After complaining about the dismal singletrack options in the Ottawa area in 2010, I got busy solving the problem and am happy to say that there's now 8km of new trail from Almonte to the Mill of Kintail. The main trail (flagged blue) is about 7km one way, and there's a 700m loop (flagged green) in the middle which goes down to a picturesque set of rapids on the Mississippi River. After cutting the first 4km by myself, local rider Phil Maier did a ton of work to help clear and bench the final stretch to Mill of Kintail. There's now a growing group of local hikers and bikers who use the trail every day.
What next? Well, the plan is to extend the trail all the way to Mt. Pakenham and build a trail centre there. This will require the cooperation of many additional landowners and will take at least a few more years. But having the first phase complete is a big milestone and a great local option.
We are also in discussions with the Mill of Kintail to revamp and open their existing trail network to allow (at least partially) mountain biking.
Group rides are typically Thursday nights at 7:00 pm, starting at the Strathburn St. trailhead. Yes, we ride at night, and we also ride all winter. Fat bikes strongly recommended in the shoulder season and on snow. If you walk on the trail, please use snowshoes so you don't create dangerous postholes for other trail users. Skiing is not recommended because the dense bush prevents good snow coverage over many sections.