Dufferin Forest – Main Tract is one of the largest MTB trail areas in Central Ontario. With over 50+km of riding suitable for all skill levels, it makes for an enjoyable mountain bike day trip for anyone.
This location is an easy cross country (XC) MTB style of ride. Trails are fast, flowy on a smooth sandy base. Hills are gentle at first with valleys getting deeper as you head further east to face more steep sections.
This area drains very well, so you can ride here at any time.
Recently I took a spin with Johnny, a local club leader of Team Van Go to get an update on this favourite MTB destination.
Though he admits they are a little behind in the evolution of establishing distinct MTB loops, progress is being made and it’s looking good.
I always remembered Dufferin as a ride where you can get totally lost. Trails after a few loops tend to look all the same and there were no signs to guide you. At the trailhead, I saw a very busy, confusing map.
Recently small green markers have been posted on trees for the designated MTB loops. The good news is by the spring, better map boards and more of them are to be added.
Still, I recommend a phone GPS app to find the parking lot when the time comes.
Hopes are (when approved) to add a few log hops and structures to liven things up. But currently, there are few obstacles riders will encounter. There are no rocks here either. None!
Naturally then, these mellow trails make it inviting for MTB beginners. By the parking lot you will find a twisty loop winding back and forth among the rows of red pine as a fun skill developing course.
We rode two new trails designed this year SE of the trailhead. (There is no official name or reference #, perhaps next year in an update.) One tries to be a more difficult hilly, twisty MTB track and the other is what I call a valley switchback.
Here the momentum from one bank carries you down and up the other bank, then back down and across again. In time, with use, it will find the right line and flow.
Intermediate Park style riders can certainly venture in here and ride the many access dirt paths and roads. One minor problem may be encountered. I found a few sandy roads so chewed up by horse hooves that only fat tires could manage it.
Thankfully, horse riders now have their own designated routes which lessen the damage to our MTB trails. Slow down and use caution when you spot horses, some get spooked by our metal ponies.
As always, if you frequent this location, pay for a club membership or volunteer your time on trail maintenance. There are some exciting new trails planned by this small, dedicated club.
Efforts are made in the winter to groom Fatbike loops when possible.
An hour north of Brampton on Airport Rd., Dufferin is situated in the country near no sizable towns or services, so pack well.
Paths run in all directions, forking out for you to explore and possibly wander off for hours. So set your pace, get some exercise in, and keep smiling all the way.