Bike magazine has featured the local riding in its article “The Long Weekend: Castlegar, British Columbia.” The magazine, based in New York city and distributed around the world, showcased the fact Castlegar is making a name for itself in mountain bike circles.

Written by Spokane, Washington local Aaron Theisen, the article describes Castlegar as a place that a growing number of road-tripping riders are adding to their itinerary. “Although less well-known than Rossland and Nelson, its nearest neighbors, the West Kootenay community has quietly built a reputation for audacious rock- and woodwork, with several trails both classic and contemporary having received iconic status in and beyond the region,” he writes. In fact, the trail Captain Kangaroo, which Aaron describes in the article, was recently recognized as the #1 bike trail on the planet, according to users of the popular Trailforks app.

The story describes the three main riding areas in the city including the Merry Creek trails, where Captain Kangaroo is located, the Rialto trails in Robson and the bike park at Millennium Park. Of Rialto, Aaron writes, “The Columbia River carved out terraces of sand, gravel and slabs around Castlegar – the perfect building blocks for the trails of the Rialto riding area, 10 minutes northwest of downtown Castlegar.” He then describes Dirty Dreams, which “offers a bit-sized hit of Rialto riding: steep rock rolls, skidders, and a pipeline-like jump section,” as well as the bigger lines of Grandiflorum and The Awakener. Aaron describes the latter by saying, “If a tree fort or troll hideout were a trail, it’s be The Awakener….it’s the woodwork—gap jumps up to 30 feet long, zig-zagging cedar log rides, and the ‘diving board,’ a 40-foot, barely pedals-wide skinny to a sniper-landing 12-foot step-down—that have earned The Awakener a reputation as one of the ultimate West Kootenays test pieces for expert riders.”

Also included with the article is section about where to enjoy pre- and post-ride nourishment. “While small, Castlegar’s dining scene has grown with the same quiet creativity as its trails,” Aaron writes and then lists such local hot spots as Common Grounds for its coffee and energy balls and Tailout Brewing for its craft beer. He also mentions Grand Buddha Bistro, Tacos el Gringo, and The Lion’s Head Pub as well as the burgeoning mural scene in the city,

For more about mountain biking in Castlegar, read our articles “Castlegar Bike Trail Voted Best in the World” and “An Expert on Why Mountain Biking in Castlegar is So Good.” To read the Bike Mag article in its entirety, visit

All photos by Aaron Theisen.