Kanata Lakes has a bit of everything. It has some technical XC riding and some more advanced North Shore style ladders and drops. It is very very good, and much of it will be preserved, so make sure you visit!
It differs from the Gatineaus in that it is largely 'flat', but has lots of ups and downs on exposed Canadian Shield rock which makes for ideal wheelie drops and practice areas. If you are used to shuttling, some of these trails will remind you of what real riding involves. It could turn you into a weeping mess, it's tough, technical, and really fun if you go for the Westerly area now known as South March Highlands ( see map in listing for parking area at K2/Klondike or Huntmar).
There are three well known parking areas overall. Two of these allows for convenient access to the South March Highlands and these parking areas are show in our Outback listing.
The third and possibly the most popular area is off Goulbourn forced road. You simlpy head west across the road out of the parking lot. You can't go wrong, follow the main trail which has some fu ridgeline but then runs out of room at the hydro lines and train tracks. You can follow this easement across the train tracks to the South March Highlands area. What many people miss who head west out of the parking lot at Goulbourn Forced road, is the wilder area "across the train tracks". This area is ridge-like with lakes and known as South March Highlands.
The area near Goulborn forced road parking lot may also get developed. Some of the area further west towards Huntmar will be preserved, this is where mountain bikers and OMBA (ottawamba.org) are focusing their riding. Take the trail called Outback for example, is probably one of the top 10 technical XC trails in Canada.
Maps are available from mtbkanata.com, and ottawamba.com, or you can view it in entirity on trailpeak here
The "popular" parking area closest to the wilder trails is along March Rd until you come to Klondike. Which is just past the hi-tech buildings in Kanata, then turn right (SW) at Klondike (by the historic hotel and pizza joint) and drive up to 2nd line. You'll also see that parking area in our outback map. This is near recent subdivision, but, the trails are preserved, and it is gorgeous terrain for technical mountain biking. Especially if you ride outback, which will wander in what feels like the middle of the Canadian shield, for 2-3 hours. Outback can be reached off Huntmar road, just under the train bridge. It's a good access point.
OMBA has weekly nite rides leaving from K2 & Klondike, and, best to check OMBA out anyway, they are doing great work on the trails. I attended a trail day, where we rock armored a section, and, added a ladder, then went out to BBQ. Mountain Bike Associations have popped up all over Canada.
If you click on the GPS download icon above, you will see waypoint 001 which identifies the parking area of Forced Road that many mountain bikers still use for tamer riding. The North West part of the breadcrumb trail can be followed to get to some stunning Canadian shield (outback) riding and you can get that gps trail data from our outback listing. It's twisty, and very much fun! But you may be better off finding the parking spot at K2/Klondike (2nd line) or Huntmar for that.
As good or better than riding the Gatineaus in my opinion. Between the DH riding at Camp Fortune and Calabogie, Ottawa area riders now have everything they need to be 'happy at home'.
From the parking area on Forced Road, head across the street just left, then right onto the trail that winds through a bit of a clear-cut, where I saw a large buck, and pretty far north and west. The furthest point (fingertip) on the GPS map represents some pretty hardcore exposed rock riding that is twists, climbs, and drops through rugged shield and swamp along "ridgeline". It also passes by a few mystery lakes.
Trail names in here include "Pete's Wicked", "ridgeTop", "Outback", and, "Rock Hopper". There are many more. Outback is a seriously large loop that is vwery technical, with climbs and descents, drops, and rock, did we mention rock.
To sum up, you park at GFR (Forced road) for intro to the area and easier riding. You get to the area known more as South March Highlands by parking either at Huntmar under the train bridge (or near) or by parking off 2nd line and Klondike (off March road, the blinking light as you head past hi-tech land and suburbia). See our outback listing for a map which includes the Huntmar parking area. Friggin great!
