With so many great trails to ride, it's no wonder that mountain biking is booming in Prince George. It would be a feat to ride them all in a single season.
Given the variety of trails and the abundance of wilderness in Prince George, the city can proudly boast world-class mountain biking for people of all skill levels.
While experienced Prince George riders know all the best spots like the back of their hand, here's a list of the best spots for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the mountain biking scene in the city:
Pidherny Recreation Site is the place to go for mountain biking in Prince George. It's also an official recreation site for all non-motorized users. The trail network offers riders a wide variety of beginner to advanced trails feature both natural and man-made technical features. It’s accessed from two parking lots, Foothills Blvd (upper lot) and Pidherney Road (lower lot). Every year, Pidherny sees new trails being developed and current ones receiving ongoing maintenance. You can find more information on the trails through Trailforks.
There's a large network of cross-country skiing trails at Otway Nordic Centre, commonly known as Otway, that are used for mountain biking in the spring, summer and fall. The site has 55 kilometres of trails, which provide a great ride for people of all skill types, including many options for beginners. The trails are single-track and have excellent signage at each junction. Otway is a great option for people who are looking for more of a cross-country ride rather than an extreme downhill experience. Check in with the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club for more information on the trails and conditions.
UNBC has a large network of granular double-track, as well as many old-school technical singletrack, found south of the Greenway Trail. The Prince George Cycling Club says if you are an intermediate to advanced technical rider, you won’t be disappointed, with the many advanced sections and steep technical climbs.
The UNBC trails also provide excellent winter fat biking. Forests for the World also contains over 15 km of trails taking you through a variety of forest habitats.
This trail network is multi-use, shared by cyclists, hikers and runners. The cycling club says you will find granular double-track trails with rustic single track as you head west from the main parking lot. Although not as technical as the UNBC trail network, you will encounter some short steep climbs. Watch out for moose and bear, and enjoy the lakes.
Heritage River Trails
The Heritage River Trail System is perfect for a laid-back ride on a nice day. It's a slower change of pace that offers a scenic ride along the Nechako and Fraser rivers and may be the perfect choice for someone who is just beginning their Prince George mountain biking journey. The trails are also connected to major city parks like Cottonwood Island, Lheidli T'enneh Memorial, Hudson's Bay Wetland and Carrie Jane Gray Park. Including the Carney Street alternative route and side trails, the Heritage River Trail System offers a circuit of more than 11 km throughout the city.
Bonus: Tabor Mountain
Progress is currently being made on what is hoped to be many kilometers of new single-track trail on Tabor Mountain, which is a 15 minute drive east of Prince George. The Association of Caledonia TrailBuilders (ACT) has started work on an initial 4.75 kilometres of pathway suitable not only for beginner-level mountain biking - with about 1.5 kilometres of intermediate level thrown into the mix - but also for running, hiking and snowshoeing.
The aim is to get that phase completed before the snow flies and then work on attracting support additional phases adding up to more than 35 kilometres of trail in the northwest corner of the Tabor Mountain Recreation Area. The first phase is being backed by about $107,000 worth of direct and in-kind funding. Of that, $70,000 comes from Northern Development Initiative Trust, $18,000 from the Fraser-Fort George Regional District.
With files from Mark Nielsen.