Background and History of MTB Kingston
MTB Kingston (aka The Farm) now has over 2500 members, having grown from a few hundred only a few years ago.
We are a not-for-profit group of riders operating in Countryside District, in the Greater Kingston, Ontario area.
Our mission: MTB Kingston promotes mountain biking in harmony with community partners. Together we strive to develop, and maintain a world-class trail network, a four-season facility, and most importantly, a community. As a club, we strive to improve members’ skill, knowledge, and abilities. We enjoy positive growth and an ever-diversifying membership, with riders ranging in age from pre-school to senior.
Our goal: to build community, great trails, and a group that loves mountain biking!
We are an IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) affiliated club and our insurance is with IMBA. Our trails are mostly on private land with a section leased from the City. All riders must be members (*or have a day pass) to ensure they have insurance to cover risk for our valued landowners. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR TAG VISIBLE at all times— (see below Rules to Shred & Tags). We truly appreciate our landowners’ generosity.
The most popular trails in Kingston back then were the Fort Henry trails, but these great trails were shut down for inexplicable security reasons. Sheila Gardner at J&J Cycle teamed up with Rob Sangers to open trails at the Farm and the initial Glenburnie trail, at The Farm, was essentially the Home Loop.
Linking the trail access to a bike shop was not ideal, so in 2006 MTB Kingston was established. We have grown from 150 to 2500+ members during this time, making us one of the largest, and least known, clubs in town! We currently have an amazing youth race team, tons of volunteers, several race series, workshops, and trail building opportunities. Most importantly, we feel we have an amazing community of riders.
The MTB Kingston Board of Directors are:
- Frank Armstrong—Secretary
- Roisin Beck – Director
- Peter Dawson—VP
- Chris Frank—President
- Darryl Gillespie—Treasurer
- Rob Sangers – Director(also the primary landowner)
Riding at MTB Kingston
Trails & Access
There are 40+ kms of trails based around the Farm on Unity Rd. We have come a long way with our trail signage, and we continue to invest in these important visual aids. We do not post our maps online for public access though there is a big map at the kiosk outside the barn. We will send you a link to access a video giving basic tour of the trails. We have trail markers and trail ratings from green to black (like ski areas).
Our website has excellent information about our trails. http://www.mtbkingston.ca/trails-access-points/
Trail ambassadors wear bright green/yellow jerseys and if you are uncertain, feel free to stop them on the trails to ask questions. Once you get familiar with the trails, consider becoming an ambassador!
You can ride all year, conditions permitting but must wear you tag on your clothing or back pack. We groom for fatbiking and also have a skate ski and classic trail loop too. There is at least one kid’s FB available to try via the Club. You must wear a tag on your clothing/pack if skiing or snowshoeing, and on you bike if winter riding.
There is a portable toilet at the barn (by the silo). There is also a shower for warm days near the bike wash. There is a clubhouse area in the barn and in the parking area- they are open depending on COVID restrictions but open to members when possible; please respect others by leaving the spaces as you found them or better!
Rules to Shred & Tags
Rider Rules are found at http://www.mtbkingston.ca/club-rules/
Helmets are part of mountain bike culture and MUST be worn at all times.
Membership (Insurance) Tags
A current MTB Kingston Membership tag MUST be visible at all times to access any MTB Kingston trail properties. It should be attached to back of seat via a zip tie please. This includes friends, family and guests. It is not possible to simply “try out” the trails for a day.
For insurance purposes every person, regardless of activity, must have a tag visible. The purchase of a membership tag is an investment that protects you, the club, and the landowners.
Every person, whether on a bike, skis, snowshoes, must be registered. Insurance is associated with the individual.
Every member must agree to the release agreement at time of registration. “The term “Mountain Biking” shall include all activities, services and use of facilities either provided by or arranged by the Releasees, including, but not limited to: orientation and instruction sessions; recreational activities undertaken during the event, tour; travel by mountain bike; all travel either within or beyond the designated boundaries, including in the backcountry and on logging roads and trails.”
