Riding in Central Ontario's North

As part of our ongoing training as Trail Care Crew, and AJ and I travelled up to the Bruce Peninsula to work with staff from Bruce County – the team responsible for Mountain Bike the Bruce.

With 5 mountain bike trail systems on over 12,500 acres of forests in Bruce County (next to the beautiful cost of Georgian Bay), it didn't take long for AJ and I to start inquiring about the housing market!

We spent a jam-packed two days with Bruce County's Trail Crew – including Chris Laforest (Director of Planning and Development for Bruce County, and President of the Ontario Trails Council) and Andrew Beumer (Bruce County Trail Crew Manager). Each of the Bruce's properties has a different flavour, and we visited the Carrick Tract on day one to hike, build, and do some riding. Built seven years ago, the trails – including Johnny's Swamp of Doom and Sleepy Hollow – have stood up remarkably well with little to no maintenance, thanks to great soil, and thoughtful construction. Alongside IMBA Ontario Coordinator Igor Hoogendoorn, we flagged a section of new trail and then spent the afternoon digging!

Just over 100km North, the Lindsay Tract was full of rocky terrain and epic armouring projects. We got a preview of the Crew's newest project, and were not disappointed! *check out the photos below*

If you live or travel in Ontario make sure to consider the Bruce Peninsula for your next vacation. The combination of epic rides, beautiful beaches, and camping in the National Park are not to be missed (we also hear they have great local beef, but as two vegetarians, we didn't get too many details)!

Our final day of the trip also saw us travel to neighbouring Grey County to meet with folks in the sandy Sawmill Trail System – a plated forest which is extremely popular among XC skiers in the winter. We met with the land manager and a few mountain bikers from the area to share some of IMBA's sustainable trail building practices, then went out in the field to flag a reroute around some rutted fall line trail – all while Chris Laforest built a beautiful section of contour trail to serve as an example for future building.

A HUGE thank you to Chris and Marta for welcoming us into their home, and also to all the guys on the Bruce County trail crew for your advice and friendly smiles while we practiced our fledgling presentation skills! We will be back, whether you want us to or not!

P.S. Zane, here's that recipe for homemade moss (to coat rocks along your trail) we were talking about!

Photos from Bruce County:

Photos from Grey County: