We often hear that sustainable trails are too easy. Or not fun.

The majority of trail builders we meet are advanced riders, and they often want to build trails at their (or their riding buddies’) level.

But there’s a misconception that trails which are built sustainably (that is, follow the half rule, max sustainable grade, etc.) aren’t technical or advanced. It comes up so often that we even have a slide about this in our IMBA Trail Building School presentation.

During our visit this week in Bromont, QC, with IMBA-affiliate club Les Amis des Sentiers de Bromont, we set out to build an advanced contour trail which surfed along a ridge of rock on Mount Oak. Les Amis have had the help of their local IMBA representative on planning a beautiful signature trail that will showcase the type of trail that all can enjoy. Over 30 volunteers made quick work of the benchcut section and ambitious armouring projects, which required rearranging and interlocking huge chunks of metamorphic granite (thanks to geologist Josee Fontaine for the neat lesson in rocks!). Saturday’s build went so well that 9 individuals joined us again on Sunday morning to continue armouring the ridge!

When complete, the new trail will complement the Town of Bromont’s extensive network of flowing double and singletrack.

Kudos to the club for an excellent visit which included a press conference with the Mayor of Bromont, a lovely cocktail party, and post-build BBQ! The club has done a fantastic job making in-roads with other trail users and the Town, which has clearly made trails and recreation a priority for residents and visitors.

During our week in the region, we also had the opportunity to attend the Allez-Y festival with IMBA QC coordinator Eric Leonard in East-Hereford. The weekend festival included shuttling, nightly supper and local beer, and race – which was attended by over 300 riders. If you are in the area (perhaps riding Bromont’s well known DH trails) make sure to check out the cross-country riding in the region. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks to Michel, Josee, and everyone at Les Amis who made our visit wonderful, and also to IMBA QC coordinator Eric Leonard (and partner Christine Menard) for their extensive knowledge and experience on trails in the region.