Williams Lake, BC and the Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium was our latest stop in our 2015 Trail Care Crew season, and like all the others, the southern Chilcotin town and visit did not disappoint!

Known as the ‘Shangri La of mountain biking’, Williams Lake is home to three fantastic trail networks with trails for everyone; Fox Mountain, Westsyde and South Lakeside with Desous Mountain a short drive out of town for those looking to get their fix of gravity specific trails. It is a true mountain bike community that has created an amazing culture around the sport and developed the trails to reflect that growing culture. The Caribou Mountain Bike Consortium is just one great example of the work being done by the locals in the community to put mountain biking on the map and make Williams Lake and surrounding communities an amazing mountain bike destination. Thomas Schoen and Mark ‘Shreddy’ Savard are just two great examples of some of the key players that have helped transform the community into the great riding destination it now is. Mark is the owner and operator of Red Shreds, the local bike shop, and a local that has dedicated his life to improving the community and culture of Williams Lake all through the sport of mountain biking. Thomas Schoen is a German transplant that has called Williams Lake home for a number of years. More recently, he has helped Mark get the Caribou Mountain Bike Consortium off the ground and is working closely with local First Nations communities to develop new trails on Band lands as well as programs for youth in the area.

Our workshop was a pre symposium workshop that took place over two days encompassing our Trail Building School as well as two separate builds at different sites. Being that it was taking place in conjunction with the Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium the turnout was fantastic and we had excellent representation from a number of organizations and companies in the industry including; Big White, Soda Creek First Nation, Wandering Wheels and BC Enduro Series to name a few. It was great to have such varied representation from the participants in the workshop as all were looking to take away something different and all offered their unique expertise and experience to the group very well. Both builds took place on Fox Mountain in an area where the Chief Will Yum and Aflow trails were joined together to improve access to riders looking to get to Aflow without having to climb to the very top. Day one’s build saw us create a fun and flowy connector of 130 metres from Chief Will Yum to the top of the gully section of Aflow which eliminated a climb that a lot of locals do not enjoy and allow riders to directly access that section of Aflow to drop in to some gravity fed fun. Day two  saw us build a fun sweeping turn from across the gully to connect to the new section of trail created on day one to eliminate a fall line section of eroded trail and add a fun sweeping entry in to the new connector. Overall, through both days, over 250m of new singeltrack was created and 50m was reclaimed and rehabilitated with the help of 28 separate volunteers!

Our time in Williams Lake was fantastic and throughout the entire Mountain Bike Symposium, we had the pleasure of working with and connecting with some of the industry’s very best and brightest through our workshop, presentations and on the fantastic trails of the area. We would like to extend our thanks to Thomas Shoen, Mark Savard and the entire community of Williams Lake for being fantastic hosts and showing us a great time we will not soon forget. If you ever find yourself in the area you would be doing a big disservice to not enjoy the Shangri La of mountain biking!

For photos from our Trail Care Crew workshop in Williams Lake, BC click here!