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Vancouver Island Trails

July 27, 2019, 10:12 a.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: May 10, 2017

Dont know if this ok for the Shore section but didnt know where to put it. Gonna be on the island for a week and ill be bringing my bike and was hoping for some trail recommendations. Will be based out of Qualicum and will be riding by myself so no shuttling.  Was thinking Cumberland and Nanaimo but no idea what trails to ride.  I prefer the downs much more than the ups so no crazy epic pedals. Would love some routes or other riding areas to check out

July 27, 2019, 11:51 a.m.
Posts: 1369
Joined: April 25, 2003

For a quick excursion from Qualicum the Hammerfest trails are nice, stay to the riders left for the flow, drop down towards the river for a bit more janky.

The south Benson trails in Nanaimo are all-time and have easy fire road climbs. Start with the Simpsons route (Uterbraten, Max Power, Hutz etc) and then go up to Chainsaw ridge, Meat Draw etc if you’re down for more climbing and more gnar. Do both for a big day and add in Panoraimo to really fuck your legs up and get more DH.

Cumberland is awesome but I don’t know specifically what trails to route you through - I like a big pedal along with my big gnar down. Queso and upper Queso and whatever the way out route that feeds into Queso are awesome but require a good pedal. The lower stuff (Blockhead etc are also awesome and make for good shorter, less climby routes. 

Tzuhalem in Duncan is excellent also, lots of sustained descents.  Fire road or singletrack climbs. Check Trailforks for popular routes, they’re good.  Maple is nice but Tzu is better.  Provost is shuttle territory basically (if I’m up to date there.)  

One of the best aspects of VI trails are the excellent climb routes so I recommend you do like the locals do and seek out singletrack climbs, we’ve got the goods!  Basically the further south you go, the more pedaling you’ll have to do so stay outta Vic if you don’t like tech singletrack climbs.

July 27, 2019, 6:21 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: May 10, 2017

Posted by: tashi

For a quick excursion from Qualicum the Hammerfest trails are nice, stay to the riders left for the flow, drop down towards the river for a bit more janky.

The south Benson trails in Nanaimo are all-time and have easy fire road climbs. Start with the Simpsons route (Uterbraten, Max Power, Hutz etc) and then go up to Chainsaw ridge, Meat Draw etc if you’re down for more climbing and more gnar. Do both for a big day and add in Panoraimo to really fuck your legs up and get more DH.

Cumberland is awesome but I don’t know specifically what trails to route you through - I like a big pedal along with my big gnar down. Queso and upper Queso and whatever the way out route that feeds into Queso are awesome but require a good pedal. The lower stuff (Blockhead etc are also awesome and make for good shorter, less climby routes. 

Tzuhalem in Duncan is excellent also, lots of sustained descents.  Fire road or singletrack climbs. Check Trailforks for popular routes, they’re good.  Maple is nice but Tzu is better.  Provost is shuttle territory basically (if I’m up to date there.)  

One of the best aspects of VI trails are the excellent climb routes so I recommend you do like the locals do and seek out singletrack climbs, we’ve got the goods!  Basically the further south you go, the more pedaling you’ll have to do so stay outta Vic if you don’t like tech singletrack climbs.

Ill definitely look those up. Ya I dont think I want to go much more south than Nanaimo.  I dont mind hitting some pedalling bits, just dont want like the epic grunt pedals the whole way up.

July 29, 2019, 3:58 p.m.
Posts: 1532
Joined: July 11, 2014

I think Queso, at least part of it, is shut down because of logging? Honestly it's a bit of a janky old school hiking trail which is fine if you know what to expect. For Cumberland I recommend the Lost Wood/Blockhead/Numbskulls/Gravity combo, as well as Roughneck/Gingersnaps, Bear Buns/Off Broadway are also good combos. Thirsty Beaver/Teapot/Steam Donkey/Off Broadway is another fun combo there. The fire road and single track (Climax) climbs in Cumberland are really well graded and not painful compared to somewhere like Whistler.

July 29, 2019, 5:10 p.m.
Posts: 485
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

I recently rode Nanaimo on a few subsequent days. 
On day 1 I rode Sexy Flanders/Max Power/Hutz. Easy pedal up a fire road. Fast trails with some good whoops. Enduro bike is fine. I meant to return to climb higher to FTR>Rollercoaster but didn't get a chance.

One day 2 I rode around near Doumont, I accessed it off Biggs road. This zone was much tamer, very easy climb up to Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek was fun, with a couple of sizeable platform-to-transition drops that come out of nowhere. Down below Finer China was the real standout. A 1.1km pump track/berm masterpiece. I'm not great at manualing through subsequent whoops but I improved pretty quick with so many in a row. Very cool trail. And it's relatively low on the mountain so pedalling up to hit it multiple times is totally doable.

Maple Syrup in Crofton is interesting but more of an island XC quasi-epic than BCXC.

