Flowt Bikes and Skis (Brendan McIntosh, the shop owner, is super-friendly and informative)
We continued our Kootenays tour by heading a little way east down the highway 1 hours drive to Revelstoke, rolling into Revelstoke on Sunday night and then heading north out of town to Mica Dam. We drove pass the Martha Creek Provincial Campground on Hwy 23, and stopped at the beautifully private Wadey Forest Service Site 24km up the road on Lake Revelstoke! The cost is $10.00 a night per family, so Tyler and Nigel become our kids! The tarp did come in handy on a few nights as it rained.
There are no showers at Wadey and you have to get fresh water from Martha Creek campground just 3 km south down the road but those were minor inconveniances given the fact that we were in a deserted campground right next to the lake. The location is beautifully conveniant given that we wanted to ride a lot in this general area.
Home for a week
Turning South on Hwy 23 from the Trans Canada Highway before you cross the bridge heading into Revelstoke you will find the Mt. MacPherson cross country ski area. In the last few years new trails have been built through volunteer efforts of the Revelstoke Cylcing Association and funding through the Columbia Basin Trust fund and MOTSA ( Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts ) to fund work done by Rob Moore and others.
These efforts have resulted in flowy XC trails that provide a good day of riding. The maps are pretty mediocre – we found the best way to navigate was to use all the bicycling trail maps together with the cross-country skiing trail map. For one thing, the cross country ski trails are signed, but the bike trails are not while the bike trail maps unfortunately dos not have the names of the cross country ski runs. Both maps can be found at this link – Mt. MacPherson .
There are two parking lots accessing the Mt. MacPherson Trail System. We parked at the minor lot up the Griffen Forest Service Road which is 5.7km south of the Hwy 1 turnoff. The Griffen FSR turnoff isn’t signed so keep an eye out for it. The main lot is at the Wells Creek FSR which is another 200m south further down the road and is signed and is harder to miss . Note that Wells Creek actually runs along the Griffen FSR. We climbed up the Beaver Lake Road to the View Trail then turned off right to the start of Buff Enough.
Buffness this way!
I’m not going to get all mushy and sentimental but suffice it to say that I tear up when I think of how gorgeous these trails are to ride – fast and flowy with pine needles and loam! Pictures say more then words!
Part way down Buff Enough you come to the turn off for Happy Fun Trail and Tantrum to the left, Buff Enough continues down to the right. Don’t think these are flat boring romps. We dropped our seats for these trails as they were mostly downhill. The difference for us North Shore types is that the trails don’t get hacked and skidded – there doesn’t seem to be enough people there to erode the bed surface. Instead they are gorgeous downhills with tons of loamy traction – you can really let her rip on Revelstoke singletrack.
We liked it so much that we did another lap. This time instead of turning down Happy Fun Trail – we continued down Tantrum. This was an awesome ride and I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes technical cross-country in its purest sense. Natural berms, beautifully gradual climbs then fast, flowy downhills that wound through ferns, rocks and cedar. Tantrum ends up coming out about 3.1km away from the Hwy 23 turnoff south of the Trans Canada and makes for a short ride back to the Griffen FSR trailhead.
Mt. Mckenzie can be seen in the background as we cross under the powerlines.
More Buffness on Tantrum!
We decided to cut the ride a bit short to make sure we could hit up the Chalet Bakery before it got cleaned out of pizza bagels and Cream Horns. This turned out to be a good call and a fine way to end a great day of riding loamy singletrack.
We then headed back to our campsite just 20 minutes away. Back at the Wavey Rec Site we quickly set up tents and Nigel crashed for an afternoon nap in his hammock. Not a bad start to a vacation.
Lee and Tyler were waiting for the opportunity to get a swim in but the sun kept winking in and out from scattered cloud cover. Both shores of Lake Revelstoke have pretty big peaks so the sun will set around 6.30 or so in late August so keep that in mind if you want to get a dip when its warm.
Lee eating his cream horn from the Chalet Bakery fattening up and thinking about taking the plunge…