Is it worth the drive to Mansfield?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is it worth the drive to Mansfield?

    Mansfield seems to have some awesome reviews, and I was wondering if it's worth the 1.5 hour drive it will take me to get up there. I'm still very much a beginner (small obstacles aren't a problem; shorter, wider bridges and skinnies are ok; and downhills are fun, but I rather they not be too technical - yet). I'm wondering if I'll be overwhelmed when I get there.

    Also, what's the difference between Mansfield Outdoor, and Mansfield Agreement Forest?

  2. #2
    Ms. Monster
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    Mansfield itself is private property and sadly, only allows mountain biking for insured events. Recreational riding is prohibited. The public land around it is super fun. I don't think you'd be overwhelmed. There might be better, closer options, depending on where you're coming from.

  3. #3
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    I'm in Mississauga, and though I know I have Kelso and Hilton Hills just 30 minutes away, the hills, rocks and cliffs there are a bit too daunting ATM.

    It sucks that most of the trail reviews on here are for trails that aren't really allowed by the province. >.>

  4. #4
    Ms. Monster
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    Despite the recent dissing, Albion would probably suit you pretty well. Kelso could be good, as long as you stay away from the more downhill stuff.

    If you're up for a bit of a longer drive, Hydrocut is super-fun. It will have bits that sound like they're over your head, but the majority is super fun, and they've rated their trails to give you an idea of what to expect.

  5. #5
    Ms. Monster
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    The King Trails are fantastic beginner trails too, and not too far from you. Super fun.

  6. #6
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    the dufferin forest adjoining mansfield is great but easy to get lost if you don't know your way around as nothing is marked.
    also this time of year it gets very sandy and loose in there in this heat and a lot of the locals stay away unless its been raining a lot then its good.
    albion sounds like it would be worth your while.
    trails are in great shape and well marked.

  7. #7
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    Puslinch? I haven't ridden there, but it may suit you too.
    Mansfield (or the forest behind it) is not very technical, so it probably fits what you're looking for, but I don't think it's worth the drive unless you have someone to guide you through the trails. You could get lost or worse end up doing a very crappy short loop which leaves you disappointed with what is an amazing trail system. It is sandy, so it's good to ride after a rain or early in the season.
    Albion is paid admission and is also not very technical, so it may be good for you. It's also closer to you, so the time you save may offset the admission price when compared to driving all the way to Mansfield.
    Coulson's Hill may actually be the best ride for you unless Puslinch is better. It's not technical and you can't get lost in it. You can make the ride what you want, but you will have to ride some stuff over and backwards again to get a good long ride out of it. It's just off the 400 by the Husky Station.

  8. #8
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    I'm actually heading up to Albion tomorrow, weather permitting.
    All this bashing made me want to go check it out, lol.
    I'll have to check out Hydrocut and Coulson's Hill. Both sound perfect for the type of riding I'm looking for.
    Whereabouts are the King Trails?

    Thanks so much for the info guys; I should have enough to keep me busy for a while.

  9. #9
    Evil Jr.
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    The best parts of Puslinch are quite technical but the first half of the blue/yellow blazed trails are great for a little toodle (there may be a little walking involved).
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  10. #10
    Ms. Monster
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    It seems there isn't an MTBR review of the King Trails! Huh. A quick google search was similarly annoying, but Superfly has their High School Series there, and on their flyer is a map. They're short, but fun swoopy trails.
    Guelph Lake is another great spot and not too far.
    The first part of Puslinch through the pines is beginner-friendly, but when you get in the back half, it becomes very technical, so I wouldn't recommend it until you're a bit more confident with your skills.

  11. #11
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    I'm actually heading up to Albion tomorrow, weather permitting.
    Are you going to do the Tuesday night series? It is fun and includes all levels of riders. If you're looking for a more serene experience in the woods, plan your riding for earlier than 7pm.

