What is two kilometres long and has a difficulty rating of awesome? The White Ridge MX Park is about half an hour east of Whitecourt, Alberta, on Highway 658. This two-kilometre track is actually set up for all ages and skill levels. Small riders on 50cc bikes often ride at the park, which also hosts pro riders at its annual Canadian Motorsports Racing Corp. (CMRC) event. In other words, awesome.
Perhaps the best thing about the White Ridge MX Park, however, is that it’s open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day throughout the season, weather permitting. Everyone is welcome, although riders must hold a membership or a day pass. These are readily available at Adrenaline Powersports or RPM Power Sports in Whitecourt, as well as First Choice Truck & Car Wash and the Blue Ridge Restaurant & Pub. A day pass is only $20, perfect for out-of-town visitors or anyone who wants to give the track a try. There are several other requirements, such as appropriate gear, for anyone hitting the track, so check the Whitecourt Motocross Association website. The track is fun, overall, and offers a variety of riding.
“One side of the track is a little bit sandy and the top side of the track is right against the treeline and it’s a little bit clay-like,” said Mac Sarvas, president of the Whitecourt Motocross Association, “so there are different dynamics—it’s not just on a flat field. It’s kind of built on a hill a little bit. There are a lot of good regulars that come out.”
The White Ridge MX Park also hosts some exciting events. 2014 will be the first year that the ATV Triple Crown comes to the track on June 7. It’s the only time that four-wheel-drive vehicles and side-by-sides are ever allowed on the course. The Alberta Old Timers MX will be at the park July 26 and 27. This year is also expected to be notable for the CMRC Provincial MX.
“I’m definitely (looking forward to) the Triple Crown because it’s going to be pretty exciting to see side-by-sides racing on a motocross track,” said Sarvas. “Also, the CMRC race. There’s no amateur national in Edmonton this year, so we’re kind of the backup because the date would’ve been around that time. We’ll see a lot of pros coming out because we do have a cash payout, so that’s definitely one of the more exciting things is having the pros come out and throw down on the track. It’s a super exciting race.”
ATVing is also a popular sport in Central Alberta. These sites are among the favourites in the area.
ATV at Bighorn Dam
A very popular spot for quadding in Central Alberta is the Bighorn Dam, about an hour and a half west of Rocky Mountain House. The area is full of landscape panoramas of the smoky turquoise lake and trails that are well maintained by the Bighorn Heritage ATV Society. A favourite ride is across the dam, which is right around the corner from the staging area. Take a more leisurely pace while enjoying the views, or have fun on some of the more challenging hillclimbs.
Brule Lake Sand Dunes
Just 16 kilometres west of Hinton, Alberta, is the south shore of Brule Lake. The area holds plenty of natural sand dunes, which are open to ATVers. As the Brule Lake dunes are one of the only open dune-riding destinations in Alberta the area is extremely popular with off-road riders of all sorts, particularly on long weekends. Be sure to check on local regulations before visiting. Use of flags on vehicles is recommended.
There are several access points to the Brule Lake sand dunes, although these shouldn’t be attempted without four-wheel drive. Some of the tallest dunes are three stories high and you can view nearby Wildhorse Lake from the top.