Known as a tourist and cottage area located in Central Ontario; Haliburton is the home of Sir Sam’s Ski/ Ride. Featuring 23 kilometers of cross-country and downhill mountain biking trails throughout the beautiful forest, and overlooking both Eagle and Moose Lakes. Our family hit the green slopes at Sir Sam’s for a morning of fun-filled adventure.
Sir Sam’s Ski/ Ride
Sir Sam’s Ski/ Ride is a family owned and operated and has been in the Bishop family for over 50 years. Every corner is a new adventure just waiting to for you to build a memory. Surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful lakes and only a short drive from many neighboring cities; such as Peterborough, Lindsay, Port Perry, Orillia, Huntsville to name a few.
Our drive north along highway 35 from Kawartha Lakes gives you the nostalgic feeling like a child driving to the cottage. A long beautiful winding road, lined with trees, rivers, lakes, and rock faced hills, the journey itself is part of the fun. Giving you the opportunity to smell and breathe in nature; all well dreaming a little.
Taking Biking Up a Notch
We’ve biked as a family on the Canadian Rail Trails, and through bike paths in many cities but this was the first time we took our children cross-country biking and downhill mountain biking. It was the first time I went downhill biking too. I’ll be honest, I love cross-country biking, but I was nervous as heck to try downhill biking. But I’m a firm believer that you should try every type of adventure at least once. What do you have to lose?
Mountain Bike Rentals
You’d be happy to know you can rent all the equipment you require at Sir Sam’s Ski/ Ride. They have bikes and helmets they will happily suit you up in before your ride. You can find rental rates and details here: Sir Sam’s Rental Rates.
Take the Time Tunnel Up
During the summer months, the chair lifts don’t run, but that doesn’t mean you must bike up the hill; unless of course, you want to (like my husband in this picture.)
In 2009 Sir Sam’s added Canada’s first covered surface lift for all downhill skiers, cross-country, and downhill mountain biking. It takes only 7 minutes from the bottom to the top, but you can also stop halfway to exist. It’s a safe walk-on, and walk-off exists for riders of all ages. The time tunnel is a peaceful break in between your adventure ride and blocks you from all the elements of nature during the harsh Canadian winters.
Sir Sam’s is guaranteed to wow you with its beauty but be warned once you get off the green and blue trails I’ve been told they are quite intimidating. My husband gave the black trails a try, and they challenged him to the fullest. Don’t worry for newbie riders like me and you there are plenty of trails for the beginner riders to enjoy.
Our Family’s Downhill Mountain Biking Experience
We left our youngest one who is six with the Grandparents since this training wheels just came off this spring. Our older children 7, 9, 11-year-olds joined in on the fun.
After our rental bikes had been custom fitted to each of us; it was time to hit the runs. Chris took our family on a few cross-country beginner tails to help us all get comfortable with breaking and maneuvering our rental bikes. This was a brilliant idea because there was a bit of fine tuning for us all to learn before adding more challenge to our ride.
A few valuable tips for newbies when it comes to mountain biking through cross country trails or downhill:
- Keep a distance between riders.
- Use your back brakes 90% of the time to avoid flipping over your handle bars.
- Feather your brakes lightly.
- When you’re switching gears, don’t peddle; which will provide a smooth switch.
- Stand up and keep your peddles horizontal with the ground and glide over stumps or rocks. Doing this will help you avoid getting hung up on them.
- Wear a helmet.
- Keep hydrated.
- Most importantly have fun!
After completing 4 km’s of the Eagle View Loop, we were up for a challenge. Chris agreed our family of five was ready to give downhill mountain biking a try.
We proceeded to the 2-km trail called the Python. Surpassing the warning sign, I’ll be honest I was a little nervous. I remember this trail in the winter and love it on skis, would I love it on wheels just as much?
Python took a little mental work from our oldest to get through. It was rough, and the downgrade required a lot of braking and quick reactions. Surprisingly we all picked it up very quickly. The mental game is part of the fun. If you can mentally get through it, your body will naturally do the rest. Conquering fear allows you to realize there are no limitations that will stand in your way. A lesson we all need to be reminded.
I loved everything about Python. The challenge, the bends, twist, and turns. The adrenalin I felt Downhill Mountain Biking quickly gave me the itch to go back up again.
Back up the covered magic carpet, we went; and this view at the top allowed time to stand still – just for a moment.
…BECAUSE WHEN YOU TAKE TIME TO STOP AND LOOK AROUND, THIS LIFE IS PRETTY AMAZING!
After a mindful moment over looking Eagle Lake Chris took us down his favorite downhill mountain biking trail – Louis Loop which is 5 km down. When I say down, it’s not straight down, although that’s what I originally thought. The downhill mountain biking trail crises crosses the hill back and forth. There are some tight corners, a few back to back S- bends but once you find a comfortable speed, are braking with ease Louis Loop will quickly become a run you’ll want to do repeatedly.
We wrapped up a perfect adventurous morning with a new love of biking. The kids loved every moment, and with pride, they were storytelling all the way home. The best line was from our 9-year-old:
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had on my bike.”
Even the couple mild wipe outs that happened along the way became a story that they all laughed about. They were comparing who had the most mud, whose tires had the most air off a jump. They were even planning our next downhill biking adventure. It’s safe to say although this was our family’s first time downhill biking, it most definitely won’t be our last.
Thank you for reading In R Dream!
Thank you, Sir Sam’s Ski/ Ride for taking our family out for a morning filled adventure. Tickets and rentals were complimentary. As always these are our opinions and this and all reviews are written with honesty.