That was about as deep as the insights got on Sunday in Calabogie, Ontario. The riding was too good for anything more articulate than: Braaaaaap!
At Jarrod’s invitation, Marc Hunt roped me into getting my 2006 Specialized Enduro out of the closet for its first ride in three years. After reading the words ‘all-mountain bike’ in the discussion thread Jarrod started, I knew my drop bar Niner hardtail wasn’t going to be effective or fun. Golden opportunity to dust off the ol’ Enduro, the OG, cannibalize a brake of my fat bike, and try to get some sleep. I slept poorly; I was too excited to shred!
Marc and I had never ridden the XC trail system around Calabogie Peaks Resort. We’d ridden downhill there, but were totally oblivious to the trail system around the hill. Since we’re experiencing a protracted fall following cyclocross season, Sunday presented itself as a perfect occasion to take a drive, ride, then head to the cyclocross awards in Almonte.
Following Jarrod’s lead, we rode a mix of ATV trails and singletrack, ranging from wide and mellow (aside from the big climbs) to full-gnar singletrack. We covered a few of the singletrack sections on the Madawaska Nordic Footprint, including ‘Eagles Nest,’ and dropped into Oriole Lake. From there we used an ATV trail to connect to Manitou Mountain, wrapping up with the Barrett Chute Rd.
We were more than impressed with the riding, particularly because all of it was fun in its own way. The ATV trails are great for those who want the MTB experience without having to be able to handle technical features, and the singletrack we rode ranged from intermediate to advanced in terms of difficulty. Jarrod rode everything with aplomb on his Norco fat bike, while most of the other 4 of us were on full suspension bikes. My 6″ travel bike was fantastic on all but some of the climbs; that’s how I like it!
I highly recommend hitting up Calabogie if you like your mountain biking big and bold. While there certainly are trails for every ability level, this spot shines for its advanced trails that’ll fool you into thinking you’re in BC. But unlike our local options, there’s a lot of dirt around all the big rocks!
Jarrod has created a FaceBook group for Calabogie MTB, so if you’d like to poke around and keep tabs on what’s going on in the area, check it out. Also see www.somuchmore.ca for info on the trail systems. Get out there and ride!