Local rider, Brenda Beatty describes some of the thrills you’ll experience when you ride our trails.
Quesnel has always had secretly awesome trails for biking, hiking and running but it all exploded in 2019 with the creation of 4 new trails and BC’s first-ever Mountain Bike Provincial Park on Dragon Mountain. A partnership between the Gold Rush Cycling Club, The City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District made all of this activity and development possible. The Wonderland network has blossomed with several new trails, a parking lot and has been designated a BC Recreation Site. Tonnes of dirt has been moved around to carve out sweet, swoopy lines that will thrill every outdoorsy type.
All of these trails are designed for non-motorized use. Hikers, runners and bikers are welcome to enjoy the fun, just be aware that the trails are shared with bikers who are a lot faster than you. Share the trail by making space on the uphill side of a trail to allow others to pass and be aware of trail direction (up/down or downhill only).
Before you go:
- Pick up a free trail map at one of several downtown businesses or the Quesnel Visitor Centre
- Pump up your tires
- Fill your water bottle
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet and gloves
- Invite your friends
Hint: For some extra help with navigation, download the free Trailforks app before you head out.
Walk in the Park / Rock in the Park 7.1 km combined
Best for: family rides, new mountain bikers & getting to the top without using the road
Dragon Mountain has always been the shuttling destination in Quesnel. Trails like Rockasaurus and Seven Dwarves are fast and technical down lines and their only access was by driving or a long pedal up the access road. This new trail offers a gradual 7.1 km climb to the top and is the best trail on Dragon Mountain to bring kids or to get new riders hooked on the thrill of biking.
The first three kilometers provide a smooth, wide machine-built surface that will put a smile on everyone’s face. As it ascends, it gets gradually more technical and tight, so challenge yourself to go a little further every time, gently pushing your limits. You’ll cross the road at 1.6 km, and a few laps on the lower section could easily fill the attention span of your littles.
Riding this trail was the first time I mountain-biked in 14 years. I borrowed a friend’s light and squishy bike and went out with my guide for the day. With no bike-handling skills, but basic fitness, I climbed the trail without feeling that my heart was bursting through my chest and I let it rip on the downhill just enough to feel the flow of gravity without pedaling or braking very much.
You can ride this one uphill or downhill and the swoopy corners, smooth path and wiggling through the trees will appeal to anyone. If it’s not exciting enough for you, just go faster!
Angry Beaver 1.2 km
Best for: technical biking (down only), hiking or running
This new trail offers a twisty, rocky down line for biking, hiking or running. The narrow hand-built trail hugs the ridge, gradually falling away through rock gardens (all with simple go-arounds) broken up by smooth bench-cut alleys to catch your breath. If you can take your eyes away from the trail for a moment, you’ll get some big views over Dragon Lake.
I ran this one and loved the flow through sun-dappled patches of huckleberries and large stands of evergreens. This is my favourite spot for a late-day jaunt. From top to bottom, the trail glows gold in the afternoon light.
Mucho Oro 1.9 km
Best for: fast & flowy, bike only & downhill only
Ride this one and ask yourself: “where am I?” You’ll feel like you’re in a ski resort bike park. This one is wide and creamy as it flows from berm to berm. As expected, you can get some major speed here, so it’s only for bikes going downhill. Expect to catch some air as you finesse the twists and turns of this machine-built wonder.
If you like to hold on, catch air and not pedal, you’ll probably do laps on this all day long. This trail is named after the local’s favourite post-ride beer in thanks for Barkerville Brewing’s support of the Gold Rush Cycling Club.
Sluice Box 630 m
Best for: technical downhill, biking & hiking
Any skier knows that the words Gully Run mean that it’s the most fun run on the mountain and Sluice Box perfectly translates that into dirt. This one really takes advantage of the landscape, twisting back and forth across a broad gully and rolling over ladder bridges into the next turn.
You’ll feel like you can fly on Sluice Box, swooping (and sometimes soaring) across the gully. From the top, you get into the excitement right away: a ladder bridge leads to a twisting bermed corner and there’s no stopping, but you probably won’t want to. It’ll be over fast, so hop back onto “What the Huck” (the climbing trail next door) to get back to the top and do it all over again.
Written by Brenda Beatty
Photos by 6ix Sigma Productions and Michael Bednar