8.0 miles
796 ft
-798 ft
1,287 ft
High Point

uni-directional loop starting at the Houston parking lot

Detailed Description
COVID Loop is a 8 mile popular intermediate route located near Uxbridge Ontario. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 19 trails. This route climbs 796 ft with a max elevation of 1,287 ft then descends -798 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Durham Mountain Biking Association (durhammountainbiking.ca)
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24 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
will-rides-bikes (Aug 10, 2022 at 8:29)
Note that DMBA has NOT advocated for cyclists and this is now an ORTA trail. This means horses and hikers will be using this trail more often. This trail is NOT horse friendly and will not survive the environmental damage caused by hooves. Extremely disappointed that this was allowed to happen.
  • + 1
Canadmos TRAILFORKS (Aug 10, 2022 at 8:55)
Hasn't it always been part of the Oak Ridges trail?
  • + 1
will-rides-bikes (Aug 10, 2022 at 9:57)
No. If you followed the ORTA trail signs, they were on the doubletrack. Even the official Durham Forest Map from LSRCA www.lsrca.on.ca/Shared%20Documents/ca_maps/durham-forest.pdf shows ORTA following doubletrack from the tower DW1 >> DW2, joining the Red Oak Loop/Trans Canada Trail there and following it until DW6, where it followed Access Road to Houston Road and off the property.
  • + 2
Canadmos TRAILFORKS (Aug 10, 2022 at 12:22)
I thought I remember seeing the white blazes for the ORTA on Sliders even last year? Perhaps it changed in 2020, because that map from LSRCA is dated back to 2019.

I'm trying to find the history, but it looks like the ORT used to go across Pine Gate Road and then across to the Durham lot, which makes sense based on that old map. Now it goes through Crows Pass and then up Sliders.

I think the more "alarming" thing that I just read, is that it now costs $6 to park at all but very few trail heads...

  • + 1
will-rides-bikes (Aug 10, 2022 at 12:45)
But again, if ORTA is taking over trails, DMBA should be advocating against certain trails being used for hiking. There was nothing wrong with the previous ORTA route and Sliders was never meant for hiking or horses. I'm also certain this is why the new "Return to Sender" was built as I know hikers/ORTA have been trying to get Sliders closed to cyclists for years. ORTA has too much sway and DMBA is clearly not doing enough.

You're right that at one point, ORTA went from Pine Gate Road and straight across the doubletrack. That changed in the early 2010's to the route on that map, which is supposedly current.

If this nonsense keeps up, there will be mountain bikers pulling a "High Park" in Durham Forest.

As much as the parking fees that Uxbridge have added suck, again DMBA has done nothing obvious for their membership. Why pay DMBA fees when you have to pay to park? This is going to backfire on DMBA as they lose a massive chunk of change. And Uxbridge is in the hole for the parking app plus cost of signs as very few people are paying. That and the app is garbage and most users can't get it to work. At least the parking scam is only a 1 year trial.
  • + 2
Canadmos TRAILFORKS (Aug 11, 2022 at 6:17)
Hmm yeah definitely some confusion or lack of communication.

BUT, I did find the TRCA map dating back to 2019, which does show the Oak Ridges Trail crossing over from Crows Pass, across Skyloft and up Sliders. I knew I had seen those white trail blazes in there for years (and this map), so its most likely been this way for years.

But yeah at the end of the day, its a shared use forest so who has more "authority" over particular trails is up for debate. BUT, the DMBA should be advocating more for bike (only) trails. Perhaps they should look at what has happened in Dufferin Forest? That is an interesting one.

This is that TRCA map: trcaca.s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/app/uploads/2020/01/07110643/EDHTrailhead_2019.pdf
  • + 1
will-rides-bikes (Aug 11, 2022 at 8:07)
Thanks for that map and info. I remember seeing this when they updated the maps at the sign posts, but thought it was a mistake on their part. This confirms my suspicion about "Return to Sender". DMBA completely lost the plot on this. And RTS needs to be fixed - it's pretty dangerous in spots with off-camber corners, no berms and g-outs in the wrong places.

