When you think of the top BC mountain biking destinations it'd be easy to gloss over Nanaimo. Located on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is a relatively small port city that is more well known for their creamy, chocolatey desert, the Nanaimo Bar. However, in the mountains surrounding the city there are an incredible amount of trails ranging from big jump lines to mossy singletrack. We were fortunate enough to spend three days there sampling some of the finest trails they had on tap.
Welcome to Nanaimo.
On the trip we were joined by certified shredders Jordie Lunn, Jackson Goldstone, and Katie Holden. On day one we headed out to Doumont to ride a few trails including the all new "Finer China" aka "The Downhill Pumptrack". The new trail lived up to its name and we spent the afternoon chasing each other over the hundreds of rollers and jumps along the trail.
If you like to send, then the trail "Bob's Your Uncle" is where you want to be.
Follow the leader on Finer China.
Matt captures Jackson in two very different situations.
Before the day was over we made our way to the Steve Smith Bike Park. Situated near the middle of town the bike park was built in memory of the late, great Steve Smith and caters to riders of all skill levels, ages, and wheel sizes.
Long Live Chainsaw.
Jordie getting ready for his close up.
Day two consisted of more singletrack goodness. Westwood Lake offers up some incredible scenery along the flowy trails that surround the lake. After a morning of sampling the dirt in that area we moved to Saysutshun Island also known as Newcastle Island which is only a 10 minute ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo. On the island you can hike, camp, bike or just hang out and enjoy the scenery.
On the final day we were hungry for some gnar so Dave and Kevin, a couple of local builders, took us back to Doumont and up to a trail called ASOP. The trail starts out with some wheel gobbling rock rolls that lead into some fast, tight sections. Along the way you can catch great views along with some vertigo inducing exposure.
Survive the trail on the left and you get the Mexican dinner on the right.
If it wasn't painfully obvious already, we had an incredible time in Nanaimo. It's clear that this city is dedicated to building up its mountain bike scene that is sure to attract riders from near and far. Thanks to the dedicated trail builders in the area there is a massive variety of terrain to ride and have fun on. We can't wait until our next visit.
Additional images by Dave Silver Photography