OBT Trail News

30 Best Ontario Bicycle Trails

10 yearsFor the 10th anniversary of the launch of this site, I have compiled 3 lists that favour the better rides in the province of Ontario, Canada. One for each category I review, Park Paths, Rail Trails and Mountain Bike Trails. This is out of the 180 significant, signed, off-road trail locations I know.

I often get asked, “What’s your favourite trail?”

Not being a simple or short answer, I tend to reply that each bike trail has its unique qualities and it depends on what I feel like riding any given day. And this would be true for you as well, so this is not the definitive “best of list” but then again you can’t go wrong riding any of them.

They all are popular for good reason. Read my reviews and see what suits you. In no particular order, here is what comes to mind:

family cycling park path

10 Best Park Paths in Ontario

  1. Granger Greenway- beautiful winding gravel trail, a few big hills but worth it
  2. Thames Valley – 3 river paths to follow in London
  3. Cornwall Waterfront – good riding along the mighty St. Lawrence River
  4. Rideau Canal – cycle by the calm waters of this old canal in Ottawa
  5. Island Lake – wooden bridges and boardwalks take you on a pleasant loop
  6. Guelph Royal – explore the riverside, woodlands, university and gardens
  7. Humber Valley – a long ride from the lake up to the 407
  8. Nokiidaa – a day trip and scenic ride through Aurora and Newmarket
  9. Niagara River – beautiful views, a perfect area for a weekend tour destination
  10. Ajax Waterfront – cruise this section along Lake Ontario and beyond 

Caledon rail trail

10 Best Rail Trails in Ontario

  1. Tay Shores – Georgian Bay views and cool breezes to Midland
  2. Lang Hastings – a winding trek through rolling farmland
  3. LE&N – head south to Lake Erie on this relaxing route
  4. Algonquin – cycling fun for the family by the campgrounds
  5. Caledon – close to Toronto, with town spots on the way
  6. Victoria – from farmland into cottage country, beautiful in the fall
  7. Millennium – a tourist getaway on the Prince Edward Peninsula
  8. K&P – the start of your bikepacking adventure
  9. Thronton – Beeton – a scenic, north of Toronto spin
  10. G2G – for those who want many km under their wheels

mountain bike jumping

10 Best Mountain Bike Trails in Ontario

  1. Albion Hills – a Toronto favourite that has all the great qualities of mountain biking
  2. Hydro Cut – fast, hilly loops near Kitchener.
  3. Georgian – flat rock riding with gnarly bits and great views
  4. Laurentian – bare rocky hills and drops keep MTB riders happy, excited in Sudbury
  5. South March – a rockfest of fun and challenges near Ottawa
  6. Turkey Point – so many loops it will take you days to do them all
  7. Durham Forest (Dagmar, Glen Major) – tons of hilly, flowy runs with boardwalks 
  8. Hardwood – $$ but worth a visit to fill your day with a variety of well-established loops
  9. Harold Town – assorted MTB tracks and structures for all levels
  10. Copeland Forest – plenty of loops, large climbs with fast long descents


I am sure I missed some favourites. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts. Which trail destinations do you think should be on or off these lists?

Cycling Trail Guides of Ontario

My 3 books that cover most of the routes on this site

P&R bike trail book vol 1

PR Trail Vol 2 book cover

MTB book cover

September 1, 20236 Comments,
OBT 10th Year Anniversary

10 yearsThis year, 2023, marks the 10th year since I launched the Ontario Bike Trails (OBT) website. To mark this milestone, I wanted to celebrate my success, give you a brief history, and add some insight to its beginnings and the path I took to get here. 

In 2013, I started the website as a way to share information about mountain bike trails that I’d learned while leading groups for a dozen years as a member of the Toronto Bicycle Network (TBN).

I had basic experience in building websites and when I came upon a WordPress directory theme that could display my reviews properly, I got to work. Initially I had about 30 short reviews that year that were mainly mountain bike loops I knew. Some needed photos, so I had to revisit them (what a good excuse to go for a ride!).

I had always been frustrated with the lack of accurate trail information available online. (And this has only got marginally better over the years. I still find government sources fall short when it comes to informing the public about their trails.)

