What Ontario generally lacks in elevation it certainly makes up for in spades with the variety of terrain we have to ride. Take a drive in just about any direction from the GTA and within a few hours you can find yourself on some pretty diverse trail systems. For riders, the bonus is that these trails usually do an amazing job of showcasing the varied topography of our provincial landscape. One such zone is a newly developed (and developing) trail system just outside of Parry Sound at the Georgian Nordic Ski Centre. The Centre has hopped on the growing trend of ski destinations offering mountain biking on their trails during the green season. Obviously, this is great news for locals, cottagers and visitors alike adding to the heaps of year round outdoor adventure opportunities that already grace the region.
Truth be told the trails aren’t exactly new, well, at least not all of them. While Georgian Nordic has been around for many years, the mountain bike trails have only been open officially since 2015. Making use of their existing ski trails for double track, the Nordic Centre has added a series of single track options that create an extensive network of trails that truly offers something for every level.
You can find the Nordic Centre just a stone’s throw from downtown Parry Sound, boasting great access off Hwy 400. Technically, it is found on Nine Mile Lake Rd. but in reality you can see the lot once you turn off Hwy. 124 and cross over the railroad tracks. Upon arrival you will be greeted with an ample parking lot and access to a washroom which makes for an ideal spot to suit up for your adventure. The Nordic Centre requires a pass and signed waiver in order to ride the trails which is easily picked up in town at either Parry Sound Bikes or Trysport Inc. Should you want to bypass a trip into town an even easier option is to purchase the pass online at (www.goparrysound.com). Seasonal memberships are also available should you find yourself riding here regularly.
Despite the convenient proximity to Parry Sound the Nordic Centre has a remoteness that many yearn for when looking for riding opportunities. When not on the double track connectors it isn’t hard to imagine yourself deep in the Canadian Wilderness given the rugged nature of the landscape and the beautiful way the builders have sculpted the trails through it. The trails are an excellent example of what foodies and wine experts refer to as ‘terroir’. In the case, the climate, soil and other environmental factors literally effect the ‘flavour’ of the trail. Much like the desert and slick rock of Moab the trails here are showcase the dense forest, organics (read: loam) and perhaps the most defining feature of the area, the Canadian Shield.
While riders have the option of a more casual loop on the double track Lynx trail you will find the true nature of these trails on the newly cut single track gems that spur off the Lynx. Within metres of the gate you can get a feel for what is in store by hoping on Weasel. The trail starts off on a series of granite slabs which see short, punchy climbs quickly followed up with fun roll downs on the same Velcro like rock. Should you feel the need to break the adhesion of rubber on rock there are plenty of opportunities to do so if you keep your eyes open.
The trails themselves are fairly well marked, many with the names of local wildlife. A simple paper map can be printed off before hand is about all you need to get yourself around. That being said, part of the beauty of the trail system is that should you ever feel the need to bail out you can simple hit the well marked double track back to the main gate. A well planned out loop allows you to link up most, if not all, of the trails without ever having to back track or ride the same section twice. On the other hand, there are many trails you may opt to ride twice because they are worth a second go around. Rattlesnake is one such trail that you may want to hit twice, aptly named since if you aren’t paying attention on this particularly technical trail, you are likely to get ‘bitten’.
|Trail Length||20 km – Numerous loops|
|Trail Level||Beginner to advanced|
|Trail Type||Singletrack - Some Double Track|
|Trail Map||Georgian Nordic Trail Map|
|Access fee||$ 12.00 (18 and older)
$7.00 – (under 18)
$22.00 – (Family)
Payment and Waivers in person at Parry Sound Bikes or Trysport Inc.
|Closest Town||Parry Sound|
|GPS||Latitude : 45.425355
|Name||Georgian Nordic Ski Centre|
|HOURS / SEASONS|
|Hours of Operation||Open Daily (dawn until dusk)|
|Season||Season: Year round
Trails may be closed due to special events and trail/ weather conditions
Riding Feels Good has compiled this information and ensured its accuracy to the best our ability at the time of posting (see date at top). We recommend contacting the facilities directly prior to a ride to ensure it is up to date. We will do our best to update it as regularly as possible but rely on users like you to monitor it and provide corrections and any additional information.
If you have something you would like to add or see a correction that needs to be made, please contact us.
If you have ridden here, please share your experience with a comment bellow.