The GORBA trails, near the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, has 20 km of relatively mellow bike trails for beginners to mountain bike. Anyone looking for nothing too surprising on their ride, and are more into quick lines through the woods will enjoy this route. You will also find plenty of loops along the way—over 30!
There is the odd rock garden and a few tree roots to manage, but most of the area consists of smooth, fast-winding trail through the pines; nor is it too hilly.
I found a few tricky side trails not listed on the map at the far end, but most of the area is tame.
Hence, Intermediate Park trail riders could also enjoy these loops too. (I recommend sticking to the broader main routes.)
Guelph Lake is a great spot to wander with your Fatbike, any time of year. The 2 km South Park trail was a favourite for its sweet, long descent.
I really wanted to love this place based on what I had heard, but felt two issues need work:
Firstly, as I rode through this trail system with my son, I hoped for more thrills, but any man-made structures were few and old. I don’t even recall any log jumps! A refresh that includes some new features to enhance the MTB experience, such as boardwalks, bridges, rocks, logs, or berms, would be welcome additions.
Secondly, this trail system lacks enough or proper signage that logically guides riders through.
That said, you can’t get too lost, but you may have to stop at every junction and determine which way is the best route. It becomes a bit of a guessing game, which is a tad frustrating as it interrupts your flow.
This area has enormous potential, and I hope they one day put some fun and challenges back in.
The local MTB club, GORBA, actively manages these trails, but they ask riders to stay off when conditions are muddy.
If you follow the Speed River down from the dam, the trail crosses Victoria Rd. There is more riding to be had beyond, although the trail now becomes a park path leading right into Guelph; mellow, but enjoyable.
This trail has no fee, as it is not located inside the conservation area, which is across the lake. However, there is also good camping there if you wish to make a weekend of it. The sandy beach and warm water are perfect for an after-ride dip.