There is misinformation circulating that we are not issuing tags because of COVID. This is incorrect. (It is true we are not issuing day passes and will be reviewing this policy as things evolve)
Code of conduct
We value the sustainability of our trail network and their upkeep. Volunteers spend countless hours building and maintaining the trails so please ensure to stay informed about trail closures or when trails may be sensitive due to rain or snow melt. Please sign up for the Trail Report email option and if the weather is inclement, check the website for updates. The Demo Loop and the more technical southside trails are almost always open once the spring thaw is over, but others are more sensitive to wet weather. The shoulder seasons are particularly tough and all trails may be closed at times. The kiosk has a sign on it that reflects trail status (but is not perfectly up to date given that we all have employment. We strive to update members ask quickly as our volunteerism permits. Use common sense if unsure-—IF YOU ARE LEAVING A TRACK, YOU MUST TURN BACK is good motto.
Dogs are permitted on the trails** but MUST be under control, especially if kids are around and MUST BE ON A LEASH in the parking area (as there are a farm animals roaming without enclosures.). **DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON COLLIN’S LAKE TRAIL. There are horses in fields to the east of the Home Loop (the final part )near the end of the loop. Please do not take you dogs into this area.. Please go up at the parking area at the end of Demo loop (colloquially known as Beer Me) rather than going the whole way round Home Loop.
Please be civil on Facebook. Positive comments and support go further in building community than negative or demeaning comments.
Neighbours and Land Owners
Respect our neighbours and drive slowly down the driveway to the barn. We ask you not to park at the Pete’s Loop trailhead, but it is still OK to park at the Division Street end of Bubrook. To get to Collin’s please use the club driveway to get to Unity Road.
Please do not litter on trails (or anywhere in the world really!). Do not leave dog poop bags the trails or near the Barn (how did that trend start anyway!?)
Mountain biking is great but does have inherent risks. We work hard to avoid risk coming from preventable issues. If you have any question or want to alert us to an issue, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org rather than using Facebook.
Trail Colour System
At the barn kiosk there will be signs outlining the nature of different trails using the traditional green, blue, and black symbols. Trail markers will outline what to expect; for example, most of the Ridge trail is Blue, but there are some black sections, so the trail is better for experienced riders or those willing to walk sections!
We have features that may be tricky, and more difficult ones will have an alternate route which will be signed. Please scout out features that are more challenging before riding them, just as you would skiing or snowboarding.
We are using our website and email for official notifications to members. There is a large Facebook group. Through our website, you can sign up for our official Trail Reports, which will arrive via email. The website has information on trail conditions and all events also.
Our events really to try to focus on fun, especially our races. We have some riders who have raced at a national level and some who are doing their first ever race. You are really racing against yourself for the fun and challenge.
- orientation rides
- group workshops
- Club mid-summer festival
- Summer Classic, 6 Hour Relay, and Night Eliminator races
- The World Championship Wednesday night fall series (not really World Championship!)
- Weekly group rides
- Nature ride with a biologist
- Friday Night Lights group rides
- Youth race team events
- Kids group rides with bonfire
MTB Kingston also hosts a provincial race series event. All these events are on hold obviously due to COVID. Dates for all these events will be posted on the website if they happen.
We are always looking for volunteers and are developing some committees to help with club operations. Trail days will be announced, and people interested in trail maintenance are most welcome.
Let us know if you are willing to volunteer your time, professional services or expertise to the club. Use the online form to specify.
We are all volunteers and at the end of the day this is our passion.
- Have fun outside and benefit in knowing that you helped your fellow members ride trails they can enjoy.
- Encourage one another and work as a team.
- Invite others to come and join us.
If you do not mind getting a little dirty (and know your way around gardening tools or power tools) and want to get to know your trails from a different perspective, then this is for you. It also gives you a glimpse into how decisions are implemented trail side. You get to be a part of cool build projects, new maintenance, and rework projects, and so much more.
If you come out and realize that trail work is not for you, there are other ways you can help strengthen the community. https://survey.alchemer-ca.com/s3/50102007/Volunteer-Registration-MTBK-2021