I could have posted all the trails that existed on my site that first year but I promised myself that I wouldn’t post any trail until I could give it a complete review, after I had ridden it and taken photos. I didn’t want half-finished pages.

old OBT home page
old OBT home page

old OBT trail page
old OBT trail page

Every year I ventured out farther to add new locations, sometimes taking my young son and partner on family cycling outings. It was a slow process, but now, 10 years later, I have almost 180 trail locations between my books and on the site. 

Over the years the website evolved from those very humble beginnings. As with most websites, for the first few years, I was out there in the WWW wilderness with very little traffic. But I carried on and kept gradually building an audience while working as a handyman by day. 

I invited my friends to like my Facebook page and got about 40 to start with. Now I have 4,000+. That number took many years to grow (and thousands of dollars in Facebook ads to get there sooner). 

The first five years, I didn’t even bother putting annoying Google ads on the site. Yet eventually I did, and they have paid for better hosting, new plugin features, and security monitoring. OBT is not government funded, unlike most Ontario bike info sites so ads exist.

My audience over the years has been a consistent split between 65% male and 35% female visitors, with a median age group in their 40s. At the beginning, users viewed my site from desktop computers; now everyone uses a phone. I’ve had to change how the web pages look over the years to suit this transition to tiny screens. Can’t say I like how limiting it gets.

My busiest times are fair-weather weekends. Cyclists come to my site in the mornings looking for ride ideas. And that’s the purpose of the site. (I even use it when my mind’s blank for places to go, lol.)

Eventually I expanded out from mountain biking trails to include Park path and Rail trail reviews, as it seemed to me that the MTB universe was covered by other sites, but these other categories offered more opportunities. I also came to realize there are way more weekend recreational cyclists than avid mountain bikers in search of outings. 

At one point, I started posting BMX locations, but that has not evolved as my son did not take to it, so that category remains incomplete.

dreamy bike path

From the traffic and questions I get, I’d say OBT became the go-to website for Rail trail info in this province. 

The influx of riders during the two Covid summers was a surprise, and a little overwhelming for my web server. During those summers I had over 2,000 daily visitors on weekends. Yet with supply shortages and closed businesses, no one was advertising on Google, so the increased traffic did not equate to more revenue.

The site had a major theme redesign in 2016, and hosting has moved a number of times to adapt and improve page loading speeds, always an issue on a photo- or map-heavy site. I am happy now with the service from Hawkhost, an Ontario web hosting business I recommend.

The site logos have changed a few times. I think we need a new one soon. Anyone have any ideas?

old OBT logo
old OBT logo

At first, trail reviews were written to be a short read, but now I can go on and on. The real challenge is how to write about the same thing over and over again (how many ways can you describe a bike trail?) without getting repetitive and boring.

It can take a few days for me to find an angle (as they say in the press) to write about this topic. Then I use that perspective and work on stringing together all the points to sum it up. I think most of you get the picture. Though I am no faster at typing it out than before.

Even to this day it’s hard to get used to the idea that thousands of unknown people visit the site weekly. Few reach out, but I know that people find joy on the trails that I recommend. Knowing this gives me satisfaction: what I do benefits the many who need a little escape from their weekly grinda chance to enjoy the outdoors, perhaps out of townon their bicycles as much as I do.

The future ahead has promise for cycling and bike trails in Ontario.

There is a momentum coming out of the pandemic, and it’s growing steadily. OBT will continue to follow this growth and keep you informed as best as I can.  


To reuse a quote from my recent book, “May the weather be on your side and the wind at your back!”  

Dan Roitner

a younger Dan at Kelso MTB
a younger Dan at Kelso MTB

Trevor and Dan
my son Trevor and I last year

Cycling Trail Guides of Ontario

My 3 books that cover most of the routes on this site

P&R bike trail book vol 1

PR Trail Vol 2 book cover

MTB book cover

Most Pages Views

These are the most popular trail review pages visited on my OBT site. Results are from 2016 onward and a little skewed, as older posted reviews have more visits then ones written in the last few years.


