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