on the web-site, but it is humorous. I have no problem handling what Kelso has to throw at me...But Hilton is another story...It comes down to the management of the trail network not being in tune with what mountain bikers want. They need to consult with the riding community or an organization like IMBA. I am sure it is not in the budget, but the mismanagement of other funds is okay...

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    I agree 100%, it would be great if IMBA got involved... Hilton has huge potential for both technical, stunty type trails for bigger trail bikes as well as full on XC type trails... but at the end i think it all comes down to money...

    phil

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    My thoughts... If you don't like that kind of riding, just don't ride there. Personally, I don't mind a slower ride. I like the rocks, and I like the challenge.

    If all you are looking for is smooth fast trails, by a CX bike and ride dirt roads.

    Try going into Hilton with the mentality of just riding for fun.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  34. #34
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    Ahhhh....The memories...

    I use to live in Milton and ride Hilton and Kelso almost daily. Both of those ride were on my Sugar3, yes 2.5" of travel and I was riding Hilton. At first it was tough, but as time went on I was cleaning a ton of stuff. The Bent Rim trail wasn't around then, but there was other extremely difficult trail that was above me, but I had no problems finding technical singletrack that had flow and that allowed me to maintain a 15km\h average pace.

    I think the big thing here is that the people who like Hilton end up venturing into the agreement forest to the north, where the real good singletrack is. If you stick primarily to Hilton Falls itself then you are truly missing the best part the area has to offer. Of course that area isn't marked and you have to deal with getting lost, but isn't that true with most trail systems.

    I understand the comments about paying a fee and expecting a level of service, that's part of the reason why I have strayed from the mountain bike and have been sucked into the world of road riding. That and the fact there was an ever dwindling supply of new fun trail to ride.

    Ok, I'll sneak back into my hole and get ready for tonight's road ride....

    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

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    Good point Rich, the agreement forest has some really nice trails. We also do a ride from the 6th line parking lot and head east on the Bruce Trail. A nice 1 ˝ - 2hr. ride and you come out close to Hwy. 25 at the top of the hill going towards Acton. I think it’s called St. Helena Rd? We normally take the road back after that.

    On another note, we just rode Hilton last night, right after the rain, night riding. That was an experience…

    phil

  36. #36
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    I have to defend Hilton Falls as well. I love all kinds of riding, my favorite place this year being Albion Hills, but I really dig places like Hilton too. When I go there, it is with a different mindset than when I ride at Albion - I know it will not be a big ring, fast, lung burning ride. I go there for a challenge - love those rocks! The rockier - the better. Do I clean everything? Not a chance, but I have my favorite spots where each time I try to see if I can clean a given section again (or for the first time), and don't mind stopping and giving it a few tries until I get through.

    Even though it is not a fast paced ride, and I agree that the average speed is not even close to places like Albion (except for the fireroads and some of the smoother singletrack, but that's not the most trails in there), but by the end of the second hour of the ride, my helmet is dripping sweat like it was an xc race. Plus, unlike with xc rides, it's a full body workout - you're constantly balacing, muscling the bike around and over boulders, half of the ride off the saddle.

    Does it have "flow"? Well, I wouldn't say that, at least not in the "xc" meaning of the word. It's just different. It's more about negotiating whatever section is right in front of you at that moment, rather than concentrating on how it transitions into the next and the next one to form a flowy trail. I have to say that when I have a good day, it's very rewarding when I'm able to ride a particularly tough part of the trail without having to dab a foot. Something you can't say about an xc ride. And on an "off" day... well, let's just say it can sometimes resemble a "hike a bike" excursion at times ...

    I and a few of my riding buddies ride Hilton pretty much all year round, it's great in winter, and riding this stuff in snow hones your technical skills even more, not being able to see exactly what is in front of your wheel under a few inches of the white stuff.
    There's a group ride that starts from the Mohawk racetrack's parking lot on Sunday mornings, and those guys go all winter too. I caught a few rides with them last winter. There are all kinds of riders there - style and age-wise, and all kinds of bikes. There's even a few ridgid singlespeeders - that blows my mind, every time I see it. They also happen to negotiate better most of the obstacles that guys on full suspension rigs get stuck on (read: me). Hats off, I could never dream of riding there on a bike like that.

    To me that is the definition of a complete mountain biker - someone who goes for a fast xc ride on a buff singletrack one day, and can hold his own on a rocky trail the next, and enjoys both. But that's just my 2 cents, of course...

