Horseshoe Valley – MTB DH Trail 1101 Horseshoe Valley Rd, Barrie
Posted on June 26, 2020
Horseshoe Valley – MTB DH Trail
Listing Types : MTB Trail
Location : Central Ontario
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 15
MTB Track % : 90
Double track % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : sandy spots, smooth soil, structures, logs jumps, large hills, steep hills, twisty & gnarly, tree roots
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, change rooms, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained, bike rentals, pro shop, shelter
Trail Fee : Yes

Length − 15 km

90% MTB singletrack
10% doubletrack access roads

Elevation − 80 m vertical, hill sloping up is shaped like a horseshoe, grades are not crazy steep

Terrain − Clay/sandy base, roots, fieldstones, rock gardens, big berms, ladder bridges, skinnies, drops, dirt jumps, ramps

Skill − All levels − best for Intermediate learners

Traffic – MTB riders, hikers and tourists − open daily – 10 am − 5 pm

Maps – Online; posted trails use a numbering system

Facilities − Parking lot, chairlift, bike rentals, repairs, food, lodging, water sports, golf, skiing

Highlights − Good introduction to DH riding, hilltop view, many other services

Trail Fee − Lift ticket $29/day

Phone − 705 835 2790

WebsiteHorseshoe Resort

Similar Trails − Blue Mountain (reviewed soon),  Copeland ForestSir Sam’sKelso

Local ClubsSimcoe County Mountain Bike Club – SMBC

Access − Drive north from Barrie on Hwy 404 and go west on County Rd. 22 (Horseshoe Valley Rd. W.). Park near the ski hill on the south side.

photos courtesy of Horseshoe Resorts


Authors Note – This is a sample of the reviews found in my new MTB Trail Guide to be published in early July.

North of Barrie, Horseshoe Valley Resort has a downhill bike park that’s introduced many a rider to the thrill of gravity runs. Though short in height and smaller than most North American DH parks, it has a good following and delivers plenty of thrills for all.

As Blue Mountain’s baby brother, it’s a good fit for those interested in trying this style of mountain biking. Cheaper and closer to Toronto, it is a great training ground for riders who aspire to take on more epic jumps, longer bombs and steeper slopes eventually.

The high-speed six-person lift takes riders to the top of this ski hill in no time and eleven runs offer a little something for every skill level. With only 80 metres of vertical, you know going down will be over in a few minutes—just do more. Trails have no names, just numbers (this seems rather dull compared to all the creative trail naming I’ve seen).

Since trails are designed to introduce mountain bike riders to downhill runs, you can try things out using your current MTB, if it’s decent and well built. Certainly, any MTB rider with a few years in the saddle should not have a problem doing the Beginner and Intermediate #1, 3, 8, 9 and 10 trails. These runs coming down through the woods are full of berms and small jumps, ideal to practice on and build up your courage.

Moving on to the steeper black-diamond territory, trails #2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 include more serious jumps on your way down and it might be wise to beef up your gear for these more extreme exploits. Bike rentals can be booked, or a mechanic is available if you’ve been too hard on your own iron horse.

If you plan to open it up, a full helmet, DH bike and pads are in order so you can enjoy the speed, take the pounding and maybe spare yourself some knocks.

Horseshoe’s staff trail builders have listened to their riders and have made changes for the better every year. Routes have been altered and tweaked with more runs, which equals more mileage, too. No longer do trails # 4, 5, 6, 7 converge into one path halfway down to spit you out at the bottom. Each of these favourite runs now has its own separate line.

Staff water down the dry tracks to keep the dust at bay, as this soil has lots of sand in it. Keep in mind that too much speed on the berms could result in you washing out.

While you’re here, you can take on a little XC riding in the woods on the east side, where you’ll find two old Canada Cup race loops to give your legs a workout. It’s an Intermediate MTB ride with a mix of hills, roots and gnarly bits to add variety to your day. Canada Cup 1 trail is about 2.2 km and Canada Cup 2 trail climbs the big hill and heads down it too at close to 3 km.

But most riders are here for the speed and rush of the vertical runs. If it’s been a few years since you’ve been here, things have changed and improved. Come check it out again!

For more vertical pursuits nearby, head to Copeland Forest, just moments away and across the road, or Three Stage by Collingwood. The riding is free on these trails, but you’ll have to earn your downhill, as there are no lifts.

Horseshoe Resort is a full-service vacation playground. You can extend your stay for eats or a sleepover, or take in many other sporty summer activities while you’re here: there’s a water slide, wake park, golf, ziplining, treetop treks…

In the winter, Fatbike riders gather at the Nordic ski centre across the road, to commence their frosty adventures.

Horseshoe Valley DH MTB trail map

Horseshoe Valley DH MTB trail map

Total Score 2 REVIEWS
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
  • July 6, 2020 at 11:56 am

    I had my fun and workout while I was there but for me it's not worth the 2-hour one-way drive there. I'd only go back if I'm carpooling with friends or staying overnight. The trails are fun and I actually prefer how they just numbered them instead of giving them silly names. I'm a beginner so the trails provide enough challenges for me. The short elevation and social distancing mean a lot of time is spent lining up for lifts.

  • June 26, 2020 at 11:00 am

    A great hill to learn and practice downhill techniques. Big berms and jumps offer excitement and speed. No much vertical... but enough.

Leave a review
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: