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Trail System Ratings & How They're Rated

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

What's all those colours mean?

Here in Ontario, restrictions are beginning to ease, and things are getting back to some level of 'normal.' With that, the opportunity to travel to new places and ride our mountain bikes is on the horizon!

A really great tool to use when checking out a new trail system is an app called TrailForks. There is a free version and a paid version. It's highly recommended to use the paid version to support such a great tool and keep improving its functionality.


When looking at this app and maps of various trail systems, you will see different colours on the map. What do all of these mean, and how will they impact your ride?


Purple = double track or access road

Green = beginner

Blue = Intermediate

Black = Advanced

Red = Expert


Trails are rated based on things like the width, width, surface, average gradient, maximum gradient, natural obstacles and technical features. Check out this awesome resource from IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) explaining how trails are rated and what to expect.

If you've been to a ski resort before, you'll likely recognize this colour-rated system and what it means - the same applies to mountain bike trails.

I also would like to point out that while trails in Ontario adhere to the ratings above, a black diamond trail in Ontario will not be as challenging as a black diamond trail, say in B.C. or Quebec. So if travelling and adventuring with your bike are on the horizon, be sure to start with some of the easier trails first to get a better understanding of how challenging a trail system will be.


If you're unsure of anything mentioned above, or looking to improve your skills before heading out on a mountain bike trip, book a Private Experience package to not only progress your skills but to build a deeper understanding and relationship with your mountain bike.


Find out more on our Private Lessons and how to book here.


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