The Kootenay’s offers some of the best mountain biking in BC. With places like Nelson, Kaslo and Retallack to name a few, it is no surprise why many riders flock to the area on a regular basis to enjoy the great riding. Nestled among all those popular zones and ride destinations is the small town of New Denver and the riding there definitely lived up to the standard set for amazing Kootenay riding.

New Denver, BC is a small Kootenay town nestled at the feet of Mt. Idaho and was our latest visit in our 2015 Trail Care Crew schedule. It is a great example of a small community with a lot of history and dedicated residents that want to put it on the map. From the first ride to our last, we were blown away with the trails in the area. Our host Mike, from the North Slocan Trails Society was our guide around the trails of the area and did a fantastic job highlighting the best of what New Denver had to offer. We started off with the K+S Trail located a few minutes out of town just outside of Sandon which is an old mine town and a great historical backdrop for the area. The K+S is a fantastic rail trail that follows the old mine rails and connects with different abandoned shafts and sites offering riders a great historical view into the mining of the area before dropping in to a great descent back to Sandon. What followed was the Galena Trail that is a great multi-use offering from Sandon back to New Denver along the old historical road that is now converted into a great trail experience. Halfway through users have to make a river crossing using an old hand pulled cable tram car that makes for a great time and some fantastic photos.

After our brief but great introduction Thursday night, both AJ and I were excited to see what Friday had to offer as we were going to enjoy Butter, a local favourite and the trail that we were going to work on in Saturday’s workshop. Located in nearby Rosebury, Butter is a fantastic trail that just begs to be ridden fast. It takes users from the peak of the mountain all the way down into the local campground, experiencing some beautiful views and amazing vegetation along the way. It was so good that we needed to back for a second lap in the evening after our assessment and site selection was finished for the day. Sunday saw us start that morning off by riding Wakefield, a high alpine trail that drops users in from Idaho Peak and follows old mining sites all the way down into neighbouring Silverton. It is the area’s most advanced trail offering and not for the faint of heart as there is lots of exposure but great times to be had. Our last ride experience was the Alamo trail, which followed the old horse-packing route taken hundreds of years ago by the horses that used to move the cables up the mountain to set up the tramlines.

Saturday’s workshop was a great gathering of locals from all across the area, including New Denver, Kaslo and Nakusp to name a few. There were many great connections made in the room between riders and non-riders alike all coming together for their passion for trails. The afternoon’s build had us working on the drop in to the lower half of Butter, which was a fall line section of trail that was seeing a lot of user based erosion. What followed was a very successful build as all the volunteers came together to create a very fun and sustainable section of singletrack that maintains the existing user experience. With the varying backgrounds and community representatives in attendance, the future looks bright for trails in New Denver and surrounding areas.

The community and trails in New Denver truly made this visit great and we would like to thank the North Slocan Trails Society for organizing a successful visit and showing us the great trail offerings in the area!

For a link to photos from our visit in New Denver with the North Slocan Trails Society, click here!

-Justin Truelove