Funny thing is, is that Sliders and Superfly were built by Chico Racing and Pulse Racing back in the 90s specifically for mountain bikes, with the blessing of LSRCA. Nice way to honour the legacy of Chico's contribution to the trails and mountain biking at Durham by allowing ORTA to take over one of the best trails in the forest. Asinine and highlights perfectly why DMBA isn't fully supported by local cyclists.

What's going on in Dufferin? You mean the use-specific trails? The best way to reduce conflict between trail users is to minimize interactions. Making trails purpose built and only allowing certain users is the best way to do this.

All of these changes are detrimental to the forest. Parking will reduce the number of users plus cut DMBA membership. But trail changes like this ... this isn't going over well with riders who have been here for decades.
  • + 2
will-rides-bikes (Mar 14, 2022 at 7:38)
Riders, and especially hikers, need to remember this is ONE WAY DOWNHILL still. Hikers really shouldn't be on this trail ever. Too many riders are going up Sliders from the new trail - just stop!
  • + 3
Canadmos TRAILFORKS (Mar 14, 2022 at 10:24)
Maybe some better signage is needed?
  • + 2
will-rides-bikes (Mar 14, 2022 at 13:15)
There's been One Way and Do Not Enter signs at the bottom but yes, DMBA needs to put signage up at the bottom of the new trail. When they announced the two way trails, the very first sentence was Sliders was still one way down. The need to fix it before someone gets hurt.

  • + 2
sdrvper HMBA (Jun 27, 2021 at 14:53)
Super fun high speed trail!
  • + 0
jonathanthemedic (Apr 17, 2021 at 14:37)
Trail Poison Ivy
Arrows/direction on Trailforks wrong. Arrows on trail direct traffic the opposite direction.
  • + 0
jonathanthemedic (Apr 17, 2021 at 14:36)
Arrows/direction on Trailforks wrong. Arrows on trail direct traffic the opposite direction.
  • + 0
jonathanthemedic (Apr 17, 2021 at 13:33)
Trail Oakie-Dokey
Arrows/direction on Trailforks wrong. Arrows on trail direct traffic the opposite direction.
  • + 0
jonathanthemedic (Apr 17, 2021 at 13:32)
Trail Scratchy S
No arrows where Scratchy and Itchy meet.
Scratchy to Itchy, wrong way, continue on Scratchy.
  • + 0
jonathanthemedic (Apr 17, 2021 at 13:08)
Trail Scratchy S
Arrows/direction on Trailforks are wrong. Arrows on the trail point the other direction.
  • + 0
cycilver (Jul 25, 2020 at 18:22)
Make sure you maintain speed from the first section. You're basically going down I to a valley and climbing back out. Very rooty too, definitely not my favourite here but I can see the appeal for some riders.
  • + 1
bruce-mac DMBA (Jul 11, 2020 at 11:30)
Trail Burnt Toast
Very sandy in spots (due to heat, usage and lack of rain) - repairs are underway via DMBA trail volunteers.
  • + 1
extremumadventura (Mar 7, 2020 at 12:26)
North end run out is melted.
  • + 0
cycilver (Oct 18, 2019 at 17:49)
Trail Scratchy S
This was awesome, probably my favourite trail in Durham forest.
  • + 2
cycilver (Oct 13, 2019 at 13:32)
definitely more blue than black. Pretty fun going down, not much fun going up (for me).
  • + 2
scottty (Apr 3, 2019 at 11:38)
whoever says his is black needs their head examining.. not even a blue
  • + 1
JoeSeven (Apr 24, 2020 at 9:18)
That is Ontario for you.
  • + 1
extremumadventura (Mar 19, 2019 at 14:56)
Trail Scratchy S
Dont just sit and spin. Get off yer arse and go and ride this new 2018 trail. It now flows in both directions.
Deleted threads/comments are hidden


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for COVID Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    1,073 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,121 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,122 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    3 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
Avg: 3 (2 votes)

  • view (1)
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Burnt Toast
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  • By dover1 PTA & contributors
  • #21408 - 3,221 views
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