A silty track and swampy trails—High Level is a delightfully messy playground

High Level, Alberta, is a great place to get down in the dirt

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(L to R) Chloe and Avery MacLeod are the daughters of High Level Motocross Association president Chris MacLeod.

(L to R) Chloe and Avery MacLeod are the daughters of High Level Motocross Association president Chris MacLeod. — Photo courtesy Chris MacLeod

Got a dirt bike? Hit the track. Got a quad? Hit the swamp. Got a pulse? Hit High Level.

Back in 2006 the president of the High Level Motocross Association, Chris MacLeod, started the group and built a motocross track to “get things rolling,” he said. “I had the blueprint in the back of my head,” he laughed. “It was an old sand pit. A local company donated some equipment, we got in there with a dozer and started knocking trees down. We let the track follow the lay of the land and ended up with some flat spots where we put in tabletops. The bulk of it is the natural lay of the land.”

The 1.2-kilometre track has a silty sand base and was designed for beginner riders. It’s a controlled environment for riders to practise and enjoy off-road riding. You’ll find it 12.5 kilometres south of High Level.

A rider takes to the air after a big jump.

Chris MacLeod designed the High Level motocross track back in 2006. — Photo courtesy Chris MacLeod

Gettin’ down and dirty is what High Level’s trail system is all about. The town has plenty of old culines from logging roads to explore. “They’re pretty much endless up here,” MacLeod said. “You drive five minutes out of town and you can unload and go basically anywhere you want. Lots of them are wet and swampy, but when you’re on a quad or a side-by-side, that’s kind of the fun part.”

A few of the areas you’ll want to venture through are the Machesis Lake provincial campground trail network, Watt Mountain and the Hutch Lake area. “You get into some hills around Watt Mountain,” said MacLeod. “Machesis Lake is along the Peace River. It’s sandy and has fairly relaxed trails.”

Whether you have a knack for dirt biking on a track or you prefer to slog through the bog, High Level has you covered. Most likely in mud. 

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