In keeping with the Nelson and Kootenay Lake culture, our mountain bike trails appeal to the spirit of mountain biking: we’ve got gentle railway grades that start minutes from community centres (Kaslo, Crawford Bay, Balfour and Nelson) and take you along forest trails, over restored trestle bridges and into some of the most peaceful country you’ll ever encounter. But for those of you who need to feel their heart beating and love the surge of adrenaline pumping through their veins, we’ve got what you need: steep, rocky, technical tracks and enough stunts, ladders and big drops to keep you coming back and calling out for more.
For professional backcountry mountain biking excursions see Retallack for details on their wicked terrain and variety of programs.
The mountain bike trails in Nelson, Nelson-North Shore, Crawford Bay-East Shore, and Kaslo are available online through Trail Forks.
RIDE RESPONSIBLY and support our local mountain biking clubs - without them, there would be no trails for all of us to enjoy.
- East Shore Trail and Bike Association
- Kaslo Mountain Bike Club
- Nelson Cycling Club - donate on their site or through Trail Karma
8 Towns. 600+ Trails. 3 Bike Parks. Real Mountain Culture.
Mountain bike communities across the Kootenays have gathered together to showcase all that they have in their series of EPIC 8 videos. Trails weave through epic mountain and valley landscapes throughout the Kootenays. There is no shortage of awe-inspiring moments. View Feature Story & Video by Pinkbike.
Nelson Mountain Biking
The Nelson Cycling Club website has up-to-date information on events and trails in the area. Nelson maintains trails in eight different areas, from Morning Mountain to Mountain Station, and over to the North Shore near Balfour and Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The comprehensive and updated Nelson Mountain Bike Guide with over 105 trails, with maps and descriptions. All proceeds from sales of this Bike Guide go directly into ongoing trail maintenance costs that help keep the trails rolling and is available at:
East Shore Mountain Biking
The East Shore of Kootenay Lake has a variety of trails including a portion of the Great Trail. Maps and information can be found on the East Shore Trail & Bike Association website. Crawford Bay trails as listed on Trailforks.
Kaslo Mountain Biking
Kaslo is well-known to adrenaline enthusiasts as well as those who are out for a gentle ride. Trails range from extreme to gentle in gorgeous country that’ll reel you in and leave you breathless. The Wagon Road Trail, which travels from Kaslo to Retallack (halfway to New Denver) is a great 20-kilometre trail for beginners. Experienced riders should give The Monster a go, an 11-kilometre round trip filled with steep jumps and technical sections that’ll remind you why you love this sport.
Looking for a rental? Kaslo E-Kruise offers entry-level electric mountain bikes!
Kaslo trails as listed on Trailforks. Kaslo has a Trail Map, only $2 and folds up nice and small to fit in your pocket. It is available at:
- Kaslo and Nelson Visitor Centres
- Kaslo Hotel
- Kaslo Motel
- Willow Home Gallery
- Kaslo Building Supplies
- Kaslo Pharmacy
There are bike parks in Nelson and Kaslo for those who like tricks and jumps. Nelson's bike park is immediately next to a renovated skateboard park that rivals the best in BC. Kaslo's Bike Park overlooks Kootenay Lake and Kaslo River - picturesque and perfect for the family.
Galena and Slocan Valley Trails
If you are looking for even more areas to explore by bike there are a couple more family friendly routes close by. The Galena Trail