    The only gripe that was mentioned here that I could understand is the lack of trail marking, although personaly I do not take offense to that. It may sound weird, but to me it adds to the "charm" and experience of that place, that when you venture far from the main trails it can feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. Although I DO preffer if it's still at least 2-3 hours before sundown ... By now though I can find my way back with more or less luck from most places in there. I often thought that the reasons for lack of the markings was that a lot of that far singletrack is not even under Hilton Falls/Conservation Halton's jurisdiction?

    Arek
    Last edited by Arek; 09-14-2006 at 07:02 AM.

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    Awesome post Arek! That encapsulates the Hilton Falls ‘charm’ as you put it. Bang on.

    phil

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    "To me that is the definition of a complete mountain biker - someone who goes for a fast xc ride on a buff singletrack one day, and can hold his own on a rocky trail the next, and enjoys both. But that's just my 2 cents, of course..."

    I also agree as I think Arek's post sums up the Hilton Falls ride experience to a mTbr. I have been riding there for a number of years and if you can find that sweet singletrack that he is reffering to it's an awesome ride, if that is your thing. I don't mind Albion but I go in there knowing that it is a very different ride and enjoy it for what it is. I just wanted to add my 2 cents as well, so I think together we are up to 4.

    Where ever you end up riding, enjoy! I do.

    Damone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    There's even a few ridgid singlespeeders - that blows my mind, every time I see it. They also happen to negotiate better most of the obstacles that guys on full suspension rigs get stuck on (read: me). Hats off, I could never dream of riding there on a bike like that.

    To me that is the definition of a complete mountain biker - someone who goes for a fast xc ride on a buff singletrack one day, and can hold his own on a rocky trail the next, and enjoys both. But that's just my 2 cents, of course...

    Arek
    Arek.. you would be so supprised how well a rigid fork rides in that stuff. No flex or mis directed lines caused by suspension flex. Point and shoot. It just takes a while to learn to pick lines better again (relearn the skill), and to change the way you weight the front end.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  40. #40
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    Again, agree to disagree on this place...

    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    I have to defend Hilton Falls as well. I love all kinds of riding, my favorite place this year being Albion Hills, but I really dig places like Hilton too. When I go there, it is with a different mindset than when I ride at Albion - I know it will not be a big ring, fast, lung burning ride. I go there for a challenge - love those rocks! The rockier - the better. Do I clean everything? Not a chance, but I have my favorite spots where each time I try to see if I can clean a given section again (or for the first time), and don't mind stopping and giving it a few tries until I get through.

    Even though it is not a fast paced ride, and I agree that the average speed is not even close to places like Albion (except for the fireroads and some of the smoother singletrack, but that's not the most trails in there), but by the end of the second hour of the ride, my helmet is dripping sweat like it was an xc race. Plus, unlike with xc rides, it's a full body workout - you're constantly balacing, muscling the bike around and over boulders, half of the ride off the saddle.

    Does it have "flow"? Well, I wouldn't say that, at least not in the "xc" meaning of the word. It's just different. It's more about negotiating whatever section is right in front of you at that moment, rather than concentrating on how it transitions into the next and the next one to form a flowy trail. I have to say that when I have a good day, it's very rewarding when I'm able to ride a particularly tough part of the trail without having to dab a foot. Something you can't say about an xc ride. And on an "off" day... well, let's just say it can sometimes resemble a "hike a bike" excursion at times ...

    I and a few of my riding buddies ride Hilton pretty much all year round, it's great in winter, and riding this stuff in snow hones your technical skills even more, not being able to see exactly what is in front of your wheel under a few inches of the white stuff.
    There's a group ride that starts from the Mohawk racetrack's parking lot on Sunday mornings, and those guys go all winter too. I caught a few rides with them last winter. There are all kinds of riders there - style and age-wise, and all kinds of bikes. There's even a few ridgid singlespeeders - that blows my mind, every time I see it. They also happen to negotiate better most of the obstacles that guys on full suspension rigs get stuck on (read: me). Hats off, I could never dream of riding there on a bike like that.

    To me that is the definition of a complete mountain biker - someone who goes for a fast xc ride on a buff singletrack one day, and can hold his own on a rocky trail the next, and enjoys both. But that's just my 2 cents, of course...

