Passionate cyclists from across the province, the country and even internationally are travelling for mountain bike and eco-tourism experiences in British Columbia. This shift in how we travel and how we spend our time is resulting in an explosion in trips to bike Revelstoke BC. The rise in usage has put greater demands than ever on the local trails.
Bike Revelstoke – Locals Bringing Stoke to Trail Stewardship
I recently traveled to bike Revelstoke but also to see how this vibrant mountain community was supporting the stewardship of the trail network. Visitors to the region have risen exponentially year after year resulting in high trail use as well as the need for more trails. The majority of this work, like in so many places across BC has fallen on the backs of hard working volunteers and non-profit organizations. Here that group of passionate locals is the Revelstoke Cycling Association.
I have enjoyed my MTB rides on Boulder Mountain, Sunnyside, Mount Macpherson and Frisby Ridge. (Check Out my Previous Trip) Those trails and my experience on them was a direct result of RCA’s mission to lead sustainable and inclusive mountain biking opportunities in Revelstoke. As a board director for the local trail organization back home here in Cowichan I know first hand how much work RCA is putting into the region.
It takes more than just volunteers putting rake or shovel to the trail, it takes a serious financial commitment to maintain a world class network. Through fundraising, events, sponsorship and of course membership clubs and trail organizations are able to fund their operations.
With a mixed blessing in BC our Trail networks are in part seeing so much usage due to MTB tourism marketing regionally and even internationally. Communities and the local businesses have benefited greatly from mountain bike destination travel. For anyone out there that loves mountain biking like I do then, you most likely love to visit the local cafes, breweries, bike shops and other businesses like me. But this high usage takes its toll on the trail themselves as well as increased traffic density.
Trips to bike Revelstoke are at all time highs but what is really setting this region apart is how Tourism Revelstoke has been developing ways to give back to the trails. This has resulted in a partnership between themselves and Revelstoke Cycling Association. Tourism Revelstoke has done good work showcasing RCA on their website as well as promoting donations to the club. Additionally Tourism Revelstoke promoted and utilized a funding model in 2021 to direct a small donation to RCA for every 2 night stay that visitors spent in local accommodations.
Thanksgiving Back Trail Day with Tourism Revelstoke
What has really set apart Tourism Revelstoke from just giving donations or promoting the local trail organization is their recent visitor volunteer program they hosted. I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in their very first Thanksgiving Back event this fall.
The premise of the event was that visitors were able to sign up with Tourism Revelstoke to attend a Trail Day with RCA in exchange for two nights free stay at a local partnered accommodation. Under clouds and misty weather our band of eager trail day volunteers descend on the Mount Macpherson area. Our goal was to rebuild an eroded section of Bluff Lower trail as well as a cedar boardwalk section that needed to be replaced.
Led by RCA club President Meghan Tabor and Trail maintenance director Dave Pearson we had a fun day and accomplished a great deal. Volunteers had come from all over the interior of BC to take part in the work of giving back to the trails we derive so much enjoyment. A solid days effort was fuelled by a great lunch from La Baquette and refreshments from Mt Begbi Brewing.
As we all put tools away and mingled at the end of a very productive day on the trails I had a moment to chat with Meghan. One thing she said really stuck with me as we talked about the work that goes into trail advocacy and stewardship. “The thing I am happiest about with our work at RCA and our efforts in Revelstoke is how it has brought the community together. From bike shops and breweries to tourism and those who might not have thought about cycling and mountain biking.”
As an outsider looking in I would say you have done well Meghan, kudos to you as well as fellow RCA board members past and present. Equally a big nod to Tourism Revelstoke on developing this program. As a mindful traveler myself and one who looks at the impact of travel to communities and to natural areas we need to continue this good work.
I echo Tourism Revelstoke in sharing their goals for the program which are; Fostering a connection between the visitor and an area. Creates destination advocates that are mindful on how they travel and how they experience a place . Helps educate visitors about the efforts that go into outdoor recreation management. Lastly, highlight the many local volunteer groups doing the work to maintain world class trails.
This trip was possible thanks to my partnership with Tourism Revelstoke. A big thanks to Robyn Goldsmith who helped plan my trip, was a fantastic host and then for inviting me on the awesome RCA Great Big Poker Ride the following day. It was nice to bike Revelstoke trails with a great local guide (and RCA board member).
Lastly, a big 5 star review and recommendation for the Court House Inn Revelstoke bed and breakfast that I stayed at during my trip. Great location that I was able to walk or ride my bike to everywhere around town from such as checking out the local downtown and restaurants. Also the 3 course breakfast every morning was stellar plus they served Kicking Horse Coffee french press each morning which fed my coffee addiction nicely.
For other road trip and travel ideas as well as fun outdoor activities check out my Mindful Explorer Travel Destination Page . Subscribe to the blog and of course I am always grateful for a follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where I share more frequent photos and stories daily.