Published Dec 07
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the thrill of fat biking in the Chaleur Region, and how to best experience our local brews.
When you think of winter activities, biking might not be the first thing to come to mind. Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t go for a ride! Get back on the off-road trails during the winter months by trying out fat biking!
Never heard of fat biking before? Let us give you the rundown:
Fat bikes have thick tires and a lower tire pressure than a typical bike. Because of these characteristics, they are perfect for riding across surfaces where a regular bike would sink, such as the snow! With a fat bike’s extra traction and flotation, snowy trails are a perfect terrain for riding.
Getting on a fat bike in winter is not your average bike ride. Instead, you’ll feel like you’re flying across the snow.
Not only is fat biking a winter thrill like no other, but it’s also a great workout too. A fat bike requires a bit more effort to move, but the feeling of soaring across the snow is all worth it!
(P.S. You can fat bike year-round! But we think winter is a truly unique time to try it out.)
Does fat biking seem like a perfect adventure? In the Chaleur Region, we love going for a winter fat bike ride, and we have some of the most beautiful and thrilling trails in Atlantic Canada. During the winter, approximately 10km of groomed single-track trails await you.
Wondering where to start? During winter, there's one main trailhead to look for; located at 740 Golf Street, near Squire Green Golf Course.
This trailhead is located by “Le FatShack”, a fully functional bike repair station. There are also bike stands with space to park and secure your bike. Nearby, you will find the entrance to the winter trails.
(photo credit: Ryan Hache on Facebook)
All of our trails are groomed after major snowfalls (shout out to the amazing team of volunteers who take great care of them!), with daily upkeep as needed. To make navigation easier, signs are placed all throughout the trail. For the 2021-2022 season they added an additional 4km loop of new trail and a variety of new membership options to give even more value for your membership!
No matter your level of experience, there is a trail suitable for you.
Before biking these trails, you must purchase a seasonal pass: single adult passes are available for $25, Couples for $40, child add on $5 and single child $15. These passes can be purchased online via Ticket Boutik or in person at the KC Irving Regional Centre box office. By purchasing a pass, you are directly contributing to the maintenance of these wonderful trails.
Interested in trying out this winter activity, but don’t have your own fat bike yet? No problem!
If you want to try out fat biking or want to bring along a friend who has never tried it before, there are bikes available for rent at the K.C. Irving Centre. Rental fees for these bikes are $25 for a four hour period or $45 for an eight hour period. There are adult small, medium, and large bikes, as well as one youth-sized bike available.
To rent a bike, give the K.C. Irving Centre a call at 548-0410. They can help you with all your questions and explain the rental process in detail. They are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. (Rentals for weekends or holidays must be made in advance!)
Can’t wait to try fat biking? You’re nearly there!
Before you head out on the trails, there are a few things to take note of.
A lot of effort goes into keeping our trails the best they can be. Therefore, we consider it a community effort to keep them in top shape! For example, it’s a good idea to refrain from riding on the trails if they are soft as this can cause damage.
Trail closures are typically posted on the Mountain & Fat Bike Chaleur Facebook group. Closures are typically based on the weather, which is often fast-changing and unpredictable. While up-to-the-minute closures are not always on their page, it’s a great community to check-in with before heading out!
If the trails are open but appear wet, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: if you are making a rut more than 1 inch deep, you should reassess. Tire size, air pressure, rider mass, and snow conditions are all elements that could make it difficult to stay on top of the groomed surface. If your bike cannot be adjusted to stay on top of the trail, it’s best to turn around and opt to ride another day.
If you are using your own bike, another important thing to keep in mind is the size of the tires. Only tires measuring 3.8 inches and over are allowed on the trails. This helps the team of volunteers keep the trails in top shape.
Now that you know all about fat biking, it’s time to conquer some trails! Once you have your bike, your gear, and an adventurous attitude, you’re ready to go!
Fat biking is an amazing thrill in itself, but one of the best parts of the journey is the people that you share it with. Grab a group of your most adventurous (or adventure-curious) friends and head out on the trails together.
Fat biking is quite the workout, so there is no doubt that after your journey you and your bike crew will be looking for a way to unwind! Once you’ve put away the bike, your adventure doesn’t have to end. There are lots of ways to spend the evening in the Chaleur Region.
(If you prefer to warm up at home, or if an indoor gathering is currently not possible, most of the following locations have take-out options!)
After conquering the outdoors, we recommend celebrating by stopping by the Chaleur Region’s best craft breweries and purveyors of fine Maritimes microbrews!
Bathurst’s downtown is full of spots to “warm up with a cold one”, and best of all, they are within a short walking distance of each other, making it easy to try them all!
The first stop on our list is Four Rivers Brewing Co.!
Located at 335 Murray Ave, this locally owned and operated brewery is named after the four rivers that flow into the Bathurst Harbour: Little, Middle, Tetagouche, and Nepisiguit.
Come take a seat in their rustic tasting room to try all of their original creations. They have a wide variety of unique-yet-approachable craft beers, with frequent seasonal additions to their tap list. Plus, if you find a new favourite, you can fill up your growler and take it home with you!
(Photo credit - Four Rivers Brewing Co. Facebook Page)
Live music has always been a staple of Four Rivers Brewing Co., and is still happening with carefully organized social-distancing-friendly live shows. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to see what’s in store for the evening!
Next up, make your way over to 13 Barrels Brewing, located at 215 Cunard Street.
This family-owned brewery has a spacious tasting room with one of the best views of the Bathurst harbour.
Feeling chilly after being outside all day? Warm-up in front of their cozy fireplace with your crew and try out one of their original brews!
They currently offer an impressive number of Signature brews, as well as seasonal creations courtesy of Head Brewer, Ben Doucet. All of their products use local ingredients, so you’ll really get a taste of the Chaleur Region as you kick back and enjoy the night.
You’ll no doubt become a fan of their creations. Luckily their brews are also available in cans, or growlers, so you can pick up some extra before you head out!
Last, but not least, you should head over to Au Bootlegger.
This craft beer tap bar is located at 100 Main Street, and is filled year-round with a warm, friendly atmosphere and rotating maritime brews on tap.
(Photo: a throwback to pre-social-distancing days at Au Bootlegger)
No matter your craft beer preferences, you’ll be able to find a tasty microbrew at Au Bootlegger! Along with carrying many local and maritime-owned craft breweries, they also have a wide selection of top-notch wines, spirits and cocktails.
Au Bootlegger is the perfect place to kick back after a day of winter adventures, whether it’s to catch a game on TV, groove with a live band, or grab a bite to eat on wing night!
If you’re looking for an afternoon packed with adventure and an evening of local drinks in great company, look no further than the Chaleur Region!
Once you feel the thrill of fat biking for yourself, you’ll want to become a regular on the trails! We also have no doubt that you’ll find a new favourite brew while exploring our local breweries.
This winter, take your staycation adventure to the Chaleur Region and discover all that winter has to offer!
Looking to plan a more laid-back day? Check out our other Winter Escapade Idea: Cross-Country Skiing & Cozy Coffees!
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