Putting mountain biking on the map at Kouchibouguac National Park

The idea of creating a mountain bike destination is one that many of us have aspired to accomplish in our own communities, and one that can take many years and a lot of planning and foresight.

This theme was paramount in our third Trail Care Crew visit of the season and our first National Park visit, to Kouchibouguac National Park in northeastern New Brunswick. Kouchibouguac is a special destination; as it boasts Canada’s longest beach, as well as a rich Acadian history and robust trail network. What makes this visit truly unique is that the Major Kollock trail was the first official partnership and trail project between IMBA Canada and a Parks Canada location nearly 10 years ago. The park understood the need to open its trails to cycling and mountain biking, while also realizing that if they did it properly, they could create a destination for mountain bikers and campers alike.

Our visit had us working hand-in-hand with the parks management team from all departments; in the hopes that they could expand their current mountain biking offerings, while also looking to the future to create a truly unique mountain bike destination in a Parks Canada setting. The long-term plan has Kouchibouguac opening roughly an additional 12 kilometers of trail to mountain bikers, with 5 of that being new trail developments on the ground. Included in that is the possible opening of the River Trail to mountain bike use, which is a great 6.7km trail and a fantastic progression from Major Kollock to help create a full loop around the park. The park is also looking at developing a small bike park and skills park area that will boast a skills trail with optional lines, as well as a pump track and playground area for families and riders to enjoy simultaneously.

For our community Trail Building School workshop and build, a crew from Caraquet, New Brunswick joined us. They are hosting next year’s Acadian Games and were looking to learn the tools and techniques of designing and building sustainable trails in the hopes of making sure their course for the games is top notch, as well as creating a full network in the future.

In the end, our visit to Kouchibouguac was a very special and positive one. We would like to thank the staff of Kouchibouguac National Park for their fantastic hospitality and look forward to seeing their network of trails grow for cyclists and all users into the future!

For a link to photos from our visit at Kouchibougua National Park, click here.