Humber River – Park Trail 41k page views

Nokiidaa – Park Trail 18k

Toronto Islands – Park Trail  17k

Welland Canal – Park Trail  17k

Ajax Waterfront – Park Trail 17k

Caledon – Rail Trail 40k  page views

Hamilton Brantford – Rail Trail 30k

Uxbridge Lindsay – Rail Trail 28k

Elora Cataract – Rail Trail 19k

Oro – Medonte – Rail Trail  18k

Durham Forest – MTB 17k page views

Dufferin Forest – MTB 16k

Albion Hills – MTB 15k

Don Valley – MTB Trail 15k

Palgrave – MTB 15k

bikes on trail
September 1, 2023No comments
New Bike Trail Guide out in June
Dan scouting a trail in Barrie
Dan scouting a trail in Barrie

July 2 – Book has been Published. Woo hoo!

June 2023 Update, Park & Rail Trails guide book – Volume 2

Greetings fellow cyclists welcome to another season of pedaling to your heart’s content on the bikeways of Ontario. I hope you have started the season in earnest. You’ve lubed your chain, adjusted the brakes, raised your seat and have been out in the sunshine.

Not so much for me. I did buy a new hybrid gravel bike, a Giant Cypress 1 and have been out a few weekends to scout the last of the trails I needed for my next book. Research for this book keeps me at my desk (sigh) till I’m done, then the summer is mine.

I’ve been busy since the beginning of the year working on another bike trail guide. So this is going to be a short post…just to tell you that I don’t have the time to write a proper one till the book is done.

Dan map making
Dan map making

Book Preview

Instead, I’ll give you a sneak peek at the contents of my next book, which will be out in a few weeks.

This book is the 2nd volume of my first book, Best Park and Rail Trails in Ontario, published a few years ago. This one is similar with 60 new bicycle trails for you to discover. 30 rides are Park paths and another 30 are Rail Trails, some are very new.

I am in the middle of selecting photos and rendering maps for the layout. My Editor Jennifer and I have been working on the last details. We are making sure the text reads right and my typos get fixed. It’s going to be even better than the last guide.

Here is the working list, not yet finalized, of the TOC (table of contents) for Volume 2 of this new Park & Rail trail guide. And a mock-up of the proposed front cover.

book cover
mock-up of new book cover

Table of Contents

Main Map
How to Use This Book

Central Ontario

  • Ajax Loop 
  • Barrie Bay 
  • Bartley Greenway
  • Birkdale
  • Chinguacousy
  • Clearview RT
  • Erin Sawmill
  • Escarpment RT
  • Etobicoke Creek
  • Finch Corridor
  • Granger Greenway
  • Meadoway
  • Lower East Don
  • Oak Ridge
  • Redhill Valley
  • Rouge Valley
  • Sunnybrook
  • Tay Shores RT
  • Thornton-Beeton RT
  • Toronto Lake Shore
  • Uhthoff RT
  • Upper Don
  • Victoria RT
  • Whitby Waterfront

Western Ontario

  • Bruce + Saugeen RT
  • Cambridge – Paris RT
  • Essex RT
  • G2G RT
  • Grey + Bluff RT
  • Guelph Royal
  • Iron Horse RT
  • Mill Run  

Eastern Ontario

  • K&P RT
  • Lang Hastings RT
  • Lower Ottawa R.
  • Lower Trent RT
  • Northumberland RT
  • Ottawa Valley RT
  • Pinecrest-Xfarm
  • Prescott – Russell RT
  • Rideau River
  • Riverside
  • Tay – Havelock RT

Northern Ontario

  • The Hub
  • Killbear
  • Kinsmen Way 
  • K Pace Way
  • Rainbow Route
  • Ramsey Lake

Extra Rail Trails – noteworthy short reviews

  1. Carlton
  2. Osgoode
  3. Zephyr   
  4. Watson 
  5. Hickson 
  6. North Perth
  7. Bauer
  8. Friendship – Harry 
  9. Centennial Bikeway  
  10. Hastings Heritage 


Ontario Rail History

Bike Safely

Bike Security

World of eBikes 

Signage Standards

Carpooling/Shuttle Ideas

Bikepacking Basics

Bike Trails Elsewhere


About the Author


If you wish to buy  a copy, like the other books, the eBook will be available from my website. And the paperback can be bought on Amazon.ca and Chapter/Indigo or ordered through your book store (eventually, when it gets in their database).

