Softer, Kinder Kincardine Trails

After wrapping things up in Riding Mountain National Park, Daniel Scott jumped back on a plane and this time headed to Kincardine, Ontario to work with the Municipality of Kincardine on their local mountain bike park, the Inverhuron Bike Park. IMBA Canada’s goal was to work with the municipal employees in developing a better understanding of risk management through design within the context of their local project.

Kincardine is one of many communities along Lake Huron which is working to provide mountain bikers with multiple riding opportunities. One of their more recent projects has been the development of a bike skills park & adjacent trail system complete with dirt jumps, learning squares, basic basic trail and three technical trails of increasing difficulty.

Three years ago, former IMBA trail specialist Mark Schmidt traveled to Kincardine and ran a workshop. The result of that workshop was staff with a better understanding of sustainable build techniques and the construction of a filter for one of the advanced trails, “2 Smokes, Let’s Go”. Fast forward and the area has seen dramatic growth. With this growth however, came new concerns as to whether or not the Municipality of Kincardine was doing everything it could to ensure that its facility was as safe as it could be.

Throughout the week, Dave, Andrew (the builders) and Daniel walked through the trails examining every detail imaginable. They then attempted to foresee as many possible rider situations as possible for each detail in order to design safety measures which would reduce the possibility of injury. The staff quickly learned to develop a critical eye for identifying potential hazards while reaffirming their knowledge of sustainable trail construction methods.

IMBA Canada strongly believes that bike parks and technical trails are important parts of our sport. We continue to work with pro park builders and land managers on better understanding the benefits of these parts and the risk management tools that assist in making them a viable part of a healthy mountain biking environment.

For anyone in Ontario looking to do a fun mountain bike road trip, consider making the trek to the Bruce / Huron area as there are fantastic opportunities for various disciplines of riding, not to mention fantastic beaches and more! Oh, and if you happen to be a Trailer Park Boys fan, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the theme of the trails at Inverhuron.

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