British Columbia

Major mountain bike park expansion underway at Sun Peaks Resort

A major expansion is underway at the mountain bike park at Sun Peaks Resort. The resort is investing $350,000 in new additions and improvements to trails this summer.

New and updated bike trails will appeal to novice and casual mountain bikers, says resort.

Aidan Kelly says Sun Peaks' bike park attracts many expert mountain bikers. However, many people who visit the park find the trails challenging.  (Reuben Krabbe/Sun Peaks Resort)

A major expansion is underway at the mountain bike park at Sun Peaks Resort northeast of Kamloops. The resort is investing $350,000 in new additions and improvements to trails this summer.

The revamp is part of efforts to make Sun Peaks, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels, according to Aidan Kelly, chief marketing officer with Sun Peaks. 

"We are one of the leaders in lift-access mountain bike parks in North America ... but we're very well known for our hand-built, rugged single-track and fairly aggressive trails," Kelly told Shelley Joyce, host of Daybreak Kamloops. 

Kelly says the park attracts many expert mountain bikers who race or train for the World Cup, who use the hand-built rugged trails. However, he says most people who visit the park find the trails too challenging. 

"It's intimidating for a lot of people," said Kelly. "So we wanted to kind of round out the product a little bit more."

He says those who have never been on a bike before will be able to use the new trails. While the locations at Sun Peaks where mountain bike trails can be built tend to be steep, the resort found areas where gentler slopes could be constructed for novice bikers.

Sun Peaks Resort is investing $350,000 in new additions and improvements to trails this summer. (Reuben Krabbe / Sun Peaks Resort )

Machine-built trails versus natural trails

The big difference between the old bike trails and the news ones is that the former are natural trails. These are rugged, filled with roots and very narrow. Visitors who are comfortable on a bike love these, says Kelly.

The new machine-made trails are created with specialized equipment. They are wider and flow smoothly for new and casual bikers.  

Kelly says Sun Peaks built a machine-made trail in 2018, and it has been successful. Investments this year are going toward upgrading existing trails to this standard, creating new intermediate trails and updating advanced jumping trails. 

"I think you're going to see the whole vibe and the culture and everything associated with mountain biking really kind of rise up this year and beyond."

Kelly says most of the trail work will be completed by mid-July. 

Listen to the full interview here:

With files by Daybreak Kamloops.

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