Though we haven’t lived in Ottawa for a few years, rumours about the great trails at Mont Ste Marie have travelled far and wide. So, when we heard that we’d be paying a visit to Velo MSM, Rachael and I were excited to finally see what was going on!

Our first day began with a group ride to check out the work they had been doing. With a few paid trailbuilders (thanks to multiple grants) they have put considerable effort into a blue level climbing trail to get to the top of the hill.

These switchbacks are in place to get around a difficult building situation, with granite walls on either side there is no choice but to go straight up the middle.

We had one of our best attended trailbuilding workshops with Velo MSM, with over 40 attendees in the classroom and over 50 people out at the build.

Great prizes certainly help draw a croud! Many came away lucky from the raffle with some nice gear.

The volunteers for the build heading out, couldn’t have asked for a better day to be in the woods.

The area we were building in was not without it’s challenges, mostly due to a high amount of rock and organics to deal with. We found a patch of sweet dirt here, however.

I think most of us had a great time on the group ride after, with a larger group splitting up to find different adventures. Rachael and I opted for the chill pace and had a great time.

The trails here are a great example of how word of mouth is often some of the best marketing for trails. We started hearing about the trails up here before there was a lot of offering. Now, still early in the trail development, the resort is buzzing with people up to ride the trails and enjoy themselves. Simply put, develop a reputation for great trails and users will be knocking on your door.

Thanks to everyone who came out for a successful trail build, to Velo MSM for (quickly) arranging such a great visit, and to the Cook family for hosting us!

Click here for our photos, on Flickr.

More event photos, courtesy of David Nesbitt