ROCKLAND – Mountain biking enthusiasts will rejoice to learn that a mountain bike trail is being constructed at Larose Forest to add to the already large network of trails for recreational use.
“We had some trails at Larose Forest for a long time, it started out with hiking and snow-shoeing and then we built a nice network of trails for cross-country skiing a few years ago,” said Louis Prevost, director of planning and forestry. “We did a survey a few years ago about what sort of trail system would users of the forest like to see added and the overwhelming response was single track trails for mountain biking.”
After the public spoke so passionately about having a mountain bike trail installed, Prevost put a strategy in motion that included a consultant putting together a feasibility plan to see if the project was doable, holding a budget of $25,000 a year.
“We had to make sure that mountain biking in the forest was actually possible because the terrain is generally flat, like in most of eastern Ontario,” said Prevost. “When you think of mountain biking, you think that there would be some elevation, not flat terrain like most of Larose Forest. So, we started with that in mind and we had a plan done two years ago which basically indicated that we could make, realistically, around 40 kilometres of trail.”
The project started in September of last year that constructed approximately 12 kilometres by December. The trail, according to Prevost, was very popular among the public.
“I wasn’t expecting that amount of people to come and visit us last year,” he said. “Over the summer and fall, the parking lot was always full on weekends, we had never seen that.”
Prevost said that there were very few complications during the construction of the trail, saying that they were able to use the landscape available to them.
“The terrain, like I said, was mostly flat, we used the topography to our advantage, like we have many gullies, we don’t actually go into the them, we travel on top of the gullies on each side and it’s all sand so there’s no rocks,” he said. “The trail was quite easy to build. Since it’s going well, once we’re done with the original plan of 40 kilometres, we’ll probably want to add an additional 60 to 70 kilometres.”
Reporter/Photographer for Chesterville Record and Eastern Ontario Agrinews. Currently working on Record segment, “Chilling Tales from Beyond”