Talk to you soon…when I publish my guide – Author   Dan Roitner

June 10, 2023No comments
OBT Newsletter May 2022
bikes at Harbourfront
Toronto Harbourfront cycling path was very busy during the Covid 2021 summer.

This is a sample of the most recent Newsletter. I send one out maybe 5 times a year. Below is the form to get on the list.


What a fine week for a bike ride it has been in the province. I hope you have been out enjoying the weather, we’ve got rain coming by Monday so get on your bikes.

After two years of Covid craziness let’s hope it’ll become a distant memory. As riders, we had the privilege of still being able to cycle during the pandemic. And a lot of other people also took it up again. Bikes sold out, parts were hard to find and trails were full of cyclists. Even Rail Trails were “busy”, which normally can be a lonely outing.

Things are starting to return to “normal”. Races are on again, club group rides are scheduled and bike tours are accepting bookings. Now finally we can get back to bike socializing (carefully) with friends, joining cycling clubs, and enjoying the outdoors on two wheels. Wooo Hooo!

Now is a great time to convince local landowners and government services of the importance of trail cycling. I am talking to you, Ontario Parks! Rally your bike club to advocate for new locations to be built and get funding to keep current trails maintained.

Still not riding? Get your pony on the trails! What’s your excuse? I recently wrote a blog post with some quick tips to get your bike trail-worthy for another season of fun in the saddle. Your Spring DIY Bicycle Maintenance

What’s New

My MTB Video – I finally put together my mountain bike book summary video this spring. Late in coming, I think because I knew it would take a lot of work, and it did. I had to go through 10 years’ worth of GoPro video clips to find content.

If you haven’t bought my eBook yet I’m offering it at $1.00 off. Actually, both my ebooks with the promo code – ( you have to get the newsletter to get the code) – are discounted for newsletter subscribers. And now the payment service Gumroad lets you buy a gift copy for friends.

Best Mountain Bike Trails in Ontario

Best Park & Rail Trails in Ontario

MTB hop

Trail News

Buckwallow – I had a long chat with Mike the friendly owner of the Buckwallow Cycling Center in Gravenhurst. Covid closed his MTB trails and since he has decided to retire. Sadly this location remains closed. I thought it would be a nice tribute to all of Mike’s great work to post an interview about the history of Buck. Farewell to Mike’s Buckwallow MTB Trails

Gas Prices – Most riding destinations on the OBT site require driving there. The price of gas to go there and back is even more of a hit now at around $2 a litre. Ouch! This can seriously question whether or not to consider going. An out of city trip can easily cost you $50+ to do!

The good news is that finally, the time has come to buy an EV or hybrid car to make gas less of an issue or not at all. As cyclists, many of you already are eco-friendly minded as I am. This can only help to reduce emissions (that we breathe when road riding) and hopefully reduce the hot summers we are getting from this dreaded global warming.

I encourage you to buy an electric car/SUV/truck and in the short term carpool when possible to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and to share your gas bill.

As the cycling season is underway, I published another trail review yesterday. I decide to not post a far-flung destination many so riders can save on gas. Centrally located in Toronto, many know it, and perhaps I did not add it sooner because it was so well known. Regardless try it for the first time or revisit this path, it never gets boring. West Don Park Trail


I am going on some great cycling destinations this summer. Some in Europe! I plan to write about them. With fewer travel restrictions I hope you to can get away often too. Start planning your cycling outings soon, places are booking up.


Let the Good Times Roll – Dan Roitner – Peace

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May 17, 2022No comments
Submit Your Cycling Stories
riders on a trail

Submit Your  Bike Trail Adventure Articles:


After a few riders sent me emails mentioning their experiences on recent summer cycling trips, I got thinking…perhaps you too may have an interesting story to share with other cyclists on this site. 

So I am inviting those of you who have been riding around Ontario to consider submitting a short article to guest post on OBT. Have a few good photos as well? Even better.

Did you encounter any unique sights, enjoyable adventures, perform heroic feats or have a humorous misadventure worth sharing? 

