Copeland Forest – MTB Trail 1201 Ingram Rd, Coldwater
Posted on May 29, 2020
Copeland Forest – MTB Trail
Listing Types : MTB Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 60
MTB Track % : 30
Double track % : 30
Hiking trail % : 40
Rate Skill Levels : Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : sandy spots, smooth soil, logs jumps, water crossing, can be muddy, large hills, drains well, steep hills, twisty & gnarly, tree roots
Faclities : parking, food close by, lodging
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 60+ km

30% MTB singletrack
40% hiking trail
30% doubletrack access roads

Elevation –Level area by wetlands sloping to long climbs on the east side, large hills

Terrain –Smooth trail base of clay and sand; leaf-covered sections; roots; bridges; field stones; slippery when wet

Skill – All levels, from easy, flowy track to steep DH runs

Traffic – MTB riders, hikers, dogs, horses, Fatbikes, snowshoers, XC skiers

Maps – Basic trailhead map info; NO signage on trails; use a map app

Facilities – Parking lots; eats and lodging; bike repair at Horseshoe Resort, which has DH runs on their ski hill

Highlights – Long, speedy descents; endless trail; natural and rustic; wildlife

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – None

Website – Copeland Forest Friends

Similar Trails Three Stage,  Durham Forest, Kelso

Local Clubs SCMBC

Access – Take Hwy #400 north to exit #117; head east on Horseshoe Valley Rd. W. (Simcoe County Road 22); then choose:

1 Head north on Penetanguishene Rd. (Hwy 93), then turn right (east) on Ingram Rd. In 5.5 km, you’ll see a large parking lot on the south side at 1201 Ingram Rd., just east of Line 4. (Recommended start point.)

2 Or continue eastward on Horseshoe Rd. W., then turn left onto 5 Line N.; head up the road to find three trailheads on the west side of the road. (Good starting point to get to the harder/fun stuff faster.)

3 Or use the Horseshoe Nordic Centre lot at 1106 Horseshoe Valley Rd. W., across the road from the ski hill



Copeland Forest is a BIG ride in many ways: large in size, enormous hills and over 60 km of trails for you to explore.

It’s a seemingly endless MTB ride that winds up and down slopes and across benched hillsides via twisty switchbacks and long, speedy downhill descents.

What you will find hidden within this extensive network are log hops, ladder bridges and jumps. There are also rock gardens, but otherwise, this area has a few stones on the loops. The trails are smooth clay; some are covered in leaves and they are certainly slippery when wet. Other spots have plenty of sand to slow you down.

Oh, I didn’t mention the other BIG thing here: the marshlands to the west, which take up more than half of this property. Trails skirting the perimeter are at risk of being swampy and buggy. This low-lying flat area slopes up numerous valleys to the east end of Copeland, turning into some sizable hills.

At about 120 metres (395 ft.), the elevation here is one of the highest verticals at any MTB ride area in Ontario (excluding ski hills). Expect long climbs that will test your cardio and employ those blessed granny gears. 

Ah! But with every painful grind up there is the sweet payoff down. Seldom do MTB riders in this province have such long descents to enjoy—so often, they are over far too soon. You can glide down a few of them for over a kilometre, so savour these ones, kids.  And for the fearless DH junkies out there, there are a few black-diamond runs for your fix.

Enough with talk of hilly climbs. If you come in from the north side parking lot (best choice), across the train tracks, you’ll find a series of easier loops, not flat, but not lung-busters either. There’s lots of great riding through the trees on winding track over bridges, through water and muddy patches, too.

Coming in from the Horseshoe Nordic Centre car lot, past the golf course, is another easy start…the monstrous hills are to your left.

If you enter by the road on 5 Line North, you can hit the popular, difficult and fast DH descents locals call 5th Dimension and Ridge Run.

All this is under a mixed forest canopy with few landmarks to guide you—and to make it even more mysterious/confusing, there is NO signage. With your focus on the tricky tracks and the greenery whizzing by, you’d better keep your sense of direction and should likely refer to a map app (not like we did in the old days, when we had to wander for days to find our way out, LOL).

In the winter, depending on the snow cover, there is some fine Fatbiking to be found. Horseshoe Resort runs a Nordic centre that rents Fatbikes. (They also offer summertime DH MTB riding on their ski hill.)

And need I say, in autumn, on a sunny day, the fall colours are ablaze.

Barrie, located 25 minutes south of Copeland Forest, is likely the best après stop for refuelling after your day ride. 

Overall, Copeland is a giant exhilarating maze that will make you sweat and keep you wanting more. Likely heading home happy no sooner than when your endurance level bonks out.

Edit Note: This is one of the new reviews for the soon to be published MTB Trail Guide.

A few photos were taken by James  Malvern

Sample of trail map in MTB trail guide Copeland MTB trail map
Reviews
4.4
Total Score 2 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
Leave a review
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: