Just west of Kinmount, Ontario, the Somerville Forest is waking up. Dawn sun flickers through crisp May air. Tall pines sway to a soft breeze. Birds are heard chirping in the distance. Mist rises like a hazy blanket above a small marsh. Forest critters scamper about for their morning snack. The serenity is occasionally broken up with laughter from a group of friends sharing stories. The dull, low sounds of the off-road motorcycles can mean only one thing: the off-road motorcycle season has started and it’s time to saddle up!
For thousands of recreational motorized vehicle users every year who flock to the Kawartha Region, it is the best off-road riding they will ever experience. Hundreds of kilometers of world-class manicured and marked trails weave underneath forest canopies, rise up and down ancient granite rock faces, and traverse alongside freshwater lakes and streams.
With trails like this, it is no coincidence it is home to Canada’s most revered motorcycling race, The Corduroy Enduro, the headquarters and manufacturing factory for TekVest, and a top riding destination for those who want to get lost in the freedom off-road riding provides. In Kawartha, the way to everything important is by going off-road.
All of this is accessible to off-road enthusiasts (motorcycles, ATVs, or SXSs) with the purchase of a yearly or daily trail pass through local clubs like the Kawartha ATV Association (KATVA) or the Kawartha Off-road Association (KORMA). For plated and insured members of the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders, the trails and staging areas are already open to you!
For off-road motorcycle riders, they can purchase passes at korma.ca or The OFTR members page. With an annual or day pass, users are granted authorization to use the RideOFTR mobile phone mapping system. This new mobile and desktop application provides real time navigation and trail status. It is an invaluable tool that offers riders the ability to plan a casual or easy “green” trail loop, or push themselves and their bikes to the limits on the many extreme “pink” trails. Whether you are after an adventure and GoPro footage of the highest order, or just want to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Kawartha Region, the RideOFTR puts this right at your fingertips.
In addition to the RideOFTR waypoint and POIs, KORMAprovides ample resources on local food, lodging, and support resources for off-road riders. Looking for a place to stay? Try Log Chateau Park. Need parts for your vehicle? Try Cycle Salvage. Looking for a great place to eat? Try the Cow and Sow in Fenelon Falls.
For those seeking more adventure in the form of structured rides, consider signing up for one of the many events KORMA hosts throughout the riding season.
The newly launched “Kawartha Kraken" series has many rides throughout the year ranging from beginner and social events, all the way up to extreme rides that are typically reserved for only elite riders. KORMA also hosts a popular “Thrill and Chill” women’s day where women get together to enjoy all the physical heath, mental health, and social benefits this wonderful sport has to offer. Even more, most of these events include lunch and a memento of the occasion. These affordable organized rides are all available through the KORMA Website. Check in frequently, or on the KORMA Facebook Page as they are updated throughout the year.
For trails and technical-focused off-road riders, KORMA has budgeted and commenced plans for a special obstacle area (the “Kraken’s Lair”) south of Loom Lake on their own private property available to all OFTR, KORMA, and KATVA members. They are hopeful that by mid-season riders will have a place to push their technical abilities on obstacles and courses. Once completed, this will be the only public trials riding area within a couple hours’ drive of the GTA. This is another great example of how the Kawartha Region’s terrain and trails produce some of the best off-road motorcycling athletes in the country.
For more information or trail access, locations, or general tips on making your trip to Kawartha the most memorable one of the season, contact [email protected]. See you on the trails!