    The only gripe that was mentioned here that I could understand is the lack of trail marking, although personaly I do not take offense to that. It may sound weird, but to me it adds to the "charm" and experience of that place, that when you venture far from the main trails it can feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. Although I DO preffer if it's still at least 2-3 hours before sundown ... By now though I can find my way back with more or less luck from most places in there. I often thought that the reasons for lack of the markings was that a lot of that far singletrack is not even under Hilton Falls/Conservation Halton's jurisdiction?

    Arek
    Hey Arek,

    Where have you been hiding? Haven't seen a post in a while. As others have said, good post. Now, I do like my variety too. I am not an exclusive Albion Hills supporter with no other targets to go to...I just don't like getting off my bike while on a ride, low speed, and I have horrendous feet problems...So Hilton sucks for me. Also, I am riding a carbon fibre XC bike that if I plant it into a rock pile, it's cooked.

    Charm, here's where we agree to disagree. If you can go out for 2-3 hour rides without any other considerations no problem. But I have a family at home who I enjoy spending time with and don't want to suggest "be home in an hour and half" and get freakin lost for two hours plus my drive there. I like to know where I am. And I don't need to not know where I am to feel alone in the bush. There are places and trails within them that allow you to feel secluded, which is a great feeling...

    Complete Mountain Biker...Again, we have to agree to disagree. We don't normally do this. I feel like Oggie . I think I can ride technically well in most situations and you know how I ride. I just don't care for my ride being interrupted by and unexpected pile of Canadian Shield because I don't know where I am and the trails don't have any flow. Slamming rocks and powering up and through them is fun. Which is why somewhere like Buckwallow is a real combination of an overall "complete" biker's trail system. With the exception climbs there are limited. Unfortunately, I wish I liked Hilton because it is the closest (Kelso too) to my home. But I have been ready to lose my mind during all three of my visits there.

    Neil.

  41. #41
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    Neil,

    Carbon bikes are tougher than you think. I rode a carbon hardtail for years (i actually still have it and use it as the georgetown shopper/beer can racer/single speed extordinaire) and it has yet to fail, and it has been ridden through Hilton and the rocks numerous times and has taken more than one nasty tumble and come out much better than the pilot. That being said I much perfer my slayer to ride at Hilton.

    T
    it tied the room together man!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    There's a group ride that starts from the Mohawk racetrack's parking lot on Sunday mornings, and those guys go all winter too. I caught a few rides with them last winter. There are all kinds of riders there - style and age-wise, and all kinds of bikes. There's even a few ridgid singlespeeders....
    Hey, I resemble that remark!

    Here's an idea of what some people do all year round in Hilton:


























    Hilton is not for everyone, but it always helps to have a local who knows the trails. The Sunday group is a very non-discriminating mix (racer boys on 20lb XC bikes to freeriders on 45lb rigs... plus the wierd single-speeders), and rides vary from a technial rock fest, to fast single track - unfortunately you have to like it all, because there's no telling what they will do. You also have to like alot of very non-PC jokes and ribbing, and trying things that are at the egde of your abilities (or waiting for other people to try it...). As you can tell, we don't shy away from water crossings.

    Like all things, ride what you enjoy, and keep the rubber down.
    Last edited by itsdoable; 09-15-2006 at 09:05 AM.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    Hey, I resemble that remark!
    Hilton is not for everyone, but it always helps to have a local who knows the trails. The Sunday group is a very non-discriminating mix (racer boys on 20lb XC bikes to freeriders on 45lb rigs... plus the wierd single-speeders), and rides vary from a technial rock fest, to fast single track - unfortunately you have to like it all, because there's no telling what they will do. You also have to like alot of very non-PC jokes and ribbing, and trying things that are at the egde of your abilities (or waiting for other people to try it...). As you can tell, we don't shy away from water crossings.
    Like all things, ride what you enjoy, and keep the rubber down.
    Wow, great pics! (Although I don't know about those crossings... )
    I think I recognize that singlespeed Brodie!

