What’s up with the Fat Bikes?

The newest and greatest fad for trail use? I have heard avid cyclists say that it’s a “must have”, so they can continue cycling all through our winters.

Check this out benefits of riding a Fat Bike in the winter:

Even Horseshoe Resort is providing an opportunity to check out fat bikes as they celebrate Global Fat Bike Day this Saturday December 7th by offering no charge trail passes and Fat Bike demo rides to all those who want to experience winter cycling! Joining them will be Norco Bicycles, Muskoka Outfitters and Total Sport Midland; purveyors of all things Fat Bike. Also on hand will be the Ride Guides and Horseshoe Guides to answer any questions about riding in the winter. Come experience a groomed test track right on the base of the hill and a selection of trails to test your skills.


See you on the trails!

ATVers: please take note of where to ride legally

A local snowmobile club is experiencing problems in the Stroud area, due to unauthorized ATV use on private land.

See http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/4252655-atv-riders-put-trails-out-of-commission/#.Up7FOvJ8Asc.facebook

ATVers should be aware of where to ride legally. A good place to find out is the Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicles organization www.ofatv.org, or the local Central Ontario ATV Club at http://www.coatv.ca/ or the Baxter/Severn ATV Trail Riders  http://batv.ofatv.org/

Hunting season is upon us!!

Hunting is one of the many activities enjoyed in the forest and is considered a very safe recreational activity in Ontario. Both hunters and non-hunters need to do their part to respect the privileges of other users and keep the outdoors enjoyable for everyone.

Most fall hunting takes place between early September and mid December.  You can find detailed information on the Ministry of Natural Resources website:


To find out specific dates, you need to know that Simcoe County is for the most part in Wildlife Management Areas 76A to 76E,  WMU 77A to 77C as well as WMU 81B.

In Simcoe County, the controlled deer hunt season, which seems to attract the most hunters, is November 4 to 8, and December 2 to 6, 2013.

Be Safe Be Seen is a safety campaign to create awareness amongst trail users. For more information, go to http://beseenbesafe.simcoetrails.ca/.

Particularly in the fall, trail users may want to be seen and be safe.


At a minimum, wear bright colours!

  • wear bright orange (hat, vest, scarf, bandana, helmet cover) instead of beige, brown, white orblack clothing.
  • During turkey season (late spring) avoid wearing red, white, blue or black.
  • Cover your backpack with orange.
  • Put brightly coloured markers on horses, dogs & other pets. (Make or buy an orange rump sheet for your horse. Put an orange bandana on your pet).

Do your part to share the woods safely and respect each other and the land we share.

Trail accessibility assessment at Schooner Town Loop Trail

Trail Crew with HETAP cart

Today, the Simcoe County Trails “trail crew” did a trails assessment on the Schooner Town Loop Trail in Wasaga Beach. The assessment consists of taking precise measurements of a trail, with respect to distance, trail width, surface type, grade, cross slope, obstructions, and GPS coordinates. They use a HETAP instrumentation cart to do so.

HETAP stands for High Efficiency Trail Assessment Process and is the automated “successor” to the UTAP (Universal Trails Assessment Process).

Measuring the trail width

In the process, the trail crew will also record and photograph features along the way, such as interpretive signs, obstructions, trail furniture, etc.

Recording of a trail feature… the Harold Culham Memorial

The Simcoe County Trails crew members are enjoying their jobs, as they get to explore new trails, and be outdoors.  Here is a view they were excited to “Instagram” about: the 3000 year old sand dunes along the Nottawasaga River. These dunes are constantly in motion due to wind activity and are getting higher every year. Bank swallows nest in the sand banks. It was a rather hard push to get the HETAP cart through the soft sand.

Sand dunes along the Nottawasaga River

For more information on the HETAP process, and how we can assess your trail for accessibility, contact us at info@simcoetrails.ca

Copeland Forest… in the fall

We are just amateurs, but recently discoverd mountain biking… What a great way to see and enjoy our local landscapes. One great place to visit is the Copeland Forest.

Stopping to take a picture of the gorgeous fall colours

The Copeland forest, located in Central Ontario close to Barrie and Horseshoe Valley Resort, is one of the loveliest forests in southern Ontario and is comprised of 4,400 acres. It is full of lush undergrowth, towering old pines, unusual wildflowers and ferns, and hectares of maples, oaks, beeches, birches and evergreens.  Depending on the time of year, you may glimpse interesting wildlife like wild turkey, kingfisher, wood ducks and red-winged blackbirds.  The forest is home to more than a dozen species of sedges and numerous wildflowers.  There are natural views of a duck pond, beaver lodge and the Coldwater River.

Wetland along the 3rd line

The forest offers a variety of trails, some are very easy and others are way too technical for the beginner mountainbiker. None of the trails are marked, so you will need a very good sense of orientation, or a good GPS.

Single track trail in the Copeland Forest

Hikers can follow the white blazes of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, which winds through the Copeland Forest on the Ganaraska Trail’s 600 km route from Port Hope on Lake Ontario to Glen Huron, near Georgian Bay.

For more information on the Copeland Forest, check http://www.couchichingconserv.ca/copeland-forest/

Fore more information on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, check http://www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.ca/

For more mountain biking information, check the website of  the Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club at http://www.scmbc.ca/.