Guy Arnold leaves British Columbia’s restaurants, hotels, and seaside resorts behind, in search of the best mountain biking trails BC has to offer!
Canada’s western most province and my destination, British Columbia, is, quite simply, a beautiful place. From the extremely popular cosmopolitan seaside city of Vancouver, to the capital Victoria, I was able to explore BC in all its icy, watery glory. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and bars, not to mention the quality of the British Columbia hotels in these cities but, for me, I was after something a little more adventurous: mountain biking. Here’re my top five places in BC to do just that:
Billed as the outdoor recreational capital of Canada and sitting between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is home to a hundred and fifty trails. I was taken down rugged mountain tracks over loose dirt and jagged rocks, and had a pretty much constant view of the ocean. It’s a gorgeous location for biking, but there are plenty of other activities available here, such as fishing, hiking, canoeing, you name it. Squamish is, for me, one of the most flexible locations for outdoor pursuits thanks to its amazing mountain-cum-ocean environment.
This is a free rider’s paradise. There a miles and miles of criss-crossing dirt trails and tracks to explore in the highlands of Kelowna while, in the lowlands, sun-soakers and hammock hermits laze on the alluring beaches. There are ten areas to explore here so, I wasn’t exactly going to repeat a trail more than once. Now, I’m not the most technical of riders, so I opted for the Glenmore Highlands which offer relatively easy trails. Compare that to the narrow, twisting tracks and steep climbs of Knox Mountain Park and it’s easy to identify the landscape’s dramatic change in scenery and trail ability around every corner.
Located in Northern BC, this is one the most desolate spots when it comes to biking. I found myself on an intermediate trail, which I managed to handle surprisingly well, considering. It was a pacey downhill run with a few manmade ledges and shelves (berms) to cross before reaching the finish in the professionally designed bike park. Sounds fun? It was!
Although this place is home to the least amount of trails, it makes up for that in its views and beautiful environment. I took a mellow ride alongside Williams Lake, where most of the trails can be found. It was a simple 12k gravel track which took me to where the lake connects the Fraser River. All in all, come here for the views, not the stunts. You won’t be disappointed.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Like others, I hate riding uphill. You might think I came to the wrong place, by visiting Canada to ride a bike but, at Mount Washington, there’s a ski-lift on which you can take your bike to save you the effort. Brilliant! The ride here was incredible; dusty dirt tracks with surrounding views of canyons, mountains, valleys, forests and cliffs making this island home to some of the most popular trails in BC. Trails ranged from beginner to extreme so it offers diversity as much as beauty. Perfect.
Guy Arnold, from leafy Hertfordshire, England, who is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing. Specialising in poetry, and travel writing being a new passion!