For cyclists seeking adventure in Ontario’s cottage country, a visit to the new Echo Valley Nature and Bike Trails in Lake of Bays Township is a thrilling way to spend a day in the scenic woods of north Muskoka. Don’t let the serene name fool you – the 3.5 kilometres of trails are full of fun and challenging obstacles for riders of all abilities.
Fun Pump Track
Right at the trail head is a brand-new pump track – a looping route made of dirt mounds and berms that new riders and kids can ride (almost without pedalling) for easy skills development. More experienced riders can take it at a faster pace for leg-pumping, heart-pounding excitement. Once you warm up, hit the wider-reaching trails for some woodland action. The main trail is 1.5 kilometres of scenic, all-abilities terrain.
If you want a challenge, veer off onto one of the side trails – they’re marked by difficulty level – to encounter a variety of obstacles like rocks, single-track bridges, hills and stairs. (Descending stairs was a first for me and – as an intermediate rider – an initially daunting but ultimately exhilarating experience.)
With fourteen trails that all loop back to the main artery, you could easily spend half a day or more exploring the woods without ever returning to the parking lot.
For more information on the Echo Valley Nature & Bike Trails, click here.
For tourism info on the Lake of Bays area in Ontario’s cottage country, click here.