With all the hills and mountains found so near to Kelowna, you are sure to find an amazing bike trail, no matter what your skill level. Are you into cross country, all mountain, freeride or downhill trails? Do you have a craving for stunts and a challenging ride? Then you have to check out some of the trails listed here. Just be aware that if you’re a beginner, all trails should be examined before you ride them. Even if the trail seems harmless, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some serious obstacles down the road. Just do some research before you head out.
You Might Want to Start Off Slow
If you want to build your trail-blazing prowess, start at the Glenmore Highlands trail network. Located northeast of the centre of Kelowna up Clifton Road, this trail is right at the edge of Knox Mountain Park. You’ll find an easy ride through a picturesque setting, as the Blair Pond occasionally peeks its head out along the trail. Even though this is considered an easy route (low technical proficiency required) with plenty of bailouts if you get into trouble, you can still expect a great aerobic workout. You can also expect an average ride of about an hour and fifteen minutes, which is perfect if you’re just starting out.
Taking the Trail Up a Notch
If you consider yourself an intermediate biker, travel up to the north end of Ellis Street and you’ll find Knox Mountain Park. You can consider this the next level of mountain biking trails in Kelowna. There are plenty of smooth descents and single-track loops, as well as a whole network of fun routes to explore. The technical requirements are bumped up slightly from Glenmore Highlands, so be ready for some moderate jumps and falls. Don’t forget to watch out for hikers on the path. Again, you’ll see spectacular views as you peer over Kelowna and across to Lake Okanagan.
Wooden Stunts and Extreme Challenges
Once you’ve mastered the previous trails, you may want to hit the Powers Creek Trail or the Gillard Networks. Powers Creek can be found on the way up to the Crystal Mountain ski resort in west Kelowna and boasts numerous wooden stunts, mid-sized jumps, a ski-jump, spiral ramps, and even a suspension bridge. You’ll be able to revisit the past when you travel down trails that were converted from the original hiking routes of the early 1990s. The Gillard network has around 15 different downhill trails, ranging from intermediate runs to advanced freeride runs. Try your skill on the “Kerplop” or the “Wobbly Pops.” Their names don’t do them justice.
Just remember that if you don’t know the difference between “intermediate” and “freeride,” it’s likely you should start off slow. All riders are encouraged to wear full-face helmets and full armour; it’s important to ensure your adventure runs smoothly and has a good landing. Staying safe will ensure that you’ll be able to explore the many other mountain bike trails that there are in the Kelowna area, and you definitely don’t want to miss out.