How Kouchibouguac National Park Is Turning Itself Into A Year Round Mountain Biking Destination

Kouchibouguac National Park has long set a great example as a cycling and mountain bike destination. That couldn’t be more evident after my recent visit there as part of the Trail Partners Program!

 

Nearly ten years ago Kouchibouguac National Park was the first Parks Canada site to partner with IMBA Canada for a trail project. From that, the Major Kollock trail was born, with just under 7km of great mountain bike specific singletrack available within the park site. Fast forward to the present time where the Major Kollock is still heavily used and a favorite of many visitors. However, the park has recognized the need for more and as part of the Trail Partners Program has been and is developing further cycling and mountain bike opportunities to help put it on the map as a cycling and mountain bike destination.

 

The Kouchibouguac River trail has long been their iconic experience that takes users along the waterways and forest lands and showcases the great terrain, vegetation and scenery that the park has to offer. Up until this point it has strictly been a hiking/snowshoe trail, but after great discussion and recommendations this trail will soon be improved and opened for multi-use hiking and mountain biking! With over 15km of total trail experience, the park is moving forward at ensuring that the quality of trail is brought up to a high standard and when finished will be unveiled as one of the IMBA Canada Signature Series Trails!

 

With winter activities being relegated to cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the past, the park was one of three pilot programs last winter to adopt and create winter fat bike trail experiences. After a successful first season and great desire from visitors there have been over 15km of winter specific fat bike experiences created that are a fanstastic addition and offer to the winter activities in the park. This also allows the park to be ‘open for business’ throughout the winter when typically there was not much happening. With this visit we were able to examine an excellent area that will be a winter trail and fat bike destination to allow visitors to ride to, have a shelter with great trails adjacent to it to allow for fun, new progressive experiences and open up amazing potential for activities, events and other great experiences for users of all ages and abilities!

 

It is great to see the fantastic growth that Kouchibouguac has taken to create great cycling opportunities and to have the support and buy in from the entire management team just goes to show how dedicated they are to ensuring that this program is a success. Please stay tuned for more great cycling and mountain bike events taking place in the park with IMBA Canada support as we continue to work with them to help put them on the map as a great mountain biking destination!

 

I want to thank the entire park staff and management team for having me and for their fantastic hospitality, as well as L’Ancrage B+B for its top-notch accommodations while in the area! I look forward to being back soon!

 

-Justin Truelove