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Finn Hill Mountain Bike Project over half way to fundraising goal

Farmer Lake and Finn Hill projects delayed but will go forward this summer, says cycling club

If you haven't already heard about the Finn Hill Mountain Bike Project that we told you about on Dec. 1, 2020, there is still time to check it out, sponsor or donate and follow its progress.

In just over two months, Sault Cycling Club (SCC) has reached just shy of $84,000 of their $150,000 fundraising goal towards the Finn Hill extension project in Sault Ste. Marie, which is just a little over halfway and they are still looking for your support.

Once the fundraising goal is realized Sault Ste. Marie will enjoy a professionally designed, developed and built mountain biking trail that is safe and accessible to the urban core of the city. You can learn more here.

Professional trail builders - Sentiers Boreals have been secured with a deposit for their work on the Finn Hill Project.

Sentiers Boreals has also been retained by the city as well to complete another project in the Hiawatha Highlands that will be known as the Farmer Lake Trail.  After completion of this trail, the Sault Cycling Club will be responsible for maintaining it in addition to maintaining a healthy relationship with the landowners.

The Farmer Lake Trail is a major bonus for our city and tourism in general. This trail will be ridable for every level of cyclist. This machine-made trail will have no rocks or roots to traverse giving newer riders confidence and a grouping of special features will give more experienced riders something to hone their skill.

The latest lockdown has delayed the starts of both projects. The Farmer Lake project was supposed to start mid April and subsequently, the Finn Hill project has also been pushed back in a domino effect.

In a statement provided by Cindy Pruce, Communications Director SCC some important information is provided that they would like you to know.

The Sault Cycling Club is a registered not for profit corporation that depends on membership fees and donations to achieve our mission of promoting cycling and cycling-related activities."

The SCC’s home trails are at Hiawatha Highlands where we maintain the single-track mountain bike trail system."

Thousands of volunteer hours have gone into creating and maintaining this diverse trail system that is on private land in which we maintain permission for the existing trail networks. Continued permission for use of the properties for mountain biking is a privilege that must be maintained through responsible maintenance and use of the trails."

To help riders stay informed on proper trail etiquette and use of the trails, we have provided some important things to remember while biking at Hiawatha Highlands or on any other trail system."

Encountering Other Trail Users/Riders

Mountain bikers should yield to other trail users such as hikers unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel.

  • Always let other trail users know you're coming with a friendly greeting.
  • Anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Unless signed for one-way traffic, trails can be ridden in either direction.
  • When encountering a fellow rider on a hill, the downhill rider yields to the uphill rider.
  • Yield to non-bike trail users (kindly enlighten them when the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel for their safety and yours).
  • When encountering a slower rider going the same way, slow down to give them space so they can enjoy their ride. No one enjoys feeling the pressure of a fellow rider wanting to pass them on the best part of the trail. When passing, make it a safe and courteous one and give plenty of heads up of your intentions (“passing on your left”)
  • When riding in a group, it is a good idea to let someone yielding to you know how many riders are coming. (“3 more behind me!”)
  • Always be courteous, and remember how far a friendly greeting can go with fellow trail users!

Pay Attention to Trail Signage

Many trail systems use trail signs to indicate the difficulty rating: green circles for beginners, blue squares for intermediate and black diamonds for expert. Signs can also indicate the direction you must travel when to yield, steep sections or upcoming trail features such as a drop or a jump. Always ride within your limits.

If a trail is marked “closed” or roped off, respect the closure and come back when it’s open. Trails are closed for many reasons such as trail work, to avoid damage in vulnerable conditions and safety precautions.

Stay on the Trail

Stay on existing trails, never create a new one. A lot of hard work and time goes into creating a good trail system. Approvals are required for changes to trails on private land. If you have an idea for a trail improvement, contact us and we can see if we can make it happen!

Plan Ahead

Know where you’re riding. Check out the trailhead map ahead of time to see how long your route is. You can also download an app like Trailforks that can help you plan your route. A well-planned adventure is most often a good one! It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you are heading in case you run into trouble.

Know your ability, your equipment, and the adventure you’re getting yourself into. It’s important to carry the proper tools, plenty of food/water and a first-aid kit. You shouldn’t ever rely on other riders for spare tubes, pumps, water, food and other essentials.

A proper bike check is always a must! Swing by one of our local shops for a tune-up if your unfamiliar with your set-up (Algoma Bikes, Duke of Windsor, Vélorution Bike & Ski).

Be Positive!

Mountain biking is FUN! Excitement and a good attitude are infectious– the more you spread them, the more people like you will be out on the trail.

Additional tips:

  • Bring out what you brought in! Don’t leave garbage, old tire tubes or any other remnants that indicate you were there. It's everyone’s responsibility to keep the trails clean.
  • Be self-sufficient — keep your equipment in good repair and carry supplies for changes in weather and other conditions.
  • Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

What's next?

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About the Author: Violet Aubertin

Violet Aubertin is a photograher and writer with an interest in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma's great outdoors
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