  12. #12
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    at albion follow the light orange markers.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the link Nerdgirl. I'll be sure to check it out. As for Albion, I plan to go up early; possibly before noon so I should be long gone before the crowd even starts arriving.

    Are the light orange markers still considered singletrack?

  14. #14
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    yeah, if you happen to be on the trails after 7pm on Tuesday at Albion, and hear a roar of a fast bike train behind you, run for cover. Some of the fun racers are bloodthirsty... Some behave like the Hoogerland TV car at Tour de France...

    Other than that, let us know YOUR impressions of Albion Hills...

  15. #15
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    all the single track are now the orange markers.
    once you get up to a trail called moraine momentum the marking arrows are incomplete.
    when you come out of moraine momentum keep staying to the left.
    ignore the one arrow pointing you right, that takes you directly to the albion witch trail because you'll end up missing some nice trails in between.

  16. #16
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Other than that, let us know YOUR impressions of Albion Hills...
    Given all the time we just wasted on this topic, I would really like to hear an assessment of Albioni from a self-confessed beginner. Have fun!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  17. #17
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    Just made a trip home and didn't get a chance to ride Mansfield.

    Miss that fast flowy singletrack sometimes.

  18. #18
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    Haha, I'll be out of there well before 5 p.m. Hopefully this predicted thunderstorm will pass.

  19. #19
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    Mansfield seems to have some awesome reviews, and I was wondering if it's worth the 1.5 hour drive it will take me to get up there. I'm still very much a beginner (small obstacles aren't a problem; shorter, wider bridges and skinnies are ok; and downhills are fun, but I rather they not be too technical - yet). I'm wondering if I'll be overwhelmed when I get there.

    Also, what's the difference between Mansfield Outdoor, and Mansfield Agreement Forest?
    There are no trail markings, it's probably a bit more challenging than Albion hills since the hills are steeper there, it's all sandy though and few rocks to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Given all the time we just wasted on this topic, I would really like to hear an assessment of Albioni from a self-confessed beginner. Have fun!
    I suppose that makes you a self-confessed time waster since you're still talking about it. Just remember, if OP reports back we have no context to assign any meaning to this man's reporting.

  20. #20
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    if OP reports back we have no context to assign any meaning to this man's reporting.
    say what?

  21. #21
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    say what?
    This is an inside joke from another thread.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    Haha, I'll be out of there well before 5 p.m. Hopefully this predicted thunderstorm will pass.
    That predicted thunderstorm will do the trails in the Greater Barrie area some good. So much of what I have ridden lately is very dry and dusty. Of course we sure don't need the damaging winds that sometimes accompany these storms.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudhead View Post
    That predicted thunderstorm will do the trails in the Greater Barrie area some good. So much of what I have ridden lately is very dry and dusty. Of course we sure don't need the damaging winds that sometimes accompany these storms.
    Blasphemy those winds create TTF's.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I suppose that makes you a self-confessed time waster since you're still talking about it. Just remember, if OP reports back we have no context to assign any meaning to this man's reporting.
    Bah, we have all the context we need right here:

    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    I'm in Mississauga, and though I know I have Kelso and Hilton Hills just 30 minutes away, the hills, rocks and cliffs there are a bit too daunting ATM.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  25. #25
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Bah, we have all the context we need right here:



    I'm sorry but there was no context for Kelso either. It's frustrating of course. I mean how are we ever going to know if we're being inclusive enough if we can't establish some absolute baseline.

  26. #26
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I'm sorry but there was no context for Kelso either. It's frustrating of course. I mean how are we ever going to know if we're being inclusive enough if we can't establish some absolute baseline.
    Hmm. Perhaps it's time for a thread on trail rating systems...!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Hmm. Perhaps it's time for a thread on trail rating systems...!
    why re-invent the wheel, there's a more then adequate rating system out there

    http://www.imba.com/resources/maps/t...iculty-ratings
    broadcasting from
    "the vinyl basement"

    build trail!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    why re-invent the wheel, there's a more then adequate rating system out there

    http://www.imba.com/resources/maps/t...iculty-ratings
    By those standards, Albion looks like it is mostly green dots with some blue squares. Am I reading the system correctly?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    By those standards, Albion looks like it is mostly green dots with some blue squares. Am I reading the system correctly?
    Grade-wise, it's a blue square, but most of the features count as green dots. Most of the tread is closer to 24" than 36" (blue not green) and most of the tread surface is closer to green than blue. Teal?

  30. #30
    Evil Jr.
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    True Green trail is incredibly challenging to flag. The clinometer is a real eye opener: one wrong turn and you've doubled your max grade without even realizing it.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  31. #31
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    Albion seems to be as heated a topic as politics lol

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    Albion seems to be as heated a topic as politics lol
    For most of the same reasons.


  33. #33
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    Update for Albion

    In case anyone is actually interested in the opinion of a newb, here it is:

    I went up to Albion, very stupidly at noon, so it was incredibly hot. No big deal though, lots of shade there. I found the trails to be well-marked but still a bit confusing to someone who is trying this for the first time. Kept to the red trail mostly, but went off onto the singletrack when I was feeling more brave. My first impression? It's a great place to ease the transition from Beginner to Intermediate. It was challenging enough to be fun at times, and at others it definitely taught me a lesson.

    Can't wait to go back; hopefully this time I'll remember to turn off the lock-out BEFORE spending 30 minutes on the trail.

    Also, "this man" is actually a woman.

    EDIT: Are hikers allowed on the singletrack paths?
    Last edited by norwish; 07-12-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    Also, "this man" is actually a woman.
    Well, isn't that interesting? Amazing where our biases can lead us sometimes... *cough*eh, electrik?*cough*

    Anyhoo, glad you had fun. We're off to ride there ourselves right... NOW!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  35. #35
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    In case anyone is actually interested in the opinion of a newb, here it is:

    I went up to Albion, very stupidly at noon, so it was incredibly hot. No big deal though, lots of shade there. I found the trails to be well-marked but still a bit confusing to someone who is trying this for the first time. Kept to the red trail mostly, but went off onto the singletrack when I was feeling more brave. My first impression? It's a great place to ease the transition from Beginner to Intermediate. It was challenging enough to be fun at times, and at others it definitely taught me a lesson.

    Can't wait to go back; hopefully this time I'll remember to turn off the lock-out BEFORE spending 30 minutes on the trail.

    Also, "this man" is actually a woman.

    EDIT: Are hikers allowed on the singletrack paths?
    Hahaha...

    Glad you're enjoying it and learning new stuff. Just fyi, leaving the lock-out on can result in an expensive repair!

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Well, isn't that interesting? Amazing where our biases can lead us sometimes... *cough*eh, electrik?*cough*

    Anyhoo, glad you had fun. We're off to ride there ourselves right... NOW!
    I blame the patriarchy for denying poor me those gender-neutral pronouns.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish View Post
    In case anyone is actually interested in the opinion of a newb, here it is:

    I went up to Albion, very stupidly at noon, so it was incredibly hot. No big deal though, lots of shade there. I found the trails to be well-marked but still a bit confusing to someone who is trying this for the first time. Kept to the red trail mostly, but went off onto the singletrack when I was feeling more brave. My first impression? It's a great place to ease the transition from Beginner to Intermediate. It was challenging enough to be fun at times, and at others it definitely taught me a lesson.

    Can't wait to go back; hopefully this time I'll remember to turn off the lock-out BEFORE spending 30 minutes on the trail.

    Also, "this man" is actually a woman.

    EDIT: Are hikers allowed on the singletrack paths?
    glad you enjoyed it
    hikers are allowed but not that common during the week.
    where there many?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    glad you enjoyed it
    hikers are allowed but not that common during the week.
    where there many?
    There was 4 of them in a group. I just found it odd and possibly a bit dangerous. Saw them as they were entering the trail, so I just skipped that section altogether.

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