by LAURA KEIL
While it’s still under construction, Valemount’s latest mountain bike trail promises to be the longest and highest yet.
Starting at 1500m (the top of 5-Mile hill), the trail winds down to where it joins Tinfoil hat around 1050m. An extension from there bring it even further down, for a total elevation change of 750m, says Curtis Pawliuk, GM of the Valemount Area Recreation Development Association.
But the new trail is more than just long – it’s also the first truly advanced trail in Valemount’s network and will be the most challenging so far.
“We need that,” says Pawiuk. “It’s going to attract these higher-end riders. This trail will help round out our riding experiences we have here.”
He says the trail will be unlike most other trails.
“I haven’t seen a build like it anywhere outside a resort, so it’s pretty cool.”
Pawliuk says they hope to complete the trail construction by mid-September.
VARDA is working on another trail as well – an additional connector between Tinfoil Hat and Bacon.
Pawliuk says trail maintenance is by donations and fundraising and he encourages users to donate towards trail maintenance. There are donation boxes in the main bike trail parking lot. People can also donate to a specific trail via the Trail Forks app.
Pawliuk says in a very short time frame mountain biking is changing the summer economy in Valemount.
“It’s been a pretty amazing thing for Valemount. We’ve seen a change in the downtown core.”
He says local eateries, the brewery and campgrounds have commented to him about additional business from mountain bikers.
The mountain bike trail system officially opened in August 2015.