This could be a great way to practice and share your writing skills with thousands of monthly readers visiting this site. We will also post it on our Facebook page

Your articles will be proofread and your photos will be resized by us. You retain the copyright of the pictures and text.

Send me any cycling story ideas that you wish to write about or ask questions.  I will let you know if it’s a worthy tale to tell.

Tales from the Trails – Submission Guidelines:

  • Write your story, you can be as creative as you want to be, make it an interesting read
  • Ontario is our focus but we welcome story ideas from around the world. The ride does not have to be exclusively on bike trails but it should have some and not be only road riding.
  • Perhaps add humour or riding tips or mention interesting places in your copy
  • Aim for about a 1000 words, more if it needs it, but keep it tight, focused and not wordy
  • We need lots of photos to pick from (min. 6), pictures of you (on your bike), riding friends, the trail with cyclists, interesting landmarks, scenic views and so forth.
  • Do you have a map of the route?
  • Include a Bio – where you are from, your cycling history, what kind of riding you do, where, bikes you own, and links to your blog or social media pages that are relevant.

Remember, your audience is reading bike trail articles not just to get informed but to be entertained as well.

You can reach me here to get started!

And even if you do not have the time to write an 800 word story, consider adding a comment at the bottom of any Trail review page.

2 MTB riders on trail
March 20, 20224 Comments,
Farewell to Mike’s Buckwallow MTB Trails

Over the winter I had the opportunity to chat with Mike McLaughlin, the owner of the Buckwallow Cycling Centre, which unfortunately has been closed for the last two years due to Covid-related issues.

We had a couple of long phone chats about the history of Buck, its closure and future, and Mike’s retirement, with a few funny stories in between.

I thought it appropriate that this OBT site should pay homage to Mike and his beloved “project.” Buckwallow was truly a unique location in Ontario: one of the few private enterprises that took a chance on mountain biking and offered trails to ride on private land, at a great value.

Located just north of Gravenhurst off Hwy 11, Buckwallow was well managed and clean, with a folksy, country vibe to it. Well-designed loops made the most of Buck’s Canadian Shield location, using the area’s rounded granite mounds as part of the trails with great effect. 

The singletrack had a hard-packed, smooth base with occasional root clusters to negotiate. It wasn’t overly hilly, nor were there wooden structures with extreme jumps or ramps. We came for the challenges and the variety of rocky trails we couldn’t find further south in Ontario. Eventually, the trail network included 12.5 km of wide main trails plus 19.5 km of singletrack22 loops in all.

Getting there from Toronto was a two-hour drive. There weren’t many signs to help you find the place, or an official website. There was no budget for that. Mike wasn’t looking for large numbers of people; he preferred word of mouth to bring in “good people.”  And it worked: over the years, Buck grew and was loved by many. 

Early days at Buckwallow
Early days at Buckwallow

You were sure to meet Mike (or his hired student helpers) whenever you pulled into the parking lot. They always had an inviting, friendly greeting to get you started, a sign that this was to be a special MTB day. 

Mike’s connections with the area began many years ago when his dad ran the KOA campground across the road. The main trails at Buck were established as cross-country ski tracks in the winter. 

He tells me the origins of Buckwallow were small and the growth was gradual. Mike had no plan or grand ambitions and felt lucky in his situation. Owning the land, living nearby, and working on-site led to good things. It was a very fulfilling, successful endeavour, he recalls. Perhaps not so much financially, but it was the best job he ever had and you could tell he loved doing it.

Back around 1994, Mike saw MTB races being held on the Santa’s Village property (now called Porcupine Ridge). A friend, Jeff Hill, was running them and Mike suggested hosting a race on his land. Jeff was a mountain biker/promoter first, while Mike was more into building trails, so they were a good match.

Mike and Jeff came up with the name Buckwallow and created the logo featuring a deer on a bike. The first singletrack they builtTrail #1—was Moose Mayhem. (They numbered the trails in the order they were made, which Mike admits did confuse things a bit.) His favourite trails are Missing Link (# 13), Still Here (#21) and White Tail Fawn – WTF (#22).

old trail map

old Buckwallow map

Buckwallow MTB trail map

Buckwallow MTB race
Buckwallow MTB race

It took them a few years to get trails ready, and by the late ’90s Buckwallow hosted races Tuesdays and Sundays. Mike remembers his first race had only seven riders. 