Aug. 1, 2019, 3:49 p.m.
Posts: 19
Joined: Dec. 1, 2004

FTR - Zipper - Gravitron - Rollercoaster is one of my favorite Nanaimo runs. so smooth, so fast. less tech than Flanders - hutz. Or you can go up the road higher for Meatdraw - Rolelrcoaster. 

Next time go further up to Uter for a long upper and lower Uter - Flanders - max power - hutz lap and enjoy the burning forearms.

there are a few good trails above westwood - Panaramo - pink unicorn  - back up CTS to Shenanigans is fun times as well!

Aug. 1, 2019, 10:02 p.m.
Posts: 1369
Joined: April 25, 2003

I’ll second that FTR-Rollercoaster line, totally forgot about those but they’re rad!

Aug. 2, 2019, 1:43 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug. 2, 2019

I'm moving to the island in a bit... anybody know where's there some real janky steep stuff to ride? Not as much into the smooth and fast stuff as the oldschool tech. Excited to check out new terrain either way though!

Aug. 5, 2019, 9:45 p.m.
Posts: 657
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

this type of trail is rare on the Island and there was never a lot of it to begin with. most of the steepest lines are often revitalized into one of those crappy, painful, more rideable trails you won't enjoy. but the rest of us sure do!

Aug. 6, 2019, 8:19 a.m.
Posts: 1369
Joined: April 25, 2003

Nanaimo has Upper Meat Draw, Victoria doesn’t have much official jank (but I’ll show you some stuff). Can’t think of much else.

Aug. 6, 2019, 10:34 a.m.
Posts: 629
Joined: March 25, 2011

It's awesome seeing the love for Gnarnaimo these days.  Somewhat of a hidden gem, having a few very long DH trail combos on Benson.  Chainsaw Ridge is janky in spots no matter how many times you ride it, but it's worth the push.  Upper Meat Draw has its moments, but once you know the lines it's a really good challenge, and Lower Meat Draw is f*ing amazing. Benson climbing is low angle EXCEPT the push to the summit and EXCEPT if you want to return up to the main FSR from the bottom of Rollercoaster (basically you will want to shoot yourself).  The Full Duff (Uter/SF/Max Power/Hutz) is rougher than it use to be but they put a lot of work in it and its a fantastic pounding. The fast Enduro dudes are doing the Full Duff in over 10 minutes and over 30KPH, so that gives you the idea. I love Dumont for the nostalgia (most of the trails *at least 25 *years old).  A little bit of everything if you know how to link up the trails.  If at Dumont Hayden is fun, and climb up Ho Chi Mihn to ASOP (that is a must if in the area).  Shout out to stickboy here on NSMB for building a lot of these gems :-)

Aug. 6, 2019, noon
Posts: 1369
Joined: April 25, 2003

Some might consider Panoraimo might be considered “jank” as well, and it’s definitely steep in bits. The climb to it (and the route from Rollercoaster) are some of the nastiest punch-in-the-dick climbs I’ve ever done. I did both on a ride in the spring for some reason.

Aug. 12, 2019, 12:49 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug. 2, 2019

this type of trail is rare on the Island and there was never a lot of it to begin with. most of the steepest lines are often revitalized into one of those crappy, painful, more rideable trails you won't enjoy. but the rest of us sure do!

I don't recall calling any trails crappy but thanks I guess

Nanaimo has Upper Meat Draw, Victoria doesn’t have much official jank (but I’ll show you some stuff). Can’t think of much else.

Looks cool! And thanks appreciate the offer. BTW my standard for gnarly/jack/whatever may not even be that high -- I just like trails with sections that are tricky and take some real focus or confidence to clean. Whether it's steep or balancey or rough. I'm sure I'll find some stuff

It's awesome seeing the love for Gnarnaimo these days. Somewhat of a hidden gem, having a few very long DH trail combos on Benson. Chainsaw Ridge is janky in spots no matter how many times you ride it, but it's worth the push. Upper Meat Draw has its moments, but once you know the lines it's a really good challenge, and Lower Meat Draw is f*ing amazing. Benson climbing is low angle EXCEPT the push to the summit and EXCEPT if you want to return up to the main FSR from the bottom of Rollercoaster (basically you will want to shoot yourself). The Full Duff (Uter/SF/Max Power/Hutz) is rougher than it use to be but they put a lot of work in it and its a fantastic pounding. The fast Enduro dudes are doing the Full Duff in over 10 minutes and over 30KPH, so that gives you the idea. I love Dumont for the nostalgia (most of the trails *at least 25 *years old). A little bit of everything if you know how to link up the trails. If at Dumont Hayden is fun, and climb up Ho Chi Mihn to ASOP (that is a must if in the area). Shout out to stickboy here on NSMB for building a lot of these gems :-)

Thanks for the info! Getting me stocked to check out new terrain

Aug. 29, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Posts: 9198
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

If you want more steep, techy stuff head out to Sooke...they love the jank out there (amazing views as well)!

Aug. 29, 2019, 4:02 p.m.
Posts: 141
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: pedalhound

If you want more steep, techy stuff head out to Sooke...they love the jank out there (amazing views as well)!

Zig Zag is the best trail around there

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