South of Ottawa lies the large Larose Forest where mountain bike riders can find 17 km of fast, flowy loops to please everyone.
This large forest is typical of many wooded areas that were either too rocky or sandy for farmers to use. This one has a very fine sand base. Surprisingly it’s firm to ride, with only a few spots so loose on turns you could slide out. Even so, there are berms at many of these curves to keep your speed.
I had the chance to ride the loops near P1 and none seemed too tough. The track is smooth with few roots and no rocks at all.
A few log hops set on the route would have been welcome. Maybe they are omitted to keep it as an easy, beginner MTB experience.
At first my group headed into the woods on the east side. Here there are a few loops and wider cross-country ski trails that take you way in…but fallen trees and hungry bugs chased us out.
Next we tried the more established west side by the large rain shelter at P1. I soon found out this was the better ride; well worn with good signage.
A number of loops run along the top edge of small creek valleys that drain off a rather flat topography. Here trail builders have cut a few harder, quick sidelines to get a thrill. Added are drops, a bowl and pump tracks to give it more interest.
In the end it was a hot, humid and dusty fun run. The bugs got fewer and it was time to head to the St. Albert Cheese Factory for ice cream. (naturally)
North of Ottawa finds you plenty of rocky technical riding, whereas this southern trail was an easy, fast, smooth ride to enjoy. Even my teenage son (for once) loved it.
Further on the east side of this forest at P4 you can find 3 more MTB loops to ride. There are also Nordic, ATV, Equestrian paths and gravel sideroads to explore in this large forest.
The Ottawa MTB club partnered with the county to build and maintain these trails. Well done! In the winter Fatbikes would love this spot.
(Note – Clean your chain after this ride. The fine sand will grind your parts quickly. Use dry lube rather than oil before you start, the sand will stick less.)