New Trails

How the Dagmar MTB Trails Returned

A new MTB  trail just opened east of Toronto by Durham Forest called Dagmar North Trails. As I was riding it for the review on this site, I wondered what it took to reopen after being closed for 11 odd years.

So I interviewed John Fisher of the Durham Mountain Biking Assoc. (DMBA) who is on the executive. (and just happens to live near the trailhead – sweet!) He gave me the back story on this great achievement for the mountain bike community. Any major trails building endeavour needs –  approval, money and manpower plus takes plenty of time (years) to reach.

He explained that years ago when the Dagmar Ski Resort decided not to give access to their parking lot the Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA), who own the land had no other choice but to close the trails and try to find a solution. As it sat idle for years,

the TRCA and DMBA were laying out a management plan to cut better, more suitable trails. Actually during that wait for studies and approvals, the club worked on a few new trails in Durham Forest since this area is approved.

What got the project really moving was funding from the National Trails Coalition (NTC) with $20k and 2 connector trails to the property. The TRCA obtained a right of way from Chalk Lake Rd. across a farmers field (connection to Durham Forest) and opened a trail from Concession Rd. 7. (connection to Glen Major)

DMBA fronted $20k of their own funds with the intent of recouping it back through membership and donations. We are at $13k says John and anyone enjoying the trails should consider donating or joining. IMBA helped with training trail builders the right way to lay a single track.

Then 200 volunteers, most from DMBA’s 700+ members, came out to put in over 5500 hours of work clearing, grading the land and adding logs, stumps, rock gardens, berms and retaining walls. A few tasks like cutting most of the trail benches were done with hired machinery. Maps and sign posts were added and are to be improved soon I am told.

Future plans are to build two more trails there, one will connect to the south parking lot at 3 Rocks. The clubs has also been in conversation with various government agencies to consider connecting  trails to the north with Uxbridge, and the Rogue Valley National park to the west . John mentioned that the Rouge has finally been approved for MTB trails to be added and that’s an exciting prospect. DMBA has also had a voice in keeping MTB trails in Jefferson Forest.

It was John and Tom Hawks dream to reopen the Dagmar trails and many of us are glad they carried through. As you can see it takes plenty of effort to build legal trails. And the DMBA continues to do great advocacy work to give the sport of mountain biking a good name and open doors for future MTB trails….and FUN !


Dagmar bike-trail-map

Dagmar MTB trail map

October 11, 20152 Comments,
What’s New and Improved in 2015

Summer is upon us and the riding is good. Have you been out riding enough yet? 

 A few major changes and upgrades were made over the winter. The site got a new face lift and I hope you like it. The transition over the winter was not pleasant as the code and content did not like each other much. Most issues resolved and I am back to adding content.

The Farmer’s Almanac states this year will be hotter than normal. Something tells me they got it wrong and I see this as a more cool wet summer as the last winter was colder.


I am always delighted to hear news and actually see shovels in the ground building new trails. On the East side of Toronto there are four areas a-buzz. If you know of any I should post, drop me a note. Also earn your ride and consider putting in some time for the cause. 

Dagmar once was a good MTB ride, and it looks to be once again, after 10 years, as the Durham MTB club has been working on bringing it back.

For the BMX crowd, bulldozers have been moving fill around to make a new dirt ride park at Bruce’s Mill. Track opens this month. I saw the hills as I drove by, looking sweet.

I was just riding the trail at Stouffville Rd. (now I am calling it Jefferson Forest) last week to find that a wide gravel path has been cut through the forest and new trails are evident. Not sure I like the line they cut for the path but after many years of neglect  things are officially happening.

Out in Ajax at Greenwood I was riding the North part and found new signs and plans for developing this section and a west lot. In what already is a decent ride, it just got better.

I am finally back at the point I can write reviews. I posted 3 new trails this week.

  • Palgrave – this secret MTB spot beside Albion Hills is not to be missed
  • Nokiidaa – a popular long, scenic Park trail just north of the city
  • Caledon –  the closest Rail trail to Toronto, well maintained and scenic

And lastly, I am putting myself out there on the site as more of a presence this year. I realized OBT appeared to be a personless entity. In fact I do most of the work (research, ride, review) and wish to personalize the site as it is not run by some mega corp. WIth that said I added a donation button if you feel like supporting the cause…whenever you can…

I have many rides to still post so I’ll be writing soon enough.

Have a great summer riding!

Dan Roitner – OBT – Senior Cycling Statesman – MTB grinder



May 19, 2015No comments,
New Bike Rides Up North

As this cool summer winds down, I would hope you have been  wearing out your bike exploring a few new trails on our map. I have been out scouting some new rides up north where some of you may wander for a vacation or pass through.

I found two great rocky MTB rides in Sudbury – Naughton & Laurentian, (there I am on my bike in the photo) another in Algonquin – Minnesing and a rail trail as well. If you still have time this fall check these locations for they are great rides with no bugs by now and beautiful fall colours soon.

On another front, I was out London way and scouted out a few trails. Fanshawe is on the map with others to follow.

Ottawa and Niagara were recently toured so look for a few of the choice rides from those regions to be posted on the map.

Also posted on the map is a new BMX ride park that Toronto riders have been forever waiting for – Sunnyside.

It’s been a good summer to be out on a bike. Few weekends were rained out and the high humid heat was almost nonexistent. There are still a few good months of cool riding to be had. If you dress for it, one can ride right into the winter. With fat bikes as the latest trend your ride can be year round.

Let me know what you think of the trails and add a review or comment.

Ride on….Dan R.


August 29, 2014No comments, EPIC
Awesome New MTB Trail and…

There is a new destination out there that few of you may know. I myself gave it a spin just recently after hearing rumors of something being built out in Peterborough.

The Harold Town trails were officially open this month and they rock. This old ski hill was carefully transformed by dedicated local MTB riders into an awesome ride. The kinda ride we all wish for. Non stop FUN! Really, you never get bored and the challenges keep on coming.

Designed by IMBA standards most of the track is MTB cut, with only a few hiker trails to connect. Read my review and try it once, you’ll love it.

Another NEW spot is in Toronto. The Sunnyside BMX Bike Park is now open. More on that next time.

There have been other trails posted recently on the map for more mellow city riders. Now we are at 52 rides posted with double that in the que. And this site is officially launched!  Unlike other sites we do not publish random inaccurate submissions. All the rides here researched and most ridden to insure better accuracy for you to pick your next ride.

Here are recent additions to the map:

North Simcoe –  easy Rail trail ride in mid Ontario countryside

Heber Downs – small Park ride east of Toronto

Taylor Creek – scenic Park ride in Toronto

Dundas Valley – Large forested Park ride beside Hamilton

Hamilton to Bradford – one of the best Rail trails

Greenway – central Park/Rail trail in Peterborough

Have a great summer on the trails. I’ll be out there doing ride recon on more distant destinations in Ontario. Enjoy the great outdoors.

Dan Roitner



July 18, 2014No comments,
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