Christie Lake Conservation Area, just north of Hamilton, is ideal for the beginner mountain biker. The trails here are easy, well-designed and safe to ride.
You will find a very flowy sets of loops on smooth soil, with little elevation or rocks. The local active trail building community has made great efforts to create a twisty, gnarly trail through the pines with a few nice berms to bank on. There are a few rooty sections and easy log rollovers too.
Out on the backend, the popular Runaway trail is a small loop with a few tricky dips and mounds to play on. As well, last year when I was there, a new loop was under construction that may improve the riding.
I am guessing there is about 11 km of trail here, with 8 km MTB cut, plus some straight double track hiking paths… And if you also ride around the lake (reservoir) add another 5 km to that total.
With that said, you might have already interpreted that yes this place does not challenge or put the fear in any seasoned mountain biker looking for excitement.
But it does serve as a good place for bike riders looking to try out MTB riding, without going over the bars. It’s a very family-friendly ride, as I have seen families riding it quite easily. Bring your kids and get them into it!
As for the entrance fee, I found $10 a little pricey compared to other Ontario MTB areas. Ganaraska is another spot I remember that just does not offer enough value for the fee. (Then again how much did you pay for your bike ?!!)
One could ride this twisty short set of loops faster as a challenge, but being two way traffic, caution has to be there for newbies coming the other way.
This little known trail system is worth trying once, so you know it, and certainly a pleasant and varied ride but rather tame for thrill seekers.
Read the new review of the Christie trails and 54 other MTB locations in my new book.