British Columbia has become a mecca for mountain biking for a number of reasons. With rich forests and single track trails, the region offers unparalleled terrain that takes mountain biking to new heights.
The lush coastal rain forests combined with a supportive biking community in the form of bike shops, trail groups and riding parks has helped spread the word that if you’re into mountain biking, B.C. is the place to go.
The recent 5-day B.C. Bike Race, which traverses the Sunshine Coast, brought the world’s best racers to the region for a grueling competition that pushed the limits of the sport. It also helped give the rest of us some great ideas for places we can ride like a pro. Here are 5 great places to mountain bike B.C.
To get started on your tour of famed B.C. mountain biking spots, it’s imperative that you experience the scene among the woods of Vancouver’s North Shore mountains. Since the beginning of mountain biking, pioneers of the sport have been carving trails between the trees in the forests just 45 minutes north of Vancouver known locally as “The Shore.” This is where free-riding originated afterall.
Supported by at least eight different bike shops in the local community, the area plays backdrop to countless free-ride films. This is the backyard for Vancouver’s 2.3 million residents, so don’t be surprised if you see more than a few fellow riders.
After getting your legs warm on the Shore, head north to the notorious Sunshine Coast. First stop is Powell River, accessible by Hwy 101, ferry or plane. With coastal mountains in the backyard, Powell River offers easy access to a multitude of trails for all skill levels that are among the best in the world. And be sure not to miss the recently opened bike and skate park.
For the one of the best extended mountain biking adventures in the country consider the 50-mile Suncoaster Trail which extends from the ferry in Langdale all the way to Earl’s Cove. The section from Sechelt to Earls Cove is a said to be especially spectacular.
So far, you can’t exactly connect the entire route, but by shuttling through a few sections you can turn it into a multi-day adventure complete with lakes, rivers and beautiful forests. Along the route there are plenty of exit points to surrounding Suncoast communities such as Halfmoon Bay, offering the finest in accommodations.
If it’s a less ambitious experience on the Sunshine Coast, consider basing your adventures out of Roberts Creek. Here there are plenty of offerings for every skill level including the Roberts Creek Loop trail for more difficulty. The nearby Wakefield Valley toward Sechelt is reportedly a single-track lovers paradise with Little Knives Trail and Trout Lake Trail Loop highly recommended.
If you still have any juice left in your quadriceps, consider taking on one last B.C. mountain biking adventure, this time across the strait to Cumberland on Vancouver Island. This area on the north end of the island has quickly become standard bearer for B.C. mountain biking and a spot that’s a bit off the beaten path compared to the rest. Thanks to efforts by the local city government and riding groups, this area is sure to continue attracting riders for years to come.
Photo credit: BC Bike Race Wikipedia