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Whether you’re looking for downhill, cross country, free-ride, or mountainous bicycle trails, British Columbia has it all. Famous for downhill biking, Vancouver’s North Shore has even entered the sport’s vocabulary in recognition of its tough technical descents. Out of the hundreds of mountain bike trails, we’ve rounded up some of the very best, and more importantly, the toughest, in British Columbia…
Pink Starfish, Mount Fromme
The world-renowned Pink Starfish on Mount Fromme (classic ‘North Shore’ territory) may not be long at less than 1 km, but this extreme downhill trail will take about 3 hours to complete. Rough, steep terrain and mandatory jumps make this trail wholly unsuitable for beginners.
Wild Cherry, Cypress Mountain
Extremely steep and extremely technical, the infamous Wild Cherry trail, which includes drops, rock faces and optional rock chutes on Cypress Mountain (also North Shore), is not for the faint of heart.
Six Mile Lake Loop, near Kamloops
This (literally) breathtaking cross-country trail loops around the Six Mile Lake near Kamloops and covers around 38 km of varied terrain – a serious test of endurance as well as skill.
Lake View Trail, Buntzen Lake
The Lake View Trail goes all the way around Bintzen Lake, and whichever way you ride around it, clockwise or anticlockwise, it consists of tricky climbs, steep descents and some truly stunning scenery.
Hornby Island Trails, Hornby Island
For extremely fast, flowy riding with hardly any braking or tight corners, Hornby Island Trails, which cover about 20km of perfect slopes, are perfection. For great views of Vancouver Island, try the ridge trail.
Westlake Trail/TNT, Grand Forks
With steep ascents and tricky descents, the Westlake Trail (or TNT as some prefer to call it) is famous for its ridgeline track covering 4.5km – so try not to be too distracted by the stunning views of Christina Lake…
Thrill Me Kill Me, Whistler
As the name of this trail might suggest, it’s pretty intense. The steep, twisting climbs of this classic Whistler trail will have you pedalling for around an hour (the ‘kill me’ portion of the ride) – and the fantastic views and rocky descents will be your reward (the ‘thrill me’ part!).
Empress, Mount Seymour
Seriously short in length – a quarter of a kilometre, and even shorter in time – less than a minute, the Empress on Mount Seymour is the ultimate thrill ride. Needless to say, this rough and steep trail is for advanced riders only.
Seven Summits Trail, Rossland
The Epic Seven Summits Trail covers the seven peaks of the Rossland Range – a test of endurance if there ever was one, with rocky descents and long steady inclines, and of course, some incredible mountain views all the way.
Power House Plunge, Squamish
A classic Squamish downhill trail, the Power House Plunge has some of the steepest and rockiest terrain in the area. It’s part of the Test of Metal race – and as that and its name suggest – we recommend holding on tight…
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning