Fat Biking Hotspots

Cool riding options for all.

Say goodbye to the off-season—fat biking makes cycling a year-round activity. Those beefy bikes with the absurdly rotund, go-anywhere tires are redefining what bikes are capable of.

Fat bike races are spreading rapidly, and cycling clubs all over the province are grooming their local trails—some with machines, others using down-home determination to drag tires through the woods.

The end result is a winter’s worth of riding options. Blessed with the right terrain and weather, it’s no surprise that Northern Ontario offers some of the best-groomed fat bike trails in the province.

Bracebridge

New to fat tires? Liv Outside in Bracebridge might be the ultimate place for your first fat ride. They take their trail grooming seriously on Muskoka's first groomed trails at Riverside Bike Park. The staff will set you up with rental gear, and offer a primer or a guided tour.

Man on fat tire mountain bike catching some air on a winter trail.
Catching some air at Riverside Bike Park.

For post-ride R&R, try a burger at The Burger Shop located at the trail entrance, or visit the famous Muskoka Brewery.

Sudbury

Founded in 2016, Kivi Park is already a premier destination for outdoor adventure. The year-round park boasts excellent cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking trails in the winter. Fat bike rentals are available through the Adventure 365 pop-up location on site.

Man on fat bike cycling on snow covered trail surrounded by white birch trees.
Scenic trails at Kivi Park.

New for 2019, Walden Cross Country and Walden Mountain Bike Club have partnered to offer winter fat biking on singletrack snowshoe trails and skate ski trails at the Naughton Trail Centre. Fat bike rentals are available on site, and trail passes can be purchased from the chalet, where you’ll find a warming room and washrooms.

Parry Sound

Parry Sound Bikes or Trysport is a go-to for all your fat bike needs. Rent your equipment and get yourself a day pass for the trails at the Georgian Nordic Outdoor Activity Centre. Here you’ll find smooth trails that you share with cross-country skiers, as well as tight singletracks that wind through the forest and lead to a fully-staffed chalet where you can warm, or maybe cool down.

For après repas, trundle over to the Trestle Brewery for some fine craft beer and delicious food.

Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie has a robust and growing cycling community, and fat bikers are in particularly good hands thanks to the cycling club and local bike shop Vélorution. The top of the must-ride list is the 20 km of machine-groomed trails at Crimson Ridge. From there, move to Hiawatha Highlands on nearby Whitefish Island. And, of course, there is always the Hub Trail, a multi-use recreational trail that circles the city.

The Soo has three bike shops that can see to your every fat biking need: Vélorution, Algoma Bicycle Company, and Duke of Windsor Sport Shop.

Man on fat tire bike cycling down a snow-covered hill in a forest.
Feeling the rush.

For post-ride restoration, try The Breakfast Pig. The name likely references the delicious local-sourced bacon they serve, but it may also relate to the size of the portions.

Thunder Bay

The Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club is at the heart of another solid cycling community that welcomes winter. For beginners, Centennial Park is a good place to start. For the experienced, the topography at the Shuniah Mines is sure to please as the trails zig-zag around century-old silver mine shafts. Or, wake up to the possibilities of biking at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, where the terrain ranges from easy to rugged. Share the 50 km of XC ski trails that loop around the base of the famous rock formation. No fat bike? No problem. You can rent at Rollin’ Thunder or Fresh Air Experiences.

For après-ride, refuel the body at the Red Lion Smokehouse.

OTTAWA

Over the past several years, fatbiking has seen some explosive growth in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. In the 7 different fatbike riding areas, there are approximately 120km of multi-user, snowshed, tire tracked and machine groomed trails.

About Martin Lortz

Martin Lortz is a freelance photographer/writer specializing in the outdoor lifestyle. Whether he is covering adventure motorcycling, kayak fishing or family oriented outdoor pursuits, his passion for capturing the beauty of nature and the people that partake in it, is evident in his work. His photos and articles have appeared in magazines such as Ski Canada, Explore, Bike, Mountain Life, Couloir, Kayak Angler and Family Camping, as well as in calendars, catalogs and brochures.

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