Mountain bike tourism supported throughout the region

August 21, 2015


Northern Development has approved more than $90,000 in grants through its Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program to support the development of bike infrastructure in Vanderhoof, Houston, Smithers and Fraser Lake.

The Trust has approved a $12,268 grant for the Rip’n the North Trail Expansion project in Vanderhoof. The project means improvements to the town’s existing trails, including culvert upgrades, new berms, improved drainage and new jumps. The project also includes a new trail that will include hip jumps, drops and step ups. Mountain biking is rapidly attracting new tourists to the region, with communities such as Burns Lake, Smithers, Prince George, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Wells expanding their trail networks and offerings to attract riders.

Yet another reason exists to call Smithers and the beautiful Bulkley Valley home – a new mountain bike skills park. The Smithers Mountain Bike Association has responded to requests from local bikers, parents and the town to build a new skills park, reflecting the growing demand for mountain biking infrastructure that attracts and retains residents and promotes tourism. The project includes three progressive jump lines connected through a series of trails and berms, as well as landscaping, fencing and signage to enhance safety. Northern Development has approved a $25,000 grant to support the project, reflecting its continued effort to support community development and economic diversification throughout Northern B.C.

Residents of Fraser Lake will soon enjoy a year-round recreation park, in part thanks to Northern Development. The Trust has approved a $30,000 grant to support the development of a BMX track. Fraser Lake currently has 11 kilometres of trails that are used for walking, running and biking during the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The upgrades would tie the new BMX track into the existing trails, and also create a tobogganing hill that would be utilized in the winter.  The project promotes year-round healthy lifestyles and makes Fraser Lake a more attractive place to live.

Interested in ‘all mountain’ riding? Check out Mt. Harry Davis in Houston!

Northern Development has approved a $29,000 grant to support the development of a new three-kilometre ‘all mountain’ trail at the Mt. Harry Davis recreation site. The Houston Hikers Society will use an excavator and labourers this summer and fall to build the trail (to be named Jack of all Trades), which will serve as an anchor for the existing trail system. The expansion of the trail network will support outdoor recreation opportunities for locals, and help Houston capitalize on increasing demand for mountain biking tourism in Northern B.C.

Interested funding applicants should check out the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities funding program to find out if they can qualify for funding support.

Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust