If you’ve ever pedalled up a hill before, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that cycling is great for working the lower body, but did you know the health benefits reach far beyond your quads and hamstrings?
Benefits for your brain
Boosts your mood: Whether pedalling a favourite trail or whooshing down a hill, biking is great for relieving stress and improving mood.
Bonding with friends and family: A bike ride with family or friends provides excellent bonding time. What better way to connect than to go on an adventure together?
Benefits for your body
Get heart healthy: Biking is a great workout that helps to improve cardiovascular health.
Protects your joints: Biking is non-weight-bearing, which makes it a good option for people dealing with joint pain or injury.
Increases your lower body strength: Pedalling a bike is a great lower body workout, particularly for the quads, hamstrings and calves.
Improves coordination: Pedalling while maintaining balance and steering improves your coordination.
Cycle a trail or road
There are lots of great reasons to ride a bicycle: health, fitness, fun, environment, transportation. The Haliburton Highlands has great scenery, fresh air, interesting destinations and and an extensive roads system, making it a great place to explore and travel by bike. We have routes to suit novice cyclists as well as for those looking for a longer and more challenging ride.
If your preference is riding off-road, we have great trail opportunities in the Haliburton Highlands! Check the six Mountain Biking options below.
This rugged trail offers a 6.5 km (13 km round trip) moderate difficulty ride with numerous steep grades and descents, obstacles and some muddy sections. Enjoy scenic views of the York River, the Gut Rapids and Byers Lake along the way. This trail can be accessed east of the Kingscote Access Point on Elephant Lake Road north of Harcourt.
The Haliburton Highlands Mountain Bike Club has developed a network of single track trails that, combined with existing double track trails, offer over 10 km of riding. Trails start at Glebe Park Haliburton Sculpture Forest and are open for members or day users with purchase of trail pass.
Haliburton County Rail Trail – The 35 km multi-use rail trail takes cyclists through forests, past rivers, waterfalls, bogs and heritage bridges between the communities of Haliburton and Kinmount. In Kinmount, connect to the Victoria Rail Trail, which continues another 55 km to Lindsay, and on to Peterborough. Trail surfaces are mixed and rough so a mountain or hybrid bike is essential.
IB & O Rail Trail – This flat and easy rail trail near Tory Hill travels 14 km through forest with rocky outcrops in the north and lakes and wetlands to the south. This multi-use trail, shared with hikers and motorized vehicles, is suitable for mountain bikes.
From beginners to experts, Haliburton Forest has mountain biking trails for everyone. Mountain biking is an exhilarating, sustainable way to explore the forest. The 300km of trails mean there is plenty of track to fill up your mountain biking weekend.
One special amenity at Silent Lake is the mountain bike trail. The trail offers two loops; 11 and 17 km in length. The 11 km loop is moderately difficult, while the 17 km loop is considered difficult.
Cycle past towering maples, beech trees and scenic ponds before arriving at the Silent Lake day-use beach.
Mountain biking at Sir Sam’s is an ideal activity for families to share and enjoy throughout the summer season. Our 23km trail network provides terrain for all abilities, The nature of trail riding coupled with our spacious facilities ensures physical distancing is easy for all our guests. When it’s time for a break, our spacious chalet and sun deck offers plenty of room to spread out and relax, along with XC bike rentals, and bicycle repair and service, and grab and go snacks and beverages.
Healthy Parks, Healthy People
Research shows that spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health and biking is just one of the ways to include more nature in our lives.
Which trail will you enjoy?