Small Town Natural: Where to go Fat biking in Cottage country Ontario! (Part 1: Haliburton County )

Small Town Natural: Where to go Fat biking in Cottage country Ontario! (Part 1: Haliburton County )

Small Town Natural: Where to go Fat biking in Cottage country Ontario! (Part 1: Haliburton County) Winter of 2023+2024

Snow biking or Fat biking has become ever popular now that wintery weather seems scarce in 2023! See future blog for more details on what fat biking is and proper equipment and etiquette. In short: Fat biking is any bicycle that has tire width of 4” or more. Some older generations may remember these as ‘Balloon tire bikes’. Although not the same thing they have similarities.

Anecdote: I work part time in retail at a sports store owned by another couple and New Year’s eve a couple of customers came into the store who stopped to chat with me. They were complaining to me about the weather. I agreed with them that the weather is less than ideal this winter so far. Another customer in the store came to the cash counter to make a purchase and laughed saying to me “I’m from California. Visiting. Only Canadians would complain that it is not cold enough.” True. LOL. Most of us love our snow activities. Yes, we were lamenting that it hasn’t been cold enough for ice to form on lakes; nor snowy enough to do outdoor activities such as Nordic skiing. During that conversation I had mentioned to the couple of fellow Canadians that fat biking has been my fun and exercise alternative to Nordic skiing, lake skating, and snowshoeing. So, I felt it a good topic to discuss in this blog. Below are details of where to go fat biking. I have personally used all of these trail systems and give you some of the details of my discoveries below:

Trails to ride in cottage country Ontario (Part 1: Haliburton County) =

Glebe park in  Haliburton Ontario fat bike and snowshoe trails December 2023

  1. Haliburton village, ON: Glebe park just outside of the village of Haliburton, Ontario: off of either County Rd 21 onto Industrial park drive to Fleming college drive ending at the parking lot; or turn left off Hwy#118 onto Bayshore to  Museum rd. follow until it ends at museum parking lot. Both parking areas are approximately 5mins drive from the village of Haliburton.

-Rating= Blue and Green (no official rating to these trails is posted but in my riding experience I can honestly say these trails start off Green and quickly become Blue) Note* these are multi-use trails not designated fat bike only, share the trails with snowshoers

-Approximately 10kms of single track trail through a beautiful mixed forest. Please read the signs at entrance to both parking areas for trail maps and more information. Fat biking trails are the same as snowshoe trails. All trails have signage at trailheads and trail ends. These trails can be ridden in both directions just abide by mtb etiquette. Stay OFF of the cross country/ Nordic ski trails! Only cross ski trails where designated by signage! Skiers have the right of way!

-Memberships can be purchased for the low price of $25 per rider at

Be respectful. Please purchase a membership before using these trails. Volunteer maintained trail system. If you are passionate about mtb volunteer to help out! Every hour of your time is much appreciated! Membership fees pay for equipment and fuel to leaf blow trails in the fall and spring.

-Free parking for approx. 12 vehicles in Museum rd parking lot and currently (due to construction) parking for 6 vehicles at Fleming College parking lot.

-No bike rentals at Glebe so bring your own!

-1 outhouse style washroom that is clean and well maintained by municipality all year round

-3 garbage bins (critter proof tidy bins) all year round maintained by municipality

- 1 or 2 picnic tables and benches at both parking lot entrances

-for others in your party who do not fat bike there are several other things to do at Glebe. Bring your cross country/ Nordic skis and buy a day pass or full membership to ski the machine groomed and track set ski trails. Snowshoes can be rented from Museum staff when the Museum is open. Fat bikes and snowshoers share trails. Or take a walk through the pioneer village and or the sculpture forest (just please stay off groomed ski trails follow signs for walkers). Glebe park truly has something for everyone!

 Fat biking Snowdon Park trails in Minden Hills, Ontario

  1. Minden, ON: Snowdon Park near Minden, ON. Located just off of Gelert Rd (1st right after South Lake rd. on Gelert rd.). Approximately 15 mins. Drive from the small town of Minden and 25 mins. Drive from the small town of Haliburton.

-Approximately 6kms of multi-use trails (There could be more if the bridge to the long loop gets repaired. As of December 2023 it has not been repaired and in my opinion is dangerous to ride since it is missing boards and nail heads are poking out and the bridge is slightly tilted to the left)

-Rating= Green (again no official rating anywhere I can find but I have ridden these trails several times and they are flat and lack challenging terrain so I rated these between Purple and Green)

-Free parking at Snowdon park for approximately 20 vehicles if parked properly but more likely 12 vehicles since there are no parking lines.

-2 outhouses are not very clean and not maintained after Thanksgiving weekend (bring your own toilet paper if you are desperate) These outhouses are approx. 50 metres from parking area

-No garbage bins. Please do not litter! Just like camping in an Ontario park you must take ALL of your garbage with you (including doggy-poo bags)

- Multi-use trails: These trails are primarily for snowshoers and dog walkers and are not official bike trails so please be respectful.

-No bike rentals. No rentals of any kind.

-No picnic tables

  1. Haliburton village, ON: Rail trail (use only when it is closed to snowmobile traffic)

-Rating= Purple in most places and Green in others (super easy riding). Flat with some very low grade inclines. 35kms from start to finish, if you travel from the small town of Haliburton to Kinmount. The trail is wide enough to be a single lane cottage road but no cars/trucks are allowed on the trail.

-Parking: There are several parking areas along this rail trail. The trail starts in the small town of Haliburton. Where you can park at Head Lake park parking lot and ride to the rail trail trailhead beside the airplane which is beside the high school track and soccer field.

Or park at the parking area (no signage) directly off Gelert Rd before you see the medical centre and Haliburton Hospital.

Or keep driving towards Kinmount along Gelert rd. parking at Barnum Creek parking area for approx. 4 vehicles right beside the rail trail. Or park at Lochlin community centre parking area parking for approx. 6 vehicles. Rail trail is directly across the road travels parallel to Gelert rd and very visible or exposed to the elements at this point.

Or if you are coming from the direction of Bobcaygeon through Kinmount you can park in Kinmount and start riding the rail trail from there towards Haliburton village.

            -No washrooms

            -No garbage bins. Please take ALL of your garbage home with you!

            -No bike nor other equipment rentals

-No known picnic tables nor benches along the rail trail but when you reach either small town of Kinmount or Haliburton their in town parks have both picnic tables and benches. Haliburton offers municipally maintained washrooms open limited hours. These are the cleanest washrooms in Haliburton county! Very clean! The staff of the Haliburton tourism office tend to the washrooms when the office is open. Check it out for more ‘What to see and do’ ideas for Haliburton County.


Get out and ride these great small town trail systems! Please, please, please! Obey all signs so that these trail systems are still available in future years!

Check out the Cool fat biking apparel at Small Town Natural!

Small Town Natural will be posting more outdoor adventure sport blogs. Be sure to sign up for email on our website to get the blogs.

We plan to write 1 blog every 2 weeks but may reduce that to 1 blog post per month if we get a lot of snow and are out adventuring!


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