It was a small start, yet every year numbers kept increasing. Hosting O-Cup races gave Buckwallow credibility among serious mountain bike enthusiasts; Mike would go on to host these races for a dozen years.

Word of mouth is how Mike likes to run a business. It brought in good, caring people, who are loyal and respectful of the trails, leaving no litter and giving the wildlife their space. “And there were no bike thefts, either,” he adds.

By 2002 you had to put a mere $2 in the dropbox for hours of thrills and spills. A season pass was twenty bucks. There were still only six loops back then, yet 600 riders paid the first year, then 800 the next.

Mike could see he had a good thing going, so he closed his business as a millwright to give more time to managing and maintaining Buck. The building you see by the parking lot was his woodshop where he would produce trim for cottage renovators. 

Buck was not a large operation. I can tell from how Mike speaks that he most enjoyed building and maintaining his little “bit of paradise;” actually riding the trails was secondary for him.

Mike is thankful for Bert, Donnie, Cal, Mark, Terry and the many other volunteers who pitched in over the years. Their help was indispensabletheir reward, a free place to ride. 

He encourages other groups to take on the task of cutting new trails in this province, noting that places like the Hydrocut and The Farm, achieved by the Waterloo and Kingston bike clubs respectively, came from riders working successfully with landowners.

MTB at Buckwallow
Mike on his Fatbike
Mike on his Fatbike

Mike McLaughlin
Mike McLaughlin

Mike recalls a few storiesI assure you he has manythat are too good not to share. 

One is of a woman coming back from a ride complaining about a large black dog (bear) in the woods. Another time, the parking lot was full of high-end sports cars. As usual, he left a slip of paper on the windshields to say hello and remind them to chip in and pay the toonie when they got back. They did not. He laughed this off, noting that real mountain bikers know better. 

Then there was the mess left by a tornado that knocked down 100 trees. And the classic lost-riders scenario, where each rider would come back to the trailhead looking for the other rider, all afternoon!

He chuckles about the roadies who would initially boast how much mileage they usually did. But upon returning from the ride, dripping in sweat, they were humbled by how few miles they actually did on Buck’s trails.

Though some of us mountain bikers are serious riders and racers, Mike says most visitors to Buckwallow were families who would ride about 12 km in an hour and a half. They tended to be white-collar workers who needed exercise because of their sedentary occupations. Those in the trades, doing physical labour, were more inclined to rest on the weekends at home.

And the only nasty crashes occurred during races, when riders pushed too hard.

When Covid came along in 2020, Mike felt MTB riding was a safe activity. He got the trails ready and was attempting to start up things for July.  But when regulations required him to track users and lock up the outhouses, and he was unable to get any hired help to manage the gate, he had to keep Buck closed. 

By May 2021, a posting on the Buckwallow Facebook page stated that Mike had decided to retire and keep Buckwallow closed. As reluctant and emotionally difficult as it felt to end it, he could see that it was going to be another summer of Covid hassles.

As well, he had come to terms with the fact that working 12-hour days during the riding season to maintain the trails is a “young man’s game”. Nature had started to take over the network and there was just too much labour ahead of him.

Mike trail building
Mike trail building, again!

The Future of Buckwallow


Mike’s wish is that someone in the family could take over the enterprise, but that seems unlikely. There have been 20-odd proposals by other parties to reopen Buck, but none have suited Mike and the certain way he sees things.

No one seems to understand fully the amount of labour and time required to keep it running. 

As of April 2022, Buck remains closed and Mike is in no hurry (being retired) to reopen under new management, if ever! (Even good things have an end date at some point.)

For Mike, it’s never been about the money; it’s always been about “customer relations,” good service, goodwill to the MTB community, and delivering good times on the trails.

You can leave your best wishes for Mike below in the Comments, on the Buckwallow Facebook page or as a phone message – 705 687 8858. 

He is sure to appreciate them, knowing that he brought joy to many, many mountain bike riders young and old over the last 20 years.

