Empire Trails to Open May 20th


When I saw they dropped the price to 5$, I thought they should have dropped the seasonal price to $50 instead. That way regulars or locals pay less than occasional visitors and tourists.

I really hope they make a go of this and the trails deliver the value everyone is hoping for and more.


Hell, we could barely cover costs for the ‘for-profit’ events ECMTB used to run when we were charging $30 to ride or race! Plus, we had dozens of volunteers helping us. It’s really tough for me to compare it to your print shop, @muddy. This isn’t Whistler asking for free labour.

Lots of shops (that make a ton more money on events than Empire ever will) get volunteers to help prepare and run their events.

I still think that if you’re interested in doing trail work that there are better places to invest it. But I also don’t think that what they’re requesting is unfair given the state of mountain biking in this province.


Obviously, everyone can conclude there own opinion… just throwing out mine. Doesn’t make it right or important, just mine.


Just my 2 cents worth. The trails are fun. $5. is worth it. If you live in the city it is the closest place that has long, fun descents. The money is going back into the trails. Mike has already bought tools with the few dollars he made last year. 5 of us were up there yesterday. Volunteering. The trails are cleaned up and in good shape. The new trail that is being worked on right now will make an awesome addition. It will connect a few trails to make different trail loop options. Very exciting.
Yes, it is private land. Yes, it costs money to play there. AND yes you should volunteer.
No, it is not a business. At least not the trails part. It is a large piece of property that the family is trying to keep in the family. Any opportunity to make a few $$$s to pay the taxes on the land so we can enjoy it should not be frowned upon or vilified. A few of us have been volunteering our time out there and elsewhere for 10+ years. If you go to any other province or state you will pay to play. I have always paid and I will always play.
Whether you volunteer your time or not, it is $5. What the F#^K is wrong with the people who have a problem with this??? Are you retarded???
I rode a couple of places last fall in Quebec and N.B. We paid $10. or $15. dollars a day to ride there. The trails sucked by comparison to Gore/Empire trails. I still had a smile on my face after riding those trails. No they weren’t on private land. They were municipality lands. So those Towns were making money off of VOLUNTEERS backs. Got a problem with that?
I personally will take any of you naysayers on my version of a lap of Empire. If at the end you aren’t smiling I will get you a $5. refund.
Ok that was more like 7 cents worth.
Sorry if the “Retarded” thing was to much!!! Just trying to get my point across.


I couldn’t agree more @tommyboy!

(Except for that momentary loss of composure in the middle, lol.)


Regretting using the word retarded. I apologize once again.


Tom man, cool yer jets, we’re all too old to get this wound up over this or anything.


Looking forward to a good trail map of Empire. Each of the few times I’ve been there I’ve found different trails I hadn’t ridden before and it would be nice to get a look at a complete trail map so I know what’s what.


@JeffV, I agree too with tommyboy(@tommyboy).


ecmtb.com (myself and a great crew of volunteers) organized Gorefest from 2009-2011. I was fortunate to work with some great folks in working on the trails and the event itself. I sure as heck did not make any money at the end of the day.

I’ve no problem with paying to play and plan to make a few day trips to Empire trails. I think it’s a great trail system.

@tommyboy…you rock, never change!


I read though some of the posts above and realize that there are a bunch of people who do not understand what goes into trail building and maintaining a trail system, especially one the size of the Empire Trails.

Let me remind those who need reminding. First of all, trail building is tough tough work! Mt biking in Gore first began over 20 years ago in 1995 with our family, friends and Mt bike clubs developing a 6km loop. Through the years, and though a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we have grown these trails to over 20km spread throughout a 1000 acre block of land. For the record, The Empire Trails is one of the largest and most advanced trail systems in Atlantic Canada.

We’ve done all this because we are passionate about Mt Biking, trail building and creating ways to bring people together. It has never been a business and never will be. Trail ride fees are in place because something had to change to keep Mt biking in Gore sustainable. Maintaining/building a trail system is a significant expense, and yes, taxes are owed on the land along with bank loans. I don’t even know why Im explaining this because this should be common sense.

This year we are taking the Empire Trails to a new level with the goal of creating a Mt Biking destination. We are working on significant trail expansion, improving the original trails (as usual) and creating professional mapping both online and onsite. Value will certainly be proven.

If you’re a naysayer, you think trail systems should not charge or ask for support with access, or you don’t think the Empire Trails are not worth $5, I suggest you save your $5 towards a $15 movie pass. We are developing these trails for riders who want the full experience, to get new people into Mt Biking (hence building the Bunny Trail/Bunny loop), and to build the Mt Biking community in Eastern Canada.

For everyone else, we really can’t wait to show you the new trails, new mapping and hear about your experience after riding the Empire Trails. You should see what we have been working on for you, its going to be Magic!

Michael Blois

Ps: we do offer volunteers free riding, an awesome trail building experience, and much more:)


Cheers Tom, ha, your like a bro!


I definitely look forward to riding there Michael. I think paying $5 to ride is beyond reasonable. A day pass could easily be $10 plus a $5 trail maintenance surcharge fee. I rode Gore one day five years ago and really liked it. I haven’t been back since (lack of opportunity) but me and my crew will definitely head there soon.

Perhaps ECMTB could put together a group ride on a weekend and we head there to support the new trails. Surely we could get 20+ of us together. This is the type of thing the mountain biking community should support. Fresh, well built and maintained trails!


@muddy we’ve already been talking about an ECMTB ride at Empire. It will happen.


It’s all good but

That’s a weird statement, that isn’t really true. I mean sure, one of many trail systems that has 20km of trail in Atlantic Canada. “Most advanced” is pretty ambiguous, what is that supposed to mean besides marketing speak?

“full experience” also seems like weird marketing hype that doesn’t mean much in my opinion. Maybe all will be revealed in time to those who are worthy?

Not trying to be a negative nelly here, the trails are fun and worth $5 donation.


One of my favorite places in the proving to ride. I get out there a few times a year. It’s worth much more than 5$/day in my opinion .


Yes, it is true. I did not say the largest or the most advance, I said one of the… All I meant by the full experience is that we have all types of trails: technical, fast, easy, jumps/berms, many trails etc. Everything pretty much but a pump track, which will happen one of these days.

Your right, all will be revealed in time to those who are worthy, ha, or better put, open-minded/supportive.


The last thing I want is to labelled a Nay Sayer, put me down for $5 worth of trail riding palooza.

Seriously though, Gore has always been one of my alltime favorite race courses and I’m sure it will translate into a great recreation riding experience. Hope to make it up that way sometime this summer.


I’d love to take you up on that some time. It’s been forever and a moon. I do still push pedals - a fair bit. I’ve been training the pup for the past year and a bit when in the woods :slight_smile: He’s almost ready for long FT runs (wussy pads) but I think a run at Empire would be dandy for him.


I wholeheartedly support the work at Gore (Empire Trails). Tom and his crew have done a tremendous job of putting in trails over the years and $5.00 is a minimal cost to enjoy trails.

I will definitely be occasionally visiting to ride as it is close to my cottage. I am fortunate to have both Empire Trails and Irishman’s Road very close to my cottage.

Keep your $5.00 Tom, spend it on beer!