    Arek

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    Back from 4 hours of flowing fast trails in Hilton Falls. I had not been there yet this year (broken collarbone) so had to check out what the complaints were about, and got lost in the pure enjoyment of kms after kms of beautiful trails (almost all in the agreement forest) Note: not lost on the trails...lost in the enjoyment) There are trail signs and markings almost everywhere!! (If that does not help you, just look for mother natures signs or unfortunately the odd bit of garbage (hubcap/car frame/ski-doo frame)
    If there was a slight negative it was the fact that it looked like a lot of people had been "grooming" the trails (Rich, you might be a little dissapointed in the width of the trails and that a lot of the technical parts have been smoothed out shall we say!! We actually rode together in a few groups with "Gummsy" and "Bob, old guy, yellow specialized" about five years ago) As far as "hike a bike" there are only a few (very few) spots where a techniclly challenged rider would be carrying and that is far outweighed by the dozens of kms of fast flowing trails....My smile kept getting bigger the more I rode, recognizing old trails, seeing the new bridges ( I like the new bridges and log piles....a lot of trail maintenance went into these!!!) feeling the sweat dripping, getting scared by deer jumping across the trail, dabbing on parts of the trail I should have cleaned or cleaning parts I remember having to dab on!! It was my best ride all year!! If anyone is interested I will be back on Tuesday, main parking lot, grey pick up, black specialized, about 1pm. It will not be a hammerfest or a trials competition just enjoying the trails. Last time I put on a number plate I was mid pack sport and have trouble doing a wheelie for more that two peddal strokes so don't be intimidated (plus I am out of shape from the lack of riding compared to the time with a number plate on!)

    Gord

  45. #45
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    On such a positive note I will give Hilton another try assuming the weather is even a bit co-operative tomorrow morning. Are these trails the blue and brown traills, or are you referring to the bent rim trail? Or are there other marked trails for riding at Hilton as well?

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    The trails are to the west of the actual falls and to the north of the beaver trail, not the bent rim trail (although it was fun too). Wizard of Wheels (I am away from home and do not have the link) has a map of the trails on their website for their time trial they hold there( it shows a lot of the marked and unmarked) and alot of the signs in the forest are theirs.
    Enjoy!!

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    ... and if we just ...

    I'm new here. Does anyone go east to the ganny or northumerland ? Lots of great riding out this way. mike.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by s-worksalot
    If there was a slight negative it was the fact that it looked like a lot of people had been "grooming" the trails (Rich, you might be a little dissapointed in the width of the trails and that a lot of the technical parts have been smoothed out shall we say!! We actually rode together in a few groups with "Gummsy" and "Bob, old guy, yellow specialized" about five years ago)
    Smoothed out trail might suit me fine these days....The road riding has sapped my technical skills...Well I assume it has, since I haven't been on the MTB since the spring...
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

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    It would be amazing if you could post that link of the map. I have ridden some of the outlying trails but have gotten lost. Not the best when you ride alone. My simple solution is to carry a piece of my kids driveway chalk (not permanent and easy to carry) to descretely number the major intersections etc. That way I can at least find my way back.

    Of course an actual map would be the best.

  50. #50
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    Ask and ye shall receive....

    Quote Originally Posted by helvetica
    It would be amazing if you could post that link of the map. I have ridden some of the outlying trails but have gotten lost. Not the best when you ride alone. My simple solution is to carry a piece of my kids driveway chalk (not permanent and easy to carry) to descretely number the major intersections etc. That way I can at least find my way back.

    Of course an actual map would be the best.

    http://wowmtb.com/images/maps/HiltonRace_Oct05.pdf
    It's only pain......

  51. #51
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    Platforms and a lower seat may help

    Don't know what all the fuss is about and why some are not able to ride Hilton. We ride there once a week year round. We only use the double track when we have to to hook up with more single track. We ride there because of the rocks. If you can't seem to grt it you should spend more time working on your skills. Then again you might be the reason some of the trails are being smoothed out. Bent rim one for instance has had way too much work done to it so that even the worse of rides can if they try make it without walking.
    E mail me [email protected] and i will send you a map like no other.

  52. #52
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    Skills?

    Quote Originally Posted by IAMTBER
    Don't know what all the fuss is about and why some are not able to ride Hilton. We ride there once a week year round. We only use the double track when we have to to hook up with more single track. We ride there because of the rocks. If you can't seem to grt it you should spend more time working on your skills. Then again you might be the reason some of the trails are being smoothed out. Bent rim one for instance has had way too much work done to it so that even the worse of rides can if they try make it without walking.
    E mail me [email protected] and i will send you a map like no other.
    Skills? I actually don't have a problem riding some of the stuff in there. Just not a couple of spots I got lost. And were I was, I would love to watch some folks ride through it. Not to mention I have cronic foot problems, so getting off the bike is a killer. At the end of the day, that much of the same slow riding plowing over and around rocks with very little climbing or fast downhills just doesn't appeal to me. It's as simple as that. Each to there own I guess. I wouldn't dare ride platforms in there...

    N.

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