Riding Areas & Trail Map Book
Here in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains, several networks of trails have been hand built by dedicated locals with an obsession for riding technical mountain bike singletrack. Covering long vertical descents and full of steeps, roots, rock slabs, bridges and airs, Nelson’s downhill singletrack is the epitome of classic BC-style riding. Hard core qualities aside, there is also more forgiving trail designs and cross-country inspired riding emerging throughout the area as well.
The closest riding to town, Mountain Station is a tightly packed nucleus of trails. Except for The Vein and Spacejunk, these are all short but sweet rides that you can link together for a nice long run. Before you hit the trails, make a mental note that the entire riding area lies on private property managed by Anderson Creek Timber, and thanks to the generosity of the local landowners, mountain biking is allowed. Do your fellow riders a favour and don’t car-drop Mountain Station Road, don’t ride here in the wet, and please, no new trail building. Logging and road building operations are possible anytime throughout the year, please respect any trail closures and don’t ruin future access by poaching.
The riding here starts with a long grind uphill that is rewarded with some steep, boney trails and lots of nice slab lines. All of these trails are within the West Arm Provincial Park and should be treated with respect. Riding is allowed by BC Parks but should be avoided when the weather is extremely dry or wet, and please, no new trail building.
Giveout / Gold Creek
Giveout - Providing the mountain backdrop south of Nelson’s town site, this face of Morning Mountain is commonly referred to as Giveout. These trails link into longer descending lines that are of the typical old-school, technical variety, but with a new wave of trail work focused on creating more flow and speed that is slowly influencing everything here.
This picturesque rural area west of Nelson only has a couple of trails, but they have always been among the top favourites of local riders. Both are long and well built, with a wide variety of unique features and advanced terrain.
While the Nelson area is dominated by steep mountain sides and downhill trails, the adjacent drainages of Smallwood and Sproule Creek hold a rarity in some true cross-country out-and-back and loop style singletracks. Sproule Creek’s Millsite trail is a multi-use path that has been around for as long as any bike trail in Nelson, while the Smallwood Creek trail system is part of a new BC Recreation Site area created from a vision of the founding members of the NCC to have more user-friendly biking and rider designed XC and all-mountain trails.
Wrapping around the northern edge of Elephant Mountain, Shannon Pass holds one of the longest and largest descents you can ride on any single trail in the Nelson area. Brings you down to Kootenay Lake on beauty singletrack that mixes technical and flowy sections, with a few minor climbs and loose steeps.
The north shore of Kootenay Lake’s West Arm covers a large variety of terrain with impressive slab lines everywhere that range from fun to insane. This is also home to one of the most epic downhills around in Burn and Beyond-Upper Hitman-Hitman..
Now in its 3rd edition, the Nelson Mountain Bike Guide is a definitive trail map book of all the amazing mountain biking in this corner of the West Kootenay region. This latest version includes vivid, virtual terrain views with an update of almost 40 new rides and a total of 105 mapped and described trails. All proceeds from sales of this map booklet go directly into on-going trail maintenance costs that help keep the trails rolling.
You can find your copy in while you're in Nelson at Gerick Cycle, Sacred Ride, and many other local shops. If you're not going to be in town you can also purchase a copy online through the Pinkbike store found HERE.