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Level: Intermediate
Length: 200 mi (321.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +523/520 ft
Total: 63 riders
 

Mountain Biking Ganaraska Forest

***   Add a review
#251 of 312 mountain bike trails in Ontario
#11251 in the world

There are 100s of km of single track and double track trails here. Many climbs and technical gnarly sections. Something for everyone. Off Highway 115 south of Peterborough/north of the 401. Fee to use conservation area, payable at main gate. About $10.

First added by gr8_2b_annice on May 1, 2020. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
Travelling South from points Northeast (about 1 hour from Peterborough) Travel to Peterborough Take County Road 28 south Travel approximately 30 km south to Northumberland Road 9 (Ganaraska Road) - just south of Bewdley Turn west (right) on Northumberland Road 9 Travel approximately 16 km (past Elizabethville) until you see the Region of Durham sign/Ganaraska Forest Centre sign is located on the south side of road Turn north (right) onto Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the Forest Centre
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Ganaraska Forest Trail map

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Rowerzysta (on May 18, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 18, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Peterborough, Ontario

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Rider questions

Q: do we need own mountain bikes or are there rentals?

Q: Average time to ride Paul's dirty 60

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Reviews

  • I was in that sand dune section also , but I went back to the areas and trails that are marked Paul's dirty enduro - 15k , 30 k, 60 k are dirt and are actually really good non stop winding through the forest and you can easily take a fire road back to main start point when you've had enough

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  • Mel Griffin
    *

    You're not kidding. Poor place to ride even if it was free. If this was in my backyard...I'd drive to Uxbridge.

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  • Mel Griffin
    *

    I've been all over the place riding and this is the worst place by far. The trail description here says "around $10"...NOPE! It's $12. I can't believe it costs anything to ride on poorly kept, poorly marked sand dunes. Horses and motorcycles are also allowed and they beat the piss out of the place.It's all small logging type roads and what is considered single track is few and far between. If you've been to Durham(Uxbridge), King City, 3 Stages or Ravenshoe...you're going to be seriously disappointed with Ganaraska. Never again for me.

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  • Downhill Mike
    *

    Used to be a great place to ride but went downhill in the recent years. Zero maintainance from the stuff of Ganaraska made a place not enjoyable especially if they want you to pay twelve dollars to ride.

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  • Paul Loeffelholz   ✓ supporter
    *****

    Started from main entrance and office. Spent most of the time doing sections of Paul dirty enduro trail 30k sections . Amazing flow and well set up course and trails . Minimal sand compared to west end and no atvs in this area for biking

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  • Paul Loeffelholz   ✓ supporter
    ***

    Tried West end of forest where atv and motocross roam , some double track , single track all chewed up with loose gravel rocks and lots of sand in certain areas , but this area is multi use so keeps your ears open for high speed users.

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  • Downhill Mike
    ****

    This was my first time this year in Ganaraska and I had a good time. I did 30km and I would say p of single-track was leaf and debris free. They had a race there on Saturday so the organizer and volunteers did a real good job of cleaning it up. Hopefully Ganaraska stuff will take care of the rest of the debris, fallen trees and old leafs. Trail is a bit soft in certain sections but with more riders and rain will be as good as last year. Watch out for horse poop as they are giving Paul's Dirty Enduro whole other meaning.

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  • Downhill Mike

    Did anybody ever done Fat winter biking in Ganaraska? I heard they are open for fat bikes.

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  • Downhill Mike
    *****

    If you are looking to ride some natural terrain this place has the best single track in Southern Ontario. Signage is good so you cant get lost. Still some leafs on the trails but In a week or so should be a good place for fat biking.

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  • tedwiktor
    ****

    This is a great place to ride. The single tracks are seemingly endless. There is a good variety of both up and down hill, without anything too steep.

    My favorite spot on the trail is the "pines", the ground is covered in a carpet of needles and is quite picturesque.

    There is nothing man made in here, this is the best natural mountain biking around this area, with a good variety of roots, and fallen trees to navigate over.

    Was just on the trail on July 1st, and the trails do have quite a bit of debris, but that didn't hold us back from doing the 30K loop.

    I found the signage to be better this year than in past, but even if you don't go with a GPS, the single track will eventually lead to a fire trail, and you can get back to the parking lot fairly easily from there.

    If you don't like crowded areas, this is the place for you. Just prepare yourself for the incredible amount of poison ivy - as long as your protected, your ok.

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  • Rustam Saparov
    ***

    Deforestation/forest clean up in progress. A lot of single track is covered in debrie. Double tracks and main routes are clear.

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  • Tall Man

    Home of the annual (20 years and running) "Paul's Dirty Enduro" with 100, 60, 30 and 15 k routes.

