What are the top Nordic trails in BC?

The BC Noridic Marketing Society has just released a list of its top trails in the province.

With assistance from local experts, here are nine of BC’s top Nordic trails. Lace up the boots and head for the hills!

South Cariboo Tourism – 99 Mile and 108 Mile Ski Trails

Suggested trail: Marathon trail.

Site of the world renowned Cariboo Marathon, the Marathon loop can be done as either a 20 km or 11 km loop. Both trails are less technical and ideal for ‘shufflers,’ says Ray Ostby of the 100 Mile Nordics ski club.

There are plenty of hotels, lodges and bed and breakfast operators in the South Cariboo Tourism Region, including the famous Hills Health Ranch, where you can partake in a selection of 40 or more spa treatments.an and extensive selection of daily fitness classes ranging from yoga, to pilates, aquafit, stretch classes and more.

Tourism GoldenDawn Mountain Nordic Centre

Suggested trail: Raven

Raven is a solid intermediate trail which is flowing and varied, and crests three ridges to offer stunning views of the Rockies, Purcells and the Columbia River Wetlands. . Part of the trail follows an old rail bed and the rest is a fun, fast loop. Watch for animal tracks in the forest.

Sun Peaks Resort

Suggested trail: Viewpoint Loop

Climb aboard Sun Peaks Resort’s Morrisey Express for access to the start of the groomed and track set Holy Cow trail. Don’t miss the short Viewpoint Loop with its spectacular views of Tod Mountain before winding your way around Mt. Morrisey. Follow the Otter Loop to the McGillivray Lake cabin, a rustic place to pull over, warm up and rest for your trip back to the award-winning Sun Peaks village.

Silver Star Mountain Resort

Suggested trail: Corkscrew

Breathtaking views of the Monashee Mountains and on-trail encounters with the resident grouse are what you’ll find on the aptly-named Corkscrew trail at Silver Star Mountain Resort. SSMR Nordic director Glenn Bond advises, “this trail is rated black with some exciting descents to test your snowplow skills.” This bright, open trail is well-exposed to the famed Okanagan sun.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Suggested trail: Lake Trail

Start from Mount Washington’s Raven Lodge and ski into Strathcona Provincial Park, BC’s oldest park. The undulating Lake Trail passes by picturesque Battleship and Helen Mackenzie through thick stands of old-growth mountain hemlock and yellow cedar. Your rewards? Expansive views of the Comox Valley and out to the Strait of Georgia..

Cypress Mountain on Vancouver’s North Shore

Suggested Trail: Triangle Lake/Unknown Lake Loop

For an invigorating workout that accesses the most reliable snow conditions at Cypress Mountain, try a circle loop on the upper trails. From the Upper Warming Hut, head west on the Pacific trail and turn left at the Triangle Lake Loop. After completing that loop, head east around the Unknown Lake trail and come out on the main Powerline trail. From there, it’s a fast descent back to where you started at the Hut.

Whistler Olympic Park

Suggested trail: Around the World/Top of the World

Host site for the 2010 Winter Games Nordic events, Whistler Olympic Park’s many trails have won rave reviews from international stars and weekend warriors alike. Around the World is a 2 km loop nestled at the south end and that features rolling hills with easy downhills. Detour off to the Top of the World trail which, as its name suggests, offers a stunning 360-degree view of the Callaghan Valley and “the Black Tusk” in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

WOP is also the starting point for the two-hour ski into Callaghan Country; a fabulous mountain retreat nestled into the heart of the Coast Range mountains that boasts its own Nordic trail system.

Whistler Village – Lost Lake Trails

Suggested trail: Lower Panorama/Helen’s Corner

Popular with Whistler valley locals, Lower Panorama is a 2km intermediate trail that takes you through a fragrant fir and red cedar forest. Crave more challenge? Take the Helen’s Corners cut-off and head up Poler’s Road (2.4km), otherwise known as Cardiac Hill. The steep climb up is rewarded with a thrilling and winding descent. Not to be missed!

Tourism KamloopsStake Lake Trail System

Suggested Trail: Lookout

Located high up on the Interior Plateau, Stake Lake Nordic Center south of Kamloops offers 50 kilometres of trails including Lookout, which features outstanding views of beautiful Lac Le Jeune and the Coast Mountains in the distance. Eventually you will be back at the wood heated day lodge feeling satisfied and flushed from the effort.

Tourism KimberleyKimberley Nordic Centre

Suggested trail: K-1 and K-2
This one’s a bit of a workout. Start at Iker’s Landing trailhead then climb steadily up K-1 and enjoy the views. After 100m on the flats, rhythmically herringbone a steep pitch. Cresting a short steep hill and rounding the corner, you’re rewarded with a gorgeous vista as you climb higher to the top. Round the corner onto K-2 for a short descent and another herringbone pitch. Cruise for another hundred metres or so and there you are a stupendous viewpoint that you simply must stop for. The town of Kimberley laid out below and mountain views in all directions including Fisher Peak, Teepee Mountain and the Steeples and the St. Mary River valley and the Purcells to the southwest.

Now for the downhill ride — steep corner to get you going, double pole for awhile then a fast 180 degree corner and more descent. Round the nose of the hill, swing hips into the next corner and try to stay in the tracks. A few more rolls and then you are diagonal striding up Centennial Hill, over the top and down to La Mesa. Tuck the last hill and you are back at the cabin.

Nipika Mountain Resort

Suggested trail: Cross River Natural Bridge trail

Lyle Wilson is a renowned Nordic racer, coach and since 2005, lodge owner in Radium, BC. He says the trails at his Nipika Mountain Resort are the most scenic anywhere in the province, due primarily to Nipika’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains in Kootenay National Park. The best way to enjoy both a workout and world-class scenery is to follow both sides of the Kootenay River on the Cross River Natural Bridge trail. Look down on the churning waters of the Kootenay River canyon, while on the lookout for wolves, coyotes, cougar, deer, and elk.


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