Many communities adopt and use old legacy trails or forestry and mining roads to extend their trail networks. Some of these old road beds are not always suitable for trails since when they were initially built water management and recreational use was not part of the design. There are, however, ways to manipulate old road beds into beautiful singletrack. Road to trail conversions are becoming more popular, especially in parks and other ecologically sensitive areas.

Many of the trails in the Slocan Valley, including those in New Denver, BC, were old mining and rail way corridors. Built in the late 1800’s many of the roads were used by horses so the grades needed to be kept low. The rail beds were abandoned over 100 years ago and mother nature has reclaimed much of the existing corridors. Since most of the ‘virgin’ territory in the area is staked with mining claims the trails society has secured the right of passage along many of these old rail beds and have created sweet ribbons of singletrack along the corridors. Because of the lower grades these trails are fast, flowy and easily accessible to most riders. They take you up through old mining towns and deep into the mountains on one incredible journey.

Along the most popular town trail, called the Galena Trail, is one of the most unique water crossings we’ve come across in the country. In 1996 a cable car crossing was installed with a bike rack so that one person and one bike can cross the large mountain stream with ease. It can take a while to get a large group across but if there are only a few of you, zipping across it adds an exhilarating aspect to the ride.

If you ever get the chance to visit any of the towns in the Slocan Valley, you’ll enjoy the scenery and history of the area, the laid back lifestyle, the amazing food and drink and some inspiring trails. Thank you to our host Mike (and his trusty trail dog Marley) for the good food, wine and conversations.