Just north of Sault Ste. Marie in the wooded highlands are some excellent riding trails for any mountain biker in need of a spin while traveling around Northern Ontario.
Here you will find about 26 km of marked trail in three different areas. I only had time to do one, the Crystal Creek Trails with my son and we found them enjoyable.
The terrain is a mix of forest soil, sand and gravel. Though not too hilly, there are short climbs and large rocks to weave around as you ride one way through this mature forest.
Most of the track is cut for MTB riding, flows well with just enough of a challenge and is well maintained. We found a number of nice berms on some fast turns and a few small puddles to zig around.
The difficult black diamond markers on the map were only briefly harder to do. You can walk it if unsure as most of the trail is for a moderately skilled mountain biker. The sandy downhill at the beginning is steep, so keep that front wheel straight.
I found the Wedding Crasher section #21 as the highlight of the ride, with many switchbacks around rocky outcrops. This section can be bypassed but give it a try. And Wave #17 was fun to crank through too.
Signage is a very simple numbering system on the trail and one might get spun around. A paper map would be recommended to print out or be obtained at the Sugar Shack office just west down the road from parking.
Expect in mid-summer mosquitos, so keep moving and consider repellent. And a bear bell might be a good idea.
The end of the loop follows the cross-country ski path down to a high dam, pond and a chance to swim. As you cross the creek bridge there is beautiful Crystal Falls on the right if you follow the ramp.
Finally, you need to do the long climb up out of the valley on the paved road. Ya, this part kinda sucks, but hey it leads you to an ice cream shop at the top. Bonus!
Fatbikes welcome summer or winter.