Looking to mountain bike up-Island soon? Here are the top 5 trails in the Comox Valley

Looking to mountain bike up-Island soon? Here are the top 5 trails in the Comox Valley

It’s summer. The sun’s out, some travel restrictions have been relaxed, and the itch to travel and mountain bike is greater than ever.

For many, as found out on B.C. Day long weekend, the island is continuing to grow in popularity as a prime destination for summer tourism in the outdoors.

For some, however, this means busy streets, busy days at work and an urge to go somewhere a little quieter. If you’re a mountain biker, the trails in the woods are probably calling your name.

So for those of you looking for an adventure, a trip up-island just might be the ticket. You may have ridden Tzouhalem or Maple Mountain, maybe even Benson. However, if you haven’t been to Cumberland, you better try it out.

The area’s riding trails have grown to new levels in recent years, and with the implementation of a 4.2 km machine-built climbing trail, the sky’s the limit. While being a place where pedalling is a must, trails feature fast flow, cross-country tech and difficult downhills.

Here are the top five trails to ride in Cumberland according to Trailforks, with a few suggestions along the way:

5: Upper Crafty Butcher

Rated as a blue square, this Cumberland XC original features technical uphills, downhills, corners and some fun woodwork to throw into the mix. All features are optional and the trail is a must for those looking to get a taste of what Cumberland has to offer.

4: Lower Thirsty Beaver

Rated as a single black diamond, this trail is fast and features some woodwork ladder bridges over swamps and boardwalks over a river with a canoe log ride.

3: Upper Thirsty Beaver

Rated as a single black diamond, this trail has a carved beaver guiding the entrance and flows into its little brother, Lower Thirsty Beaver. This trail was recently redone and has a mixture of flow and woodwork on the way down.

2: Lower Crafty Butcher

Rated as a blue square, this section of trail is fast and rough but an absolute blast on your way down to the parking lot. Accessed off Upper Crafty Butcher, it is a part of the classic trails that made Cumberland famous.

1: Upper Vanilla

Rated as a blue square, this more recent trail is not only the number one in Cumberland but the number one on the island. It’s in trees, features a nice lookout and is a very relaxing flow trail. The entire trail is good too, but most of the trail is closed due to logging this summer.

If you are looking to ride all of these trails in one ride, you can do that by following a 17.6 km route on Trailforks. Starting with the machine-built climb trail, and ending with a trail called “Space Nugget.”

Honourable Mentions:

Blue Collar

A classic, relatively long blue square flow trail. Can serve as an alternative to Vanilla, or connect via Field of Dreams.

Space Nugget

Known as one of the trails that made Cumberland famous, this blue square trail is a great way to end a ride or begin as a warm-up because it is near the entrance to the trail network.

To support trails in this network, visit the United Riders of Cumberland to donate.

READ MORE: CRD approves mountain biking guidelines, but some not in favour

Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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