PRINCE ED­WARD IS­LAND

Pedal Magazine - - Test Gear - BONSHAW HILLS BY JONATHAN MACIN­NIS

Moun­tain bik­ing in Prince Ed­ward Is­land. Yes, you read that right! No, we don’t have moun­tains, but the trail rid­ing and, more im­por­tantly, the hills are alive and well here in cozy lit­tle P.E.I. Twenty min­utes west of Char­lot­te­town sits Bonshaw Hills Pro­vin­cial Park, di­rectly off of the high­way.

This day park in­cludes pic­nic ar­eas, bath­room fa­cil­i­ties, a play­ground and more than 18 kilo­me­tres of fresh sin­gle­track. The lo­cals nick­named this trail “Plan B,” af­ter a huge high­way re-route, but the of­fi­cial Mi’kmaq name is Ji’ka’we’katik (pro­nounced Jih-ga-way-ga-dig).

This trail sys­tem is beau­ti­ful! A scenic mix of open mead­ows, old or­chards, sawmill equip­ment from yes­ter­year, old-growth for­est and stun­ning views – you’ll want to stop more than a cou­ple of times to take it all in. There are plenty of fast ups and downs (ap­prox­i­mately 400 me­tres of climb­ing) that will keep you grin­ning and spin­ning through this well­groomed ride.

Bonshaw’s trail keeps grow­ing ev­ery year due to pas­sion­ate builders and sup­port from Cy­cling PEI. As you get deeper into the new­est sec­tions, the flow just gets bet­ter. There are berms, pumps, bumps, “small” jumps and great tech­ni­cal sec­tions to boot. There is a spot to take a sway on an old tree swing and some sweet con­nec­tors through­out the trail.

The de­sign lends it­self to be rid­den in ei­ther di­rec­tion; sec­tions can be linked cre­atively if you have the lux­ury of rid­ing here for a cou­ple of days. Also, from the car park, you can con­nect to at least three other trails, mak­ing this place more fun than a straw­berry so­cial at the Ar­gyle Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Speak­ing of food, you have to head to pic­turesque Vic­to­ria by the Sea for some amaz­ing eats af­ter this ride. You’re a stone’s throw away, and you’d be mad if you don’t!

Bonshaw’s scenic trail sys­tem fea­tures su­perb sin­gle­track, great tech­ni­cal sec­tions and prox­im­ity to great post-ride eats.

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