Smithers Builds A Bulkley Valley Mountain Biking Mecca on Hudson Bay Mountain

Smithers Mountain Bike Association

2012-The town of Smithers is centrally located in northwest British Columbia's beautiful Bulkley Valley. The valley is prime mountain biking country, surrounded by forested hillsides, stunning alpine meadows and rugged mountain peaks. Mountain bikers have been riding for years on everything from wide open pathways to historical mining roads, alpine single-track, and steep, technical free ride trails. With a wide range of riding opportunities, there is something for everyone to ride in Smithers.

In 2009, Smithers Mountain Bike Association continued work on their comprehensive mountain bike development plan with a new phase of trail development supported by Northern Development via the Government of Canada's Community Adjustment Fund. The project developed a range of new mountain biking opportunities including shuttle or pedal access downhill and free ride trails, dirt jump and skill parks, and cross country loops on Hudson Bay Mountain.

Under this project, the Smithers Mountain Bike Association upgraded existing trails and technical trail features such as bridges, trestles, jumps and other features in the Bluff Trail Network so that these routes would meet safety guidelines. The project enhanced and expanded mountain biking opportunities to further develop Smithers as a mountain biking destination. This project will encourage more tourists with yet another great reason to visit the beautiful Bulkley Valley.

Mountain biking in Smithers is in the midst of a revolution, there's no stopping them now.

"The Smithers Mountain Bike Association was formed at the right time. In its rookie year, with a huge amount of volunteer effort and more than a little bit of luck, the association was able to leverage cash and in-kind donations from within the community into more than $400,000 in federal and provincial economic stimulus funding. This funding was invested directly into the local trail network. The influx of cash resulted in the construction of numerous new trails, countless trail upgrades and two complete building seasons."

Katie von Gaza, Communications Director, Smithers Montain Bike Association

"The first two years have been a bit of a blur for our association, but all of the hard work has paid off. The trails and mountain biking community as a whole have been transformed, and if recent TV programs or internet articles are any indication, Smithers has indeed earned a spot on the radar of BC's mountain biking community."

Katie von Gaza, Communications Director, Smithers Montain Bike Association

Positive Economic Impacts in Smithers

The Smithers Mountain Bike Association employed the services of an independent local contractor, Treeline Wood Products, to manage the construction project. Due to the excellent working relationship with this contractor, the association was able to employ over fifty-two person months of employment during the project, including employment of over ten different labourers and tradespeople in the community, as well as providing training of valuable skills in trail building to association members.

The project also developed a number of partnerships with local organizations and communities. The Wet'suwet'en First Nation consulted on the project and the Hudson Bay Mountain Ski Resort, adjacent to the trails project, collaborated on the project by providing strategic direction and insight on trail development adjacent the world-renowned ski area.

The sustainable trail system on Hudson Bay Mountain that was created during this project will offer first-class mountain biking opportunities in the Bulkley Valley for many years to come. This project complements the mountain bike development projects in nearby northwest communities including Terrace and Burns Lake. The Bulkley Valley will likely become a popular mountain biking tourist destination with riding opportunities in a number of local communities, creating a unique destination to attract visitors from around the world.

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