The Minnesing trail in Algonquin Provincial Park offers for riders, a challenging wilderness cross-country style of ride.
It has long been hiking trail loops that are now officially also MTB trails. What you will find as a biking experience is a long, fast, forest wilderness ride along hiking paths that are mainly single track.
There are four loops to pick from 5 to 23 km long with shortcuts.
As with many hiking trails erosion is a problem and over the years water has washed away the soil from all the steeper inclines revealing round rocks and boulders.
The flat sections remain a fast smooth soil ride with not too many roots. Most hills are easy enough to climb when you can find a line up between the rocks mentioned and roots.
The shortcut on the second loop was an overgrown hike-a-bike up it.
There are a lot of large muddy patches at the bottom of the hills. One would wish in the future more boardwalks to cross the mud but hey it’s part of the wilderness ride, right? By mid-July, the bugs are fine if you keep moving.
There are a few signs along the way (for x-skiing too) and I doubt you will find any side trails to get you lost.
The west side of the loop to the parking lot is a wider old road that took tourists many years ago to a lodge from the train depot.
It’s peppered with large gravel that climbs gradually to the shortcut and is likely better to return on. (easier)
I rate this ride as an advanced Park ride for those of you who want the wilderness and mileage with a few surprises. This would be a long, fast ride, so be prepared with food and water.
I did only the first two loops but heard that the outer Callighen’s Corners 12 km loop is harder to manage, less frequented and likely you will be doing a bit of bush wack’n ? Certainly, a ride to prove yourself if you are motivated.
In the winter Fatbikes are welcome on the trails that are used by a few skiers and snowshoers. The park can get a lot of snow and the trails are not groomed.
It seems there is a lack of trail management at hand, which leads to less ridership. This is sad as Algonquin Park is such a huge area with so much potential, yet little choice for the MTB crowd.