That was always his greatest reward.


You can learn more about Buckwallow on my trail review page.

Buckwallow MTB riders
Photos courtesy of Bert Schuh, Rick Smith and the Buckwallow FB page.

mtb trail guide
March 14, 202218 Comments,
OBT Newsletter – Spring 2021


This is an excerpt from a recent Newsletter I sent out. You can subscribe here.


Welcome to yet another unusual spring. We had an early melt and a long cool spring, now it seems like the heat is here. I can see from the surge in traffic on the OBT site that everyone is keen to get out. This Covid lockdown is almost over and has got us primed and eager to hit the trails.

I have been reluctant to post any new trail locations and to encourage you all to travel. The Ont. government does not want us cyclists travelling too far from home. With that in mind, I have just posted my first new trail review this season. It’s a good one out in Markham you can bookmark; many more to come.

The Trail Guide Grind:

I was very busy over the winter updating my two trail guides. Beyond minor typos and layout fixes, I have replaced the 65 maps in the Park & Rail Trail book with more detailed versions. I also added a large map with all the trail locations as a quick reference and listed parking lot locations. Oh my, so many details, so boring, yet important! LOL.

Park & Rail + MTB eBook Update For those of you who bought a copy, an email was sent out in April with a link to the new version. It now has pdf bookmarks.

Park & Rail Paperback Update – If you bought the actual book, you can get the latest eBook version too.  And as a bonus, I made an extra file you can print out as an insert for your paperback that lists parking lot addresses. Details as to where to get those downloads can be found at the back of your book.



Being Popular is Good & Bad:

I started the OBT site eight years ago as a side project. It has recently grown quickly due to the limitations of this pandemic. With few other sports activities permitted, everyone is cycling!

Now, I am not complaining that the site traffic has doubled again this year. It’s now seeing over a thousand visits daily, and more on any sunny weekend. What comes with this popularity are increased costs. I had to upgrade to a faster website server to handle the visitor volume. And my costs for security and the use of Google Map services have risen.

So now the site has to pay for itself. As you will experience, the site loads faster but costs more to run. You might think income from those annoying Google Ads I have might do it. Alas, at less than a penny a person it’s lunch money.

Income from my two books covers the time invested to make them. So I am at an awkward point where I have to start selling other items or services on the site. Not a natural direction for me to take, but necessary. Don’t worry I’m not going to sell mugs and baseball caps.

I added a Store page to the menu. It’s a humble beginning. I am not driven to push products or recommend everything I see. Rather, I shall be selective and mention quality goods and services I believe in.


Any businesses wishing to advertise relevant services or products on OBT, send me a noteThere are many opportunities to do so for bike shops, bike touring, lodging and eateries…


As always, the site info will be free for you to use. If you have benefited from this site, then shop here in the future or donate a wee sum now on PayPal for the cause.

PayPal QR code

PayPal QR Code

Help Wanted: With site growth, comes many more issues I have to deal with on the backend. This has limited my time to create new content. I need the help of a skilled web developer to occasionally put in some time with issues. I’ll see what I can pay but it won’t be much so if you love cycling I got that covered.

3 bike riders on a trail

What’s New

Add Rail Trails – Last year my focus was on MTB trails as I was all in publishing my book. This year I am working on the Rail trail category. Plans are to ride more Rail Trails this year (if possible) and post reviews.

I have already started to add trail lines to the map starting in Eastern Ontario, even if I have yet to review them. This is a shift for me, as I do not like to suggest trail locations and then have little info to follow up. Yet I am asked often why this or that trail is not on the map… so now you know where they are.

Blue Mountain DH MTB – Sadly management has changed the flavour of mountain bike riding over the winter to a more mellow offering. No more Downhill MTB thrills, trails have turned into hiking paths.

I have few answers and will have to inquire as their site says currently little and they are still closed. Certainly a blow to the regular avid MTB downhill riders in the province. It was a top spot with few alternatives close by. Let’s hope the times change and it comes back one day.

Future Posts – Now that I have finished the formidable tasks of updating my books and moving my site to another server, plans are to post a few articles on these subjects this year:

  • Bike Tune-ups
  • Bike Riding Apparel
  • Bike Security 
  • GoPro Cameras
  • Other Bike Trail Guides
  • Buying an eBike
  • eBike routes
  • Bike Photographers

Are there any other topics you wish me to write?