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  • deanah2012
    *****

    I've ridden the 15 km and 30 km loops over the past month (Aug/Sept 2015). Great single track with a good mix of technical climbs and descents. 15, 30, and 60 km loops are well marked by the Paul's Dirty Enduro signage. Only downside is the poison ivy! Wear long socks (knee high) or long full length tights/pants. Riding after a rain helps with some of the sandy climbs too. Excellent trails

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  • tnt_bike
    ****

    Really fun trails. I rode here as part of a marathon race and I know there's way more than we did but what I saw was excellent. Some really long climbs and twisty singletrack. It had rained the day before which is ideal here because of the sandy soil and I understand it gets really loose when it's dry. Be careful of the poison ivy, There's tons of it. Wash yourself well right after your ride with an oil cutting cleaner (like Sunlight) and be sure to wash your bike well and quarantine your clothes or you could pick up the poison ivy oils long after riding here.

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  • jonnyray1984
    ***

    did the first half of the Epic, very flowy trail, didn't have an issue finding my way around without a map.

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  • olimoo
    ****

    The Ganaraska forest is massive, with 100s of KMs of trails to explore. Stick to the orange and pink arrows that mark out the courses for "Paul's Dirty Enduro" (an annual xc endurance race held in the forest) and you'll find yourself experiencing some tough climbs and fast flowing singletrack twisting between the trees. There are some fun (but short) descents too and some sandy, loose corners that keep things fun. Be warned though, its still possible to get lost so bring a gps with you so you can get back to the parking lot at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.

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  • karlhanzv
    *****

    One of the best trails in the east end. Great for stamina and skills enhancement and an alternative for Durham forest.

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  • mwilson7
    *****

    So I just finished riding the trail for the last two days and thought I would share my experience. Based on the previous reviews I was quite concerned about getting lost due to the apparent lack of signage and when I went on the internet I couldn't really find any great maps either but figured I'd give it a try anyway.

    So yesterday I headed to the trail head and took a look around and found trail maps that you could take with you on the trail along with signs for various trails that at the time appeared to be well marked. Very different that what I read from previous reviews. I decided to ride the orange trail as it was about 18 or so kms which is about what I wanted to ride. As I followed the trail I came across a purple sign that said "IMBA EPIC RIDE" with an arrow pointing down a small trail. It turns out that back in 2008 or so the IMBA added this trail system to their Epic ride list and the local MTB clubs put signs up to follow for 15,30,60 and 100km trails. I decided to follow the 15km signs. Although the pink/purple signs were pretty obvious I ran into one intersection where there wasn't a sign (it had fallen down so I but it back up as best I could) but a quick scan to the right and left revealed a sign to my left so I was about to continue on. About 3/4 of the way through the trail I missed a turn and ended up taking a detour for 1-2 miles on a forest road. Eventually the 15km Epic trail crossed this road again and I was about to pick it up and continued back to the parking lot. I believe my mileage (I'm from the US and my garmin is in miles) was about 6.6 so I was short the 9.3 or so that I expected from a 15km track.

    I went back today and started from the first EPIC TRAIL sign I saw and watched a little more carefully for the signs and found the one I missed and boy was I glad I did. Overalll the trail is quite fun and has some challenges in it but there is about 1-2 miles or so towards the end which are some of the best mountain bike trails I've been on in my short 3 years of mountain biking.

    Overall this trail is a must ride if you are anywhere close to it and don't be afraid of what others say about the signs. If you follow the EPIC TRAIL signs you'll be rewarded with a fun 15km+ trail that is quite challenging.

    One thing I did note is that they colored trails (orange, yellow blue I believe) are forest roads and aren't really challenging so I'd highly recommend sticking to the Epic Trail if you are looking for some fun single track mountain biking.

    I will be back! Cost to get in was $6CAD and is payable by the honor system and the shack at the entrance. When you pull in the trailhead is to the left of the conference center type building. You'll see some large boards and two outhouses. The trail starts to the left.* Review edited 6/23/2012

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  • konacoiler
    ****

    There is some good singletrack throughout the forest, and a lot of forest to cover. Problem is, none of the singletrack is mapped or signed. I have had a couple of good rides there, but I have also gotten lost. There are lots of doubletract trails that you have to use to connect singletrack and it can be a nightmare trying to figure out which way to go to connect the good stuff. Go with someone who knows the trails or follow a GPS route.

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  • KevinJ123
    ****

    There are only 2 downsides to the Ganaraska forest. Not enough signage (IMBA is putting up signs soon). Poison Ivy.
    Wicked singletrack, some of the best I've ridden and if the previous poster thought it was tore up by horses then he wasn't riding the single track.....
    Great riding!

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