There is nothing quite like going on a destination trip to really enjoy riding a fat bike. It is one thing to ride locally, but Canada has fully embraced this sport and offers up some pretty unique tracks scattered around the different provinces.
Not everyone is going to be able to go to every single one on this list, but at least a couple of them are close enough to consider. The best part is, the weather does not really matter all that much with a fat bike to ride.
Keep in mind that all of the trails listed below are meant more for the summer months and what they bring to the table. While a lot of them turn into some great spots in the winter, it is essential to have options for both times of the year to really get the most out of riding.
1. Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, Ontario
It is a struggle for a lot of people in the Toronto area to find really good fat biking opportunities during certain times of the year. The Horseshoe Resort is a perfect day trip for people who want to get somewhere quickly and easily. There is a lot of natural beauty to explore in the area, and there are trail opportunities for anything from beginner to advanced riders.
It seems to be the most popular during the fall and winter, but this resort is open 12 months of the year for people who want to ride their fat bike.
They do a great job of maintaining the trails so that everyone has a comfortable place to ride every single time they show up. They understand that as fat bike riding continues to grow, they are going to be even more of a hot commodity for those who are somewhat nearby.
The unique spots people can take in around the resort are simply remarkable. Even though it is somewhat relatively close to the city, it seems like an entirely different world once a person really gets deep into the trails. Riding on a fat bike allows for a lot more exploration in a short amount of time, compared to trying to do things just by walking around.
2. Fernie Alpine Resort
Even though people love going here in the winter, this year-round mountain resort is a perfect destination for fat bike riding. It was not always embraced in the area, but they have now added several trails for people to explore, regardless of skill level.
They have plenty of rentals for those who just want to try it out for the first time they are, but serious riders will bring their bikes instead.
What makes this area stand out so much is that they have done fat bike riding the right way. There are some very laid-back, easy trails that go along the riverside near the town of Fernie.
This is a great way to learn how the bike feels and reacts under certain situations. No one is under any type of real pressure when it comes to making sharp turns, or trying to go up and down a huge hill.
They also have a really nice sense of community in the area, making fat biking more and event than most of the other locations. There are a lot of locals who enjoy riding, but they get a fair share of out-of-towners as well. Everyone is very friendly, and it just makes learning the trails a little bit better.
3. Liv Outside in Bracebridge
A lot of people are flocking to these trails in Bracebridge, as it has turned into a very great spot overall for all different levels. What really allows this area to set themselves apart is the fact that they have put so much time and effort into making sure that every trail is looking as good as new.
Some people feel like they are extremely overwhelmed with keeping up with how a trail looks, but it really enhances the overall feel of the entire experience.
4. Black Sheep Mountain Bike Club in Thunder Bay
Just across the border of the United States is Thunder Bay, which has a very solid cycling community throughout the year. There are some really good spots to ride for any type of experience, and the topography in certain locations proved to be pretty challenging.
The recommendation for beginners riding a fat bike is to head to Centennial Park. It offers just enough of a challenge for people to feel like they are doing something off the road, but nothing too strenuous.
The more challenging locations are up in the Shuniah Mines. These old silver mineshafts make it challenging for bikers to handle everything thrown their way. The terrain becomes pretty rugged in certain spots, but it is nothing too crazy.
In total, there are over 50 kilometers of trails available for fat bike riders in the area to explore. It really just comes down to finding the right trail, and going from there. There are plenty of renting options available for those who decide to go spur of the moment without owning their own bike to ride on.
5. Gatineau Park in Quebec
Like a lot of spots on this list, people are going to recognize his name more for the winter excursions. However, there are over 30 kilometers of trails available, and they do not just disappear during the warmer months. It is a little easier to get around, and the trails are not as packed since there are no snowshoers to get in the way.
With such an extensive network, there are definitely some good opportunities and some less challenging ones. It is something that anyone in the family can find a good spot to enjoy riding and taking everything in at once. No one wants to be in a situation where they are stressing out too much about finding just the right fit for them, so having different challenges for different types of riders is essential.
For those who live close by, it is definitely worth checking out again in the winter. There is enough beauty throughout the year to make it interesting. On top of that, they do a great job of making sure that the trail is ready to go during the winter as well. Just understand that things get a little more busy.
6. Fundy National Park in New Brunswick
There is a lot of history surrounding Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, and people have been flocking to their trails to explore some historical spots for quite some time. They have trails that are used by fat bike riders, snowshoers, and cross country skiers all at once.
It might seem a little packed on the busiest days, which is why some people will opt for the warmer months to ride there instead. That is when a lot of people with fat bikes will take advantage of a bit more range overall.
People can get their fat bikes right up towards the water if that is what they want to do. There are also some challenging hills to tackle if riders want to do that. They have built up the entire area so that there is plenty of enjoyment for visitors wanting to do it they can.
It is a bit of a trip to get to New Brunswick for some people, depending on where they live in Canada. However, locals have loved this spot for quite some time, and it does not just have to do with what they bring to the table as far as riding is concerned.
7. MVP, Fredericton New Brunswick
Fredericton New Brunswick has some of the best trails in the Atlantic region, that’s due to the River Valley Cycling bike club. This membership-based club has hundreds of riders supporting it. You can, of course, ride the trails even if you’re not a member but it is encouraged to pay for a membership to help support the local bike trails.
MVP has all sorts of mountain bike and fat bike trails. From single-track enduro to their newest downhill trails section. You will be able to enjoy many miles of trails all day long.
What’s nice is they also maintain these trails during the winter months for fat biking. They have several groomers out after each snow storm to making the trails super fast and fun all winter long.
Of course, you can’t mention the trails in Fredericton without talking about the Minto trails! The trails in Minto NB. (45 mins outside Fredericton) weaves around the water holes left by decommissioned mines.
If you like fast trails and you’re around these parts of Atlantic Canada, you need to check the Minto trails out! I’d even bring my gravel bike there since a lot of the trails are single track gravel paths!
8. Seven Summits in Rossland, British Columbia
These trails have long been thought of as a place for mountain bike riders to explore, but fat bike riders are taking advantage of the trails as well. There is a lot of space in what is referred to as the “Mountain Biking Capital of Canada,” as just under 300 kilometers are available for ultimate exploration.
They do a great job of crafting and maintaining all of the trails, which is great for riders who do not want to be thrown off too much by going off-road. There is still some tough terrain that provides plenty of challenges, but people do not have to worry about crazy areas popping up here and there.
What is the best route to check out? Most people like to label IMBA Epic as the best route for all the different times a year. In the winter, it is certainly a challenge, as everything snakes around different turns and causes even seasoned riders to use a bit of strategic planning.
It is a little easier when there is no snow on the ground, but still be prepared for a lot of climbing, plus almost double the amount of downhill riding as well.
9. Collingwood, Ontario
People in the Toronto metro area love gravitating towards this part of the country for a short getaway as well. It is located right on Georgian Bay, which allows for a lot of beach time as well as riding at different levels.
Three Stages and Kolapore Uplands are two great spots to check out that are right outside of town. For those who want to stay in town, there are about 60 kilometers of trails for people to explore as well. The spots outside of town are better for longer rides, and for a bit more of a challenge.
Finally, Blue Mountain Resort is one place to check out for those who really want to do some downhill riding near that area. There is an opportunity to actually be lifted up to the top, allowing riders to attack the trails downhill and also taking so much scenery as well. This is when the summer really shines, as there are colors in the area that are not viewable at any time other time of year.
10. The Great Trail
The final spot to make this list is certainly a little different than the rest. Just about everyone in Canada knows about The Great Trail, as it runs coast to coast with 100% connection. No matter where a person lives in Canada, they can usually find at least some spot to ride on out of the 24,000 total kilometers.
Is it the greatest challenge in the world for people who are riding on fat bikes? More than likely, no, but there are some tough spots here and there. It really depends on the overall terrain in that area. Some people just like it as a great spot to try out riding a fat bike and pick the distance overall. It usually consists of an out and back trip, but there are some pretty scenic areas along the way.
There are plenty of people who use the great trail as an opportunity to ride across the entire country without any issues. Since the trail can differ quite a bit, it makes more sense to some people to ride with a fat bike instead of other alternatives out there. It might not allow for the fastest type of riding, but it does keep people pretty upright and versatile when trying to go off script a bit.
While Riding a Fat Bike Without Snow is Still Enjoyable
There is no doubt that riding a fat bike in the snow is one of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a bike like this in the first place. There are definitely some challenges using other bikes on a slippery surface, and sometimes people need to add special types of tires to handle the worst.
With that said, riding a fat bike, much like a mountain bike, in the middle of the summer also has its benefits. Some people like that extra bit of width on the tire so that they feel safe and secure. The overall geometry of a fat bike is also something that people get used to. Canada does not have the longest summers, but a fat bike is something that can be used in a season of the year.
The summer rides are often the most enjoyable, simply because beginner fat bike riders do not have to worry as much about others on the trails. Certain locations in Canada are much more popular during the winter. It can be due to actually using the trails, or the resorts that surround a lot of the trails.