Meadow Lake

Background: The two premiere mountain bike trails in the Meadow Lake area are located at Meadow Lake Provincial Park and in the St. Cyr Hills area. Both offer spectacular single and double track through parkland and boreal forest, and alongside streams and clear water lakes.

Meadow Lake Provincial Park surrounds some 11 lake systems and never seems to be short of new trails. The area offers a variety of riding from novice to expert through parkland and boreal forest. Trails meander through forest, alongside fast flowing streams and over unique rock out-croppings. There are some challenging ascents as the country rock emerges through the forest bed. All the trails are clearly marked and have "Level of Difficulty" classifications. If the trails prove to be too difficult, there is always good riding to be found in the camping grounds and elsewhere in the park. Even a straight forward ride on the asphalt is exciting in this very picturesque region of the province.

The beautiful St. Cyr Hills area also offers very exciting off-road riding. This site is a popular stop on the mountain bike points race series and offers a variety of single and double track systems. The system fans out as part of the St. Cyr Nordic ski trails and offers riders anywhere from 1-30 kilometre routes. The area is very well marked and the layout is such that all trails lead back to the main chalet area.

The St. Cyr trails are primarily sand and hard-packed soil that twist and turn their way through spruce and jack pine and, depending on the route you choose, alongside three lakes: Beaver Pond, St. Cyr Lake and Anderson Lake. There is plenty of climbing at St. Cyr Hills, most of which is gradual and rolling; a few climbs, however, are steep and technical. Luckily, the trails are designed as concentric loops, so it is easy to change your mind and choose a shorter trail. Wildlife abounds in the forest and riders are likely to see deer, black bear and even moose.

Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced - The trails at Meadow Lake Provincial Park are straight forward and riders should have little difficulty in completing most sections. There are also plenty of alternate routes should any particular trail seem too difficult. The area is well mapped so riders can plan their route.

St. Cyr Hills offers several challenging sections, and some of the climbs and descents require particular attention. The variety of the trails, however, makes it possible to choose easier routes.

Directions: Meadow Lake Provincial Park is located 40 kilometres north of the town of Meadow Lake via Highway 4. The area is very well marked from the highway.

The St. Cyr Hills cross-country ski area is slightly more difficult to find. The area is accessed by following Highway 55 for approximately 20 kilometres east of the town of Meadow Lake. Turn north at Island Hill Road and follow it for another two kilometres until you see road signs indicating St. Cyr Hills Ski Area. The area is well marked from Island Hill Road.

What to Bring: The provincial park area has full services during the in-season from late May to early September. There are also a number of water taps throughout the park. St. Cyr Hills has no services so be sure to bring food and fluids. If it has been particularly wet in either area, be sure to bring mosquito and black fly repellent. Don't forget to bring your camera because this area is very picturesque.