What are the gnarliest trails of Ontario?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What are the gnarliest trails of Ontario?

    Just got back from Moab and looking for some more gnar!

    What are some of the gnarliest trails in Ontario/closest to the GTA?

  2. #2
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    Depends on exactly what you mean by gnarliest - but near GTA I would think Hilton Falls. Kanata Lakes has some tough trails (or at least tougher than me) but not near the GTA.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Depends on exactly what you mean by gnarliest - but near GTA I would think Hilton Falls. Kanata Lakes has some tough trails (or at least tougher than me) but not near the GTA.
    Moab gave us a taste of big ledges/drops (many 1-2' drops over and over and over), rock gardens, rocky/loose terrain, and 20%+ steep terrain so looking for something similar to hone our skills.

  4. #4
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    Porcupine Ridge is one of spots in Ontario that I found to have some good 'gnar', though nothing really compares riding to out west (or in proper mountains).

    Porcupine Ridge
    Straight outta Rossland

  5. #5
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    Porcupine Ridge and Kanata are not really GTA, but pretty gnarly. In the GTA, it would have to be St. Helenas. It is across the street from Hilton Falls. It is much harder and has some scary exposures. I don't have the right bike and lack some fortitude for that place. I walked too much of it for my liking.
    Burnt Norton

  6. #6
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    Depends on what you mean by closest to GTA.

    Kanata Lakes (aka South March Highlands) in the west end of Ottawa does indeed have some rocky trails, lots of riding on open rock. But unlike Moab, has almost zero elevation change. The ups and downs tend to be very short and steep. It's also about a 4-5 hour drive away from GTA.

    If you are going to ride that far, might as well head to Camp Fortune on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Also rocky, but a bit more elevation change. It's on a small ski hill.

    I've heard some sections of Brocktel trails near Brockville are even more technical than South March. That's a little closer to you, but still far enough.

    The hardest trails at Buckwallow (5 and 6 "Hoofs") are similar in difficulty to South March and Camp Fortune, but on average, Buckwallow is smoother and flowier than those two places. Buckwallow, also like South March, doesn't have much elevation change. It's a lot closer to the GTA.

    You should pick up Rider Mel's guide to mountain biking in Ontario. He gives each trail 3 separate ratings: physical difficulty, technical difficulty, and fear factor. There's also a map showing the trail locations so you can find some close by.

  7. #7
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    Halton Hills/Hilton Falls is by far your best bet close to the GTA. Gnarliest trails in SWO without question.

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    Thanks guys! Sounds like we'll be hitting up Hilton Falls sometime just due to proximity to Toronto.

    I'll check out the trails closer to Ottawa if I'm ever in the area but it's def a bit too far for a regular weekend trip.

  9. #9
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    Definitely St Helenas. Just east of Hilton Falls...

    https://www.strava.com/segments/7753477

  10. #10
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    How "gnarly" is St. Helenas?

  11. #11
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    Body armour gnarly. 7.2km/h avg speed gnarly. Flat pedals gnarly...

    Let'er rip!
    Todd :thumbsup:

  12. #12
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    St. Helena's is not on Trailforks, but Hilton Falls/Agreement Forest are. Yes, armor and a bigger bike most recommended. Bugs are good in the area right now, but if you go in the summer, bring tons of spray. You will not be going very fast even if you are good,and may be walking some. Try the area around Wandering Linx, Hilton Hwy, BC rocks, Wally and the Beaver, and of course the two Bent rims. Further north in the Agreement Forest look for the Stunt Trail, and for Xanadu on trailforks. It will put you into some interesting trails. If you find those too tame, St. Helena's ups the gnarly factor by a very considerable amount.
    Burnt Norton

  13. #13
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    Go to Hilton/AF, get familiar with that type of riding. When you're ready to up your game, go across the road to St. Helenas. It's like Hilton/AF's big wild cousin. Rocks for lunch.
    I love riding my bike!

  14. #14
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    All this St Helenas talk has me intrigued..

    Is the parking a the trail entrance? Or are you riding here from eg the Parking lots on 6, north of there that access the NE section of Hilton/Mohalk?
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

  15. #15
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    Most rides begin on the St. Helena Road side. It is on Hwy 25 just south of 15th side road. There is some parking there. There is access across the street on 6 th line. you have to be careful, as there are a couple of trailheads that look about right. If you don't end up over a small bridge pretty quickly, you are not on the right trail. I took the wrong trail head from there and it just dead ends in bush, but it's not that bad. If you end up there, then go north a bit.
    Burnt Norton

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    Most rides begin on the St. Helena Road side. It is on Hwy 25 just south of 15th side road. There is some parking there.
    Thanks for the details, found it no problem. Greatly appreciated.

    Man you guys weren't joking about this place! Definitely the toughest riding I've seen in Ontario.

    Saw two guys in there just destroying the gnarliest lines, respect to them. Couldn't believe how smooth they were, over the toughest stuff. On the sections I was able to clear I was about as graceful as a drunken bear lol.
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

  17. #17
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    Anyone got photos/videos of these rides? Looking to go out there Oct 1st weekend!

  18. #18
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    There are a few folks on the Defiant or HAFTA FB pages that might be able to help with vids.
    Burnt Norton

  19. #19
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    Last edited by SuprGrovr; 09-22-2016 at 09:23 AM. Reason: added another link

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuprGrovr View Post
    Here you go... these guys are awesome:
    I've ridden with Paul before, I'm not entirely sure he's human.
    He was riding up trails that most people were having trouble riding down, it's just not right.

  21. #21
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    St Helena's looks sick! Definitely will check it out soon. I know for sure I won't be able to clean some of those climbs but those lines look crazy fun to go down!

  22. #22
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    Hilton Falls is similar to Kanata Lakes. I haven't tried St Helena's.

    Further from GTA:

    Blue Mountain (not the one in Collingwood) but the one just south of Charleston Lake (~15min west of Brockville) is pretty damn ridiculous. Like, bring a trials bike and expect 5-6kph average speed.

    Camp Fortune DH has some good gnar.

    Lager Trail at Mont Ste Marie looses close to 1000feet in under 2km, the last km is steeper than the first. It was a PITA to build a 'safe' passage on some of the steeper parts but the final result was well worth it IMO.
    www.ottawavelo.com - MTB & Gravel lifestyle in Eastern Ontario

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