Submit a Bike Trail Tale As with last year, there is again an invitation to submit your own cycling stories. If you have the time (and some of us have plenty) and the writing bug, send me a proposal. Don’t be shy.


Keep pedalling safely and don’t forget to get vaccinated! That’s one of the simplest actions we can take to help things get back to normal.


Wishing you all a great, safe summer outdoors on your bike – Dan Roitner

May 29, 2021No comments
Covid Cycling Risks & Precautions

January 15th, 2021 – As of this week, the Ontario Government has issued new stricter measures to reduce the chances of catching the coronavirus that lurks among us.

The government also recognizes that its citizens need to exercise for its physical and mental benefits as we hibernate this winter. This is good news but requires that we all still be prudent and cautious more than ever while still having some fun too.

It has been strongly advised to stay close to home and reduce your travel. Keep to yourself with no groups larger than five people. Wear a mask when close to others on the trail. Pack all that you need for the trip, head straight there and back home with limited stops for gas or errands.

I wanted to write this as a public service to riders who may be using this site to plan outings. I have been diligently working on my new MTB trail guide for this spring. But let me take a moment away from that, as some of you have been asking…

As the long weekend arrives and the spring weather prompts us to head out on our bicycles, the question is, should you? 

Yes, you can go bike riding, but these are not normal times and precautions need to be taken.

Currently, for exercise, and mental sanity, the government is allowing us to ride our bikes (this may change). Is cabin fever setting in? Planning to get out for some sun and fresh air is certainly a welcomed thought.

You are best to stay close to home and ride solo, on the backstreets in your neighbourhood.


That is what I am doing and have concluded this from reading the links below. Please read them too and make your own judgement. 

This is all about RISK management. You do not want to get hurt, go to the hospital, tax the medical system or catch the virus. 

This means ride within your limits, keeping your ride risk LOW. I know this could be boring and easy terrain. Or riding the road, a paved one at that, OMG! Get over it!

Cycling with someone you live with is OK but NOT other friends, or a club group ride, sorry.

The concept is the virus can be airborne briefly and you, riding behind someone, could inhale what they exhale. If they are contagious, and this could be days before feeling ill, it poses a risk to you.

When you ride the road or a wide park path there is plenty of space, the winds blow and one keeps their distance from others; lower risk. On mountain bike trails passing someone can be a tight squeeze, riders are exercising harder = more exhaling = higher risk.

With that and the fact that many more cyclists are free to go out, it has CLOSED Provincial Parks, Conservation Areas and woodlots. Parking lots are too crowded, trails are too confined when encountering others and because many still don’t get it.

This is a nasty virus, that has a new set of rules, be it temporary. Follow them, play it safe for you and the sake of others.

These are just a few key points regarding your safety to add to what you are already doing…which is social distancing, stay close to home, limiting your visits to stores, washing your hands (scrub for 20 seconds before rinsing) refrain from touching your face. (mouth, nose and eyes are virus entry points)

Stay informed, read a few links below for more “new rules of the road”. 

Doing so will reduce your fear, anxiety and the need for speed. Remember this will pass, the trails will still be there to welcome you back, in time. Actually a little vegetation rejuvenation would be a good thing for our trail ecosystem.

Sure, browse this site to make future plans, but for now, stay home and ride on your own, locally.

I am going to post a few favourite videos this weekend to keep you dreaming of that day we are all back doing what we love – Trail Riding 


Be Well – Dan Roitner


Note date and location of articles for current news.

Canadian Cycling Magazine

MTB Atlantic

Bicycling Magazine

MTR.com (Mountain Trail Review)

MTB Pinkbike

IMBA Canada


Ontario Government  – Covid info and self-assessment

Canadian Government – Covid  info

bike path and cyclist

April 10, 20202 Comments
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Hey, this may be interesting for you: 30 Best Ontario Bicycle Trails!

This is the link: https://ontariobiketrails.com/30-best-ontario-bicycle-trails/

Lets get together and do a ride soon.