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Posted By: seb
- Mon Sep 06 19:54:26 UTC 2010
UpsideNice summer mud Nice jumps Awsome bridges Nice place for full suspension bikes Lots of up in down DownsideEasy to get lost if you don't no the trail CommentThis trail is good for moderete develope riders It is also better to go with a friend and not alone
Posted By: norco_rider12
- Mon Apr 10 14:39:38 UTC 2006
Commenti got wind of a rumour saying that this summer part of the trails will be destroyed to make room for houses. can any one confirm this?
Posted By: jkom
- Wed Sep 28 15:56:41 UTC 2005
UpsideSimilar to the Nortshore... On the flat! After 5 years of riding in SMH it is as exciting and challenging as ever! Night Rides! Winter Rides! DownsidePotential development... Consider joining the Ottawa Mountain Biking Association. wqe are dedicated to trail maintenance as well as access through advocacy. Visit www.ottawamba.org for more info.
Posted By: Phydeaux_3
- Thu Sep 22 12:51:37 UTC 2005
UpsideJust awesome, Mother Nature at her best. DownsideEasy to get hopelessly lost (that's not necessarily a bad thing). ;O) CommentBeing a newbie I don't have much to compare South March Highlands (what we call Kanata Lakes) with but I can't imagine that it gets much nicer than that. I say it to my riding buds alla the time: If God was a mountainbiker he'd ride SMH. Lots of photos here: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/my_photos Hope to see you out there, if you see me say 'Hey PHY!'
smooches, » PhyÂ³ . . .
Posted By: bignickel
- Tue Jul 26 14:25:43 UTC 2005
UpsideLots of different types of riding. DownsideThe evil empire known as suburbs. CommentI love this place. Rediscovered my enthusiam for biking on these trails. There are so many different types of riding available. This is what XC mtn biking is supposed to be like. Fast trails, lots of single track, rocks, roots, drops, quick technical inclines and quick rocky declines. Its more flat from the west end and more hilly from the east. Great Biking all around.
Posted By: pyxen
- Wed Dec 24 01:16:40 UTC 2003
CommentFantastic riding in KL - Hopefully we'll be able to keep it around for a long time to come (developpers). This has been my first year MTBing and I've learned about nearly everything (except ridiculous drops) from riding in Kanata Lakes.. theres nothing to be desired that cant be found - or built in the coming years.
Come one come all! :)
Posted By: tedferguson
- Sat Nov 01 00:41:31 UTC 2003
CommentDo you mean south side of the gatineau escarpment? If so, I agree. It'd be cool.
Posted By: trailpeak
- Sun Sep 21 04:27:15 UTC 2003
CommentWhere else in Ottawa area, where will I get my fix of Shore when I visit. Sure I know the Gats, but they seem awfully tame and goat pathish. Give us more! Tell us more! I've often eyed a shuttle area on the South Rock face of the Gats, saw around Notch road, anyone?
Posted By: mtbkanata.com
- Tue Aug 20 18:45:27 UTC 2002
UpsideGreat single-track, some technical climbs and descents. DownsideSoon will be all houses. CommentThis is a trail for everyone. There are some easy sections, and even some gravel paths surrounding the area. Once you get into the woods, the trails are technical and interesting. There are a few ladders and obsticles, nothing too crazy though. A good time for any rider. Oh yeah, Stay off the Private land to the West!
Posted By: MacMahoooon
- Fri May 24 01:54:24 UTC 2002
UpsideGreat variety DownsideSoon to be swallowed up by development I fear CommentThis is a great set of trails with someone for everyone. Its an expansive network of trails that offers great variety. There is currently a crew of dedicated riders working to expand the North Shore style parts of the trail to keep everything interesting.
Posted By: trailpeak
- Sat Jan 19 18:03:27 UTC 2002
CommentKanata Lakes has North Shore style ladders!? I though Kanata Lakes was another Ottawa Suburb. If you can send pictures of the trail and the ladders, and directions to the trail area, we'd like to see that!