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Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Ski Trails

Posted: June 5, 2007

Article and photographs by Allsion Kennedy

If you are planning a visit to Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Ski Trails, you need to do just that; plan. Once you have visited Kolapore for the first time, you will find the trail system fairly easy to use and well organized. But there are several key things you need to do to make your skiing excursion both safe and fun.Skiing at Kolapore

The first thing to consider is that the Kolapore trails are about 80 per cent intermediate to advanced terrain. If you are a beginner skier, there are trails suitable for you and you need to make sure thatıs where you head.

The trails that run through the county forest just off Grey Road 2 at the Osprey Collingwood Townline follow a series of bush roads through a maple forest. The trails are wide and open and the slopes are gentle. This is a great place to get started.

Outside of the county forest, the trials provide a backcountry skiing experience like no other. Expect large and very technical hills as well as narrow and winding trails. Kolapore is beautiful, and you will be able to enjoy that beauty if you plan your route and your day in advance.

The first essential piece of equipment you need is a trail map of the area. Maps can be purchased for $3 at the Ravenna General Store on Grey Road 2.

There are countless trail intersections and a map will ensure that you know where you are at all times. The maps are extremely detailed but easy to use. Intersections are numbered and when you come to one, an arrow with a number will point to the next one. Just be sure that you choose the trail that is headed for the next intersection on your chosen route.

The map also gives you detailed information about each loop and trail. For instance, you might not enjoy ending up on the Red Death Trail unintentionally. The map calls the trail "a very steep and challenging run." Sounds great as long as thatıs what youıre looking for.

In addition to packing your map, it is a good idea to bring along extra clothes, food and water, and a screwdriver and screws just in case you encounter problems with your bindings. I would also recommend packing your cell phone just in case, as well as letting someone know where you are headed in advance.

Kolapore is at a higher elevation than area towns like Thornbury and Meaford. When all the snow has disappeared in Thornbury, there may still be snow on the Kolapore trails.

To get the most accurate trail conditions, visit http://www.kolaporetrails.org/ and check the weather page. Trail users are encouraged to send feedback about their recent visits so others know what conditions to expect.

So, with all that planning under your belt, you can relax and enjoy the quiet beauty of Kolapore. The forest is spectacular and in the summer months, the rock formations are amazing. A visit to Metcalfe Rock is a must. It is a popular spot for caving and rock climbing. With over 50 kilometres of trails to explore, there are countless adventures in store.

For more information about the Kolapore Uplands Wilderness Ski Trails, contact the club at Box 6647, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1X4.

Uses: During the winter months, trail organizers ask that the trails be used exclusively for cross-country skiing. No snowshoeing or hiking is allowed. The trails are becoming increasingly popular during the summer months for everything from mountain biking to horse back riding. Check the map and stay off trails marked for winter use only.

Trail Length: There are approximately 50 kilometres of marked trails.

Directions: Kolapore is located just south of Ravenna on Grey Road 2. It is approximately a 10 to 15 minute drive from Thornbury. There are four main access points for the trails. One on Grey Road 2, just south of Ravenna; one on the Osprey Collingwood Townline just west of Sideroad 10; at the intersection of Grey Road 2 and the Osprey Collingwood Townline; and the fourth is on the 6th Sideroad just past the intersection of the 10th Line. Both the Grey Road 2 entrance and the entrance on the Osprey Collingwood Townline have ample parking available.

Groomed/ungroomed: There is no machine grooming at the Kolapore trails. Trails are skied in, so expect to break trail after a heavy snowfall.

Trail fee: There is no trail fee except for the purchase of your $3 trail map at the Ravenna General Store on Grey Road 2. It is essential to your trip and all proceeds go to trail maintenance and development.

Trail Highlight: Amazing technical trails. If you are using the system in the summer, be sure to visit the caves at Metcalfe Rock.

Level of Difficulty: The trails are predominantly suited for intermediate and advanced skiers only. The county forest area is the only area suitable for novice skiers.

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