One of the most popular mountain bike websites in the world has featured the riding in Castlegar. In a story that ran this fall, PinkBike details the incredible Merry Creek trail system which skirts the city’s limits. Called “Exploring BC’s Lesser Known Riding Destinations on the Bikes & Beers Tour,” the story also targets other Kootenay locales such as Cranbrook, Nipika Mountain Resort near Invermere and Mt. Swansea, northeast of Windermere.
According to Trailforks, the de facto map and tracking app for all mountain bikers, there are 46 mountain biking trails in Castlegar that total 73 kilometres in length. The highest trail is located at 1,500 metres and the most vertical is 1,000 metres. There are 22 easy or green trails, 14 intermediate (blue) ones, four hard (black diamonds) and 2 very hard (double-black diamonds). In the PinkBike article, the ones that are featured most include Crazy Merry and the new Mr. Greenjeans, a two-way blue trail that takes you to the summit. Of Crazy Merry the writer says, “More amazing woodwork was on show right out of the gate on Crazy Merry as two timber step-ups lead riders into a long chain of fast berms, doubles, hips, and amazing rock features back to the parking lot.”
We’ve featured the Merry Trail system before on this site in such articles as “The Top Mountain Bike Trails in Castlegar” and “KMC Magazine Features Castlegar Mountain Biking” and it always comes to the fore that the trail work in the city is unsurpassed, thanks in large part to trail builder Dave Sutton. The PinkBike article is no exception. In it, the writer pens, “From the very first bridge on the climb trail to the very last jump of the day, you could tell this was a town rife with folks who knew how to handle a saw. Come for the trails, stay for the details: every piece of woodwork was beautifully milled beams and planks, either crafted onsite using downed timber or down at the town’s mill and hauled up onto location. Climbing the mountain, it was difficult not to stop at every bridge and admire the handiwork that had gone into the rope railings or the custom metal brackets bolted to cliff faces or the artisanal chainsaw work.”
And as is expected of aprés among most mountain bikers, both local and visiting, the PinkBike crew visited the Lions Head pub after their ride to enjoy some well-deserved craft brews. To read the article in its entirety, log on to the story on PinkBike at: Exploring BC’s Lesser Known Riding Destinations on the Bikes & Beers Tour.