VeloMSM – a group of hardcore mountain bikers – have created a still-growing network of mountain bike trails at Mont Ste. Marie, about an hour from Ottawa. The goal for Velo MSM is to provide several different lengths of Mountain Biking loops which can cater to varying skill sets and fitness levels. You’ll find two different, mostly single-track trails here, one of which is 8k and 1,500′ of elevation!
For Ottawa-Gatineau mt. bikers who have been limited in their access to the amazing terrain provided by the Gatineau Hills, Mont Ste Marie will be a welcome surprise. The landscape of the area is ideal for challenging and intermediate trails. There is plenty of vertical available, with many great look outs, lakes, streams and beautiful forest. Our trails are now being designed by the same person who helped create the amazing mt biking experience at South March Highlands (Kanata Lakes) in Ottawa. The trails are being planned to provide riders with a big mountain experience offering technical and challenging riding. Additionally, an intermediate loop is being designed for the base of the mountain and around the local lake (and beach) so that people can get into the sport in a friendly and fun way at Mont Ste Marie.
Hotel and California/Ridgeback is a shorter loop around Lac Fournier. Don’t be fooled with the distance -there are still plenty of technical demands on this tight and adventurous trail! This is a great loop to pad your total ride duration, or for inexperienced riders and those trying to build their fitness. It is also popular with the local trail runners. Riders are treated to scenery around the lake including a stop along the shore’s cliffs and eventually a nice view high above on top of a ridge. For 2012, trail building plans will see access to both ends of the trail from the beach at the lake.
The ‘big’ loop consists of a 4 km grind up Radar Road . You’ll be riding close to the top of Cheval Blanc (in fact above the ski lift and almost to the tower). Near the top of Radar Road you’ll find the entrance on the right to ‘Pilsner’ trail which eventually exits at the top of Vanier. At the top of Vanier you’re greeted with one of the several awesome views of this loop and the trailhead to ‘Lager’ trail. Lager Trail exits near the bottom of Radar Road to complete the loop. These trials are technical, challenging, and designed for experienced riders. They also require a high degree of fitness. All told, the ‘big’ loop is approx 8km and 1500 feet of elevation climbed/descended. Current record time is 46 minutes.