Limerick Forest – MTB Trail 8773 Forsythe Rd. N of Prescott
Updated September 22, 2017
Limerick Forest – MTB Trail
Listing Types : MTB Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Total Trail Km : 180
MTB Track % : 40
Hiking trail % : 40
Road % : 20
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : sandy spots, can be muddy, flat sections, drains well, tree roots
Faclities : parking, good trail signage
Trail Fee : Free

Length – ~180 km

30% MTB single track
50% hiking trail
20% double track access roads

Terrain – rather flat with a few small hills

Surface – sand, some soil and gravel, rooty sections,  large mud holes, , wetlands on fringe areas, trails carved out by dirt bikes

Skill – all levels, best for intermediate riders

Trail Maps – at trailhead, signs on post, a few maps, website maps

Facilities –  large parking lot, outhouse, chalet

Highlights – plenty of trail/road to explore

Trail Pass – free

Phone – 800 770 2170

Website – Limerick Forest

Similar Trails – Ganaraska, Northumberland

Local Clubs – Ottawa Mountain Bike Club

Trailhead –  Forsythe South Trails – large parking lot on eastside at 8773 Forsythe Rd.

Forsythe North Trails – parking at 9826 Forsythe Rd. by Shanty Trail

and further north  around 1175 Limerick Rd. by chalet, not much to ride here

Out in Eastern Ontario, in the middle of farm country lies Limerick Forest north of Preston. Here you will find a trail system that mountain bike riders can rip thru. This large forest claims to have 180 km of trails, from single track to gravel side roads. So there is plenty to ride and the area is divided into north and south zones.

I took a tour of the Forsythe south loops which is likely similar to the north end. What you will find along this fairly flat forest terrain, are small rolling hills, with a few boulders and rutted tree roots

The trails do drain well being sandy, so riding right after a rain would be cool and and gives you a more firm base. There are also marshy areas that border much of these woodlots and you will know it when the mosquitoes find you. I saw few structures or large jumps, though the trails have plenty of rollers cut out by the dirt bikes.

Yes the key thing here is, unlike all the other mountain bike riding locations on this site, this one is mainly a motocross and ATV playground. Mountain bikes are welcome on their turf, and with that you will find the terrain to be extremely gouged and trashed compared to smoother surfaces we may usually ride as single track. The turns the dirt bikes make will be wider so tight switchbacks, gnarly track is not here. It’s a faster ride.

The first thing I noticed while riding here was that a lot of my pedal energy was getting absorbed by this loose soft sand and that requires more effort to ride. With the single track tails gouged out into troughs and berms, you need to pay attention to the line your pick. (which you should do anyway ;^)

Ganaraska Forest would be another area where some of the trail on the west side is carved out by dirt bikes. Is this fun stuff …to some yes.

Most trails flow well, though I did find a few spur trails cut here and there going nowhere. On the access roads ATV action has created huge mud pools and you definitely want to go around them because they will swallow you up otherwise.

That said I was there and only heard far away one or two motocross bikes. So it’s not that busy in the middle of August on a weekday.

I did have a lot of “friendly” bugs wanting to bite me, so bring bug juice. (was it the rainy weather this year or the marshland?)

With few places to MTB in eastern Ontario this location is a welcomed stop. Though, as metioned “different” then most.

There certainly are plenty of trails here for a day’s outing. If you stick to the wide flat gravel access roads, this area makes for a more advance Park ride too.

And for the Fatbike crowd, a great ride summer or winter.

Limerick Bike Trails Zones map

Limerick Bike Trails Zones

Forsythe south bike trails map

Forsythe south bike trails

Forsythe North bike trails map

Forsythe north bike trails

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