Earlier this month, IMBA Canada joined up with organizers at Camp Fortune for a day of trail building in Gatineau, Quebec. Over 20 volunteers came out on a cool, bright Saturday to help repair cross-country trails and build the first pump track in the National Capital Region.

“A pump track is a really fun thing to ride on, and the skills you learn on it will make you a better trail or downhill rider,” says Mark Schmidt, director and trail specialist for IMBA Canada.

The 60-foot-long, oval track was designed by Schmidt to be accessible to riders of all ages and experience levels. It will be open for local riders and will be used as a teaching tool by Mountain Bike Kids, a summer day camp that runs at Camp Fortune.

Mark Schmidt shows the crew the design

Geoff Pearce, camp president, says the pump track is the first step in a larger plan to build a mountain bike centre and skills park at Camp Fortune.

“I’d love to have this place packed with kids at all times. It would be a good place to hang out, mountain bike, go swimming at Meech Lake. A place where parents can drop their kids off,” says Pearce.

The pumptrack nearing completion

Pearce’s plan is in step with IMBA Canada’s goal to eventually build a skills park in Ottawa. “This shows people we can do things safely and easily, and there are no concerns around liability. We can build things that are sustainable and will work,” says Schmidt.

IMBA Tool Trailer

Camp Fortune was the first of four stops for IMBA Canada’s mobile tool trailer, funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion’s Trails for Life Grant.

The trailer, which provides supplies for a crew of 40, also made an appearance at Ontario’s newest lift-accessed trail system, Sir Sam’s Ski Area in Haliburton.

“The purpose of the program is to provide the resources to build trails, but also the education so that people have an idea of how to layout a sustainable trail or a skills park,” says Lora Woolner, co-director of IMBA Canada.

Look for the trailer at other Ontario trail-building events throughout the summer. For more information on how your IMBA Canada affiliated group can borrow the mobile tool trailer at no cost, contact Canada@imba.com.

Article by Rachael Raven
Photos by David Nesbitt