Becaguimac Trail becoming a biking destination

by | Sep 28, 2022

Becaguimac Trail becoming a biking destination

Hartland trail system recognized by Mountain Bike Atlantic, as it and
biking tourism continue to grow

Hartland’s Becaguimec Trail Association is now featured on the Mountain
Bike Atlantic website (www.mtbatlantic.com [1]).

The interest in mountain biking has increased exponentially since the
COVID-19 pandemic began, which restricted travel and made people look
for fun activities close to home.

Hartland’s Andrew Smith, a board member of the Trail Association, said
the last bike he purchased was in 2020, and he was on a waitlist for
months before being able to bring the bike home.

Smith, an active mountain biker since his teenage years, said he
previously could buy a bike on the spot.

“There was a period where people were wondering what they could do to be
active, have fun, and in their home region,” said Smith. “Mountain
biking became a hit.”

The Becaquimic’s primary trail entrance is behind the Hartland Arena. It
offers 12 trails of varying degrees of difficulty. Maps on site indicate
the levels of difficulty. The trails are open to hikers too.

The local biking scene is still growing, said Smith, pointing to some
trails near Woodstock and more upriver. The Becaguimec courses are
getting lots of use with weekly Wednesday meet-ups and people visiting.

“Mountain bikers like to travel,” said Smith. “Lots of out-of-town
bikers are enjoying the trails too. We run into people all of the time.
We swap stories, and lots of bikers get involved.”

Mountain biking locations are springing up all over. Smith noted that
Crabbe Mountain is amidst a five-year plan to establish an intricate
network of trails.

He said Wolastoq Park received a $600,000 grant to develop courses.

Minto has a popular system, and a second mountain bike shop opened in
Fredericton.

Smith said bikers travelling into Hartland to use the Becaguimac trail
needed a place to stay that fits their ideal accommodation style. He
said that inspired him to find a solution.

“Mountain bikers love to go camping,” said Smith. “When they come here,
they spend a few hours on the trails, leaving.”

To meet the need, Smith said he’s creating a small campground on his
property on Rockland Road. His land connects to the existing trail
system, so there will be a direct link to his campground and the trails.

“It will be basic in the beginning,” he said. “We will start with six
campsites, along with washroom facilities.”

Smith recently delivered an overview of his vision to the Hartland town
council, along with a snapshot of the local mountain biking tourism
potential.

“They were highly supportive and encouraging,” said Smith, speaking of
council members.

The local trail association has seven board members, and they get
together often for trail maintenance and to work on building new ones.

Many of the established trails are shorter loops. Smith said someday
they would like to have a long run to Coldstream or find a way to
connect with other pre-existing networks,

Smith said being recognized by Mountain Bike Atlantic was a “milestone”
for the milestone group.

He said the Atlantic organization, created in 2019, promotes mountain
bike events and trail networks in all four Atlantic provinces, as well
as advocacy, education and development.

“We put a lot of work into this,” said Smith. “Knowing people are
travelling in to enjoy the trails feels great.”

For more information about the Becaguimec Trail system located in
Hartland, visit becaguimectraillassociation.ca.

The site includes local history. All the trail names are historically
named, like River Queen, Handy Andy and Blue Jay.

For road conditions, click the map

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