Mountain biking in Stouffville provides an opportunity to be further separated from sharing the road with a fast-moving vehicle. The landscape of the Oak Ridges Moraine, where the glaciers ceased a southern movement and piled up, is a hilly surface and – there’s a lot of sand beneath. In addition, there are 13 York Regional Forest (YRF) tracts in Stouffville, providing natural connectivity and continuous forest cover. YRF allows hikers, horses, and mountain bikes to share the forest. Remember, anything on wheels is expected to yield first.
Mountain Bike Stouffville is a concept, while the reality you create will be your own. YRFs are generally a maze of crisscrossing pathways. Some of the paths are as wide as two buses, while others are no wider than a 2’ single track. Some tracts are generally flat, while other contain extreme slopes. The terrain too can very from hard rock to deep sand.
Outlined on the Mountain Bike Stouffville map is a course that is about 37 km in length, with only 5 km being on-road. It may take an intermediate biker 3 hours (plus stoppage time) to complete, while a beginner should probably walk parts first, and then determine a comfort level. Clarke Tract has a lot of flat & wide trails, while Hall Tract has some beautiful, single-track climbs.
Following a traditional map is nearly impossible – this one should be used for guidance. However, having an orientation is easily achieved. A forest tract is basically a box, surrounded by private lands with fencing and road networks. Most trail heads that meet with a road have a forest tract name sign. There are houses along the boundaries – interior routes provide a better sense of being remote. Add a sense of cardinal directions, and you won’t get permanently lost. It is a good idea to check progress with an app like Alltrails; cellular signal is reasonably good, unless you are at the bottom of a forested valley.
The Mountain Bike Stouffville map contains some waypoints – a restaurant that serves Chinese AND Italian cuisine (there is a story behind that); a pub in Ballantrae that has a big deck and cold drinks; an Eastern Orthodox convent that has a special bakery and shop (check their Facebook); and finally, a gourmet duck store – the headquarters of King Cole Ducks, the largest producer of ducks in Canada.
Be careful on the few sections of road that have higher speed traffic. Most of the on-road sections are by way of low-speed residential countryside, but there are 3 km or so that merit extra attention.