Thunder Bay – A Mountain Bike Destination

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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2013 - Hafjell: Alexandra Engen - Action
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2013 - Hafjell: Alexandra Engen - Action

THUNDER BAY – Tourism Thunder Bay in conjunction with the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club will host a Mountain Bike Symposium Saturday evening, December 16 – 7 pm at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel.

The symposium will focus on how Thunder Bay can become a destination for mountain biking through the implementation of the Throwbridge Forest Recreation Master Plan. The development of this plan is extensive and will require significant resources and investment of not only funding but time and labour. 

Master Plan

The master plan was developed by the Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club in partnership with the City of Thunder Bay Parks Division through funding provided by Tourism Northern Ontario. Industry experts evaluated the trails in the Trowbridge Forest with the design of trails looking at all uses of the park areas known as Shuniah Mines, Centennial Park (north of the highway), Kinsmen Park, Trowbridge Campground, and the rest of the undeveloped land between Balsam Street, on the west side of the Expressway, and up to Cascades Conservation Area to the north.

The implementation of the plan will result in a significant expansion of the mountain bike specific trails, optimized multi-use trails and park amenities. Overall, approximately 20,800 meters of trail will be added to the system.

The Symposium on Saturday night is open to all those interested in the development of mountain bike trails and multi-use trails in the City of Thunder Bay. People are invited to give their input on the next steps to secure funding and on how to implement the operational requirements to build the trail system outlined in the plan.

Presentations

Hansi Johnson, the Director of Recreation Lands for the Minnesota Land Trust in Duluth, will be the guest speaker to give insight on how Duluth has upgraded their city trails to attract visitors from around the world.

Johnson who was the former Midwest Regional Director for the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) will make a presentation on how local trail development in Thunder Bay and Northwest Ontario can take advantage of the popularity of mountain biking in the Upper Midwest USA Region. Johnson will provide examples of how Duluth and Grand Marais, Minnesota and Copper Harbor, Michigan have developed trail and track infrastructure to make their communities mountain bike tourism destinations.

Tourism Thunder Bay will have representatives will be on hand to provide input on how cycling tourism is a provincial priority through Ontario’s first Cycling Tourism Plan: Tour by Bike.