Larose Forest is purpose built bike singletrack with combinations of loops adding up to just over 18km. More trail is being added and new side loops are making things look more interesting every week. There is some nice flow, steep drop cuts along the creek sections and nicely bermed corners all around. Keep your eyes peeled for some figure 8 loops and side lines that spice it up even more. Fun but not boring for all rider levels, especially on a fatbike. Everything is 2-way and there are other users including, hikers, runners, dog mushers and deer. Remember to be nice to everyone.
Well, it’s pretty safe to say that when Larose Forest 1.0 launched last fall, it was a big hit. After a brutally wet fall, Larose provided some much needed open trails to ride. People know about the trails now. The secret is out.
Following this initial influx of riders last fall, the Larose Forest Management Team has asked OMBA-AVMO to clarify a few details about what everyone can, should, and should not do in this new favourite riding area. Please take a minute to read the guidelines below.
Things you need to know:
1. Where it's at.
Larose Forest is in the east end of the city, about 40 minutes out on the 417. Once you pass downtown it's pretty smooth sailing until you exit the highway. Use the button below to get the Google Map directions. If you need to input the destination below. After you exit the highway, the county roads are generally OK but watch for potholes and water in low area, especially in spring. As you enter Larose Forest, the last few kilometres of trail are maintained dirt road. The surface is somewhat loose and can get muddy. Use caution in the winter as the road can get icy and rutted.
Henri Latreille Shelter, Indian Creek Rd, Clarence-Rockland, ON
2. Larose Forest wants you have an OMBA-AVMO Membership to ride the trails. Your membership is your trail pass.
You probably didn’t know that OMBA-AVMO has been working with the Larose Forest Team for several years to assist with their trail visions and long-term planning. In fact, all the different organized users in Larose work closely with the land managers to plan routes, rules, and events. OMBA-AVMO works to help promote the trails, and Larose Forest is pretty stoked about the growing enthusiasm for the trails. And as with ALL the other user groups in the forest, the Larose Land Managers want trail users to be part of an organized and insured group. That would be OMBA-AVMO. You will notice the note below on the new trail signage and it will be popping up on their Facebook group and other communication. If you like this addition to our riding area, please join OMBA-AVMO to show your support for the trails.
"Join OMBA-AMVO. Larose Forest works with partners like OMBA-AVMO to provide great trails for all users. To show your support for mountain biking and to get involved we suggest you join OMBA-AVMO."
3. Tire Size
With the sandy nature of the trails at Larose, the minimum tire size during spring, summer and fall is 1.95 inch tires. Skinnier tires, such as cyclocross bikes create ruts on the network and more work to repair. In winter months, tire size should be 3.7" or bigger. This is the suggestion from the Larose trail builders. Sorry, no cyclocross bikes at this time.
4. Trail Conditions & Closures
Generally, the Larose network will be closed for 1-day following any rainfall. The trail builders are asking for a full 24 hours after precipitation to let the terrain dry out. If conditions are soft, please don’t ride. Trail conditions will be posted on the Larose Forest Facebook page regularly Please check after rainfall, and in the winter for regular updates.
The Facebook page is also a good place to see what other multi-use events are happening in the forest. (There's a rumour circulating that there will be GROOMED fatbike trails next winter!)
Dogs must be leashed at all times in Larose Forest. Mush teams, sled dogs, bikejoring rigs and dog events are regularly in the forest and fully permitted to be on-site. Dog handlers have strict rules about managing their teams for safety and if your pet is in the forest he or she MUST BE LEASHED FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY. Dog teams are pack animals and can become aggressive and dangerous to your pets. Loose trail dogs are not permitted on any trails, in parking lots or in picnic areas. (Please take this seriously; Mush dogs have priority in Larose Forest)
6. Fires & Barbecues
No open fires or fire pits are permitted in Larose Forest! EVER. Think about it. It’s a managed forest. Larose Forest grows the straightest trees in Eastern Canada and they are in demand. (Seriously! They make the best Hydro poles!) The funds to build trails are derived from logging activities and the safety of the forest is paramount. The trees are the reason you have these awesome trails to ride! Portable BBQ’s are permitted in the picnic areas only. (Propane is preferred and please use extra caution!)
7. Other Users are on the Trails
This trail network has been created as a family friendly, all-inclusive area. Kids, grandmothers and birdwatchers may be on the trail at any time. Be aware and courteous to kids and beginner riders on the trails. (If you must Strava, do it early before other users arrive.)
8. Trail Etiquette
The trails are also intended not only for mountain biking, but other multi-use activities including hiking, snowshoeing, dog walking, and general nature loving. Please make sure to follow IMBA multi-use guidelines and yield to other trail users. (This strategy has been successful in Gatineau Park and will be essential in Larose Forest too.) Also, please keep the single track single. Don't cut or braid trails. Give other users a chance to let you pass, or just wait until the next trail intersection. There are lots.
9. All Trails are Multi-Directional
All trails in Larose Forest are multi-directional, unless indicated. Signage is part of the next phase of the trail development plan. Some features may be one-way and will be signed, but otherwise, watch for other users and riders! (Just be nice to everyone you meet.)
If you haven't been there yet, you'll love it.
William Hook via Unsplash