The hiking trail at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ontario opened over Easter weekend and had outdoor enthusiasts anxious for the summer season ahead. For those eager to do some early mountain biking however, officials say they'll have to wait a little while longer.
"Traditionally we will open the bike trails once we launch our gondola, which provides access to the mountain bike park and we're not planning to do that until approximately the May long weekend," says Collin Matanowitsch, PR Specialist at Blue Mountain Resort.
Matanowitsch adds that the opening date is always subject to change based on the weather over the next month or so.
"But we do need dry conditions. The surface that we have is clay, so it can be quite slick. For some riders that's great, but obviously for safety reasons, we want to make sure the land is as dry as possible."
The steep terrain and high clay content can make for dangerous riding if weather conditions deteriorate.
The mountain bike trails are particularly vulnerable to rain and wind events and closing of the trails ensure that safety and environmental factors have been considered. Directly following any rain events, the trails are inspected by either the Blue Mountain Trail Crew or Bike Control.
Access to the trails through the gondola is also weather dependent and will only operate if conditions are ideal.
For anyone looking to attempt extreme mountain biking, officials recommend a lesson with a trained expert first.
"Especially for down hill portions," says Matanowitsch. "And each mountain park is different and offers different challenges, so even just to get an intro to it will help riders of any level learn about the terrain."
Riders are encouraged to start on a beginner or intermediate run before progressing to advanced and expert trails.