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 a 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.
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 a food and water.
I did only the first two loops but heard that the outer loop is hard to manage or maybe even closed. Seems there is a lack of trail managment at hand, which leads to less ridership.
This is sad as Alqonquin Park is such a huge area with much potentual yet little choice for the MTB crowd.