Volunteers sought for planned new mountain bike trail on Mount Revelstoke

We find out about the idea for a new cross-country mountain bike trail on Mount Revelstoke National Park

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A mountain bike trail sign on Mount Revelstoke National Park. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

A new cross-country mountain bike trail is in preliminary planning for Mt. Revelstoke National Park.

Revelstoke resident Jason Zimmer is a proponent of the plan and is organizing volunteers to help with the idea.

He was also behind the online Revelstoke Bike Park survey (and Facebook page) exploring demand for lift-access gravity biking in Revelstoke.

Zimmer said the idea for a trail on Mount Revelstoke came from that survey.

“After the survey for the downhill bike park, just chatting with friends … we were thinking about where else in town would there be potentially an area for more trails, and somebody mentioned Mt. Revelstoke national park,” he said.

Working with Parks staff, he’s identified a bench area that could connect two existing trail areas; the first is the Soren Sorenson loop trails and the second is the 23 Connector Trail that runs from the park tollbooth down to Highway 23 North.

“We’ve just started talking about it, so it is preliminary. The idea would be that you head down the existing [23 Connector] trail and then head towards town. The idea behind it is to collaborate with the community to build a trail on the lower section of the park,” he said.

In response to Revelstoke Mountaineer questions, Parks Canada spokesperson Marnie DiGiandomenico said the plans to develop trails on Mount Revelstoke are supported by Parks planning documents.

Work on a kids' mountain bike park next to the Nels Nelsen ski jump parking lot began last year. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Work on a kids’ mountain bike park next to the Nels Nelsen ski jump parking lot began last year. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
A culvert at the site of the new kids bike park under construction. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
A culvert at the site of the new kids bike park under construction. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

A 2010 management plan called for more visitor opportunities on the lower mountain, more visitor amenities near the Nels Nelsen ski jump, and gathering places for families and groups.

A 2013 Meadows in the Sky Area Plan elaborated on the plan, calling for improved biking experiences on existing trails, and to work with partners to improve mountain biking opportunities on the lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke.

Starting at the fork in the road near the Mt. Revelstoke tollbooth, the 23 Highway Connector trail's recognizable feature is this storage shed. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Starting at the fork in the road near the Mt. Revelstoke tollbooth, the 23 Highway Connector trail’s recognizable feature is this vintage storage shed. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

“Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks are now beginning implementation of this planning direction through design of trail improvements on the existing cycling network and design of a new cross-country mountain biking trail on the lower mountain,” DiGiandomenico said in a statement.

She acknowledged that Parks Canada and Zimmer had met to discuss plans, and that the next steps include gauging support for the new trails, getting an agreement together, trail planning and an environmental assessments.

“The proponent is currently garnering community support for the project, which includes enlisting a volunteer crew to build a new trail on lower Mount Revelstoke,” DiGiandomenico said in a statement.

Zimmer has over 60 volunteers lined up to help with the trail building. You can get involved by filling out a survey on this Facebook page.

Currently, Mount Revelstoke national park has fairly limited mountain biking trails. The Soren Sorensen mixed-use loop trails near the Nels Nelsen ski jump are a popular local ride, and riders typically pedal up from town. Biking is allowed on the 23 Connector Trail.  However, mountain biking isn’t allowed on most of the other trails in the park.

To learn more about the idea, listen to our interview with Zimmer by clicking the play button on the SoundCloud app below: