Assessing The Minessing Trail Network In Algonquin Park

Recently, I traveled to Algonquin Provincial Park to take in the beautiful scenery and perform a comprehensive assessment of their Minessing Trail Network.

Algonquin Provincial Park is the largest and oldest provincial park in Ontario and has long been an international destination. Boasting nearly 8,000 square kilometres of land with over 2,400 individual lakes and 1,200 kilometres of rivers Algonquin Park has long been a destination for paddlers and adventurers looking to explore its water and islands. While that is still the case, the park offers 19 individual trail experiences ranging from hiking trail to rail trail. Included in that are 30km of mountain bike trails in the Minessing Trail Network.

Located 23km from the East Gate along Hwy 60, the Minessing Trail Network is currently the only mountain bike destination within the park. Three active loops cover just over 30 kilometres of trail to offer riders, with it all being some great challenging cross country atop Canadian shield and escarpment terrain (there is a fourth loop that is currently closed for repair/construction). With a fantastic dedicated parking lot with a cabin and outhouse, the trail network offers a great destination for riders looking to challenge themselves on the technical terrain.

With Ontario Parks celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2018, we were brought in to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Minessing Trail Network and to provide recommendations and solutions to the park so that necessary improvements and changes can be made to make it a true mountain bike destination for all abilities. Given the current offer and terrain available, the potential for the area is fantastic and the hope is to create a ride destination, while connecting it to other areas of the park via trail to minimize the need for car access.

Stay tuned for more information on this awesome project, as I will be returning to the park soon to present the findings and provide trail training to the staff on hand. Once the necessary work is wrapped up the Minessing Trail Network stands to be a fantastic mountain bike destination located in one of the most beautiful places within Canada. I would like to thank the staff at Algonquin Provincial Park, Shimano Canada and others for their fantastic hospitality and support of this project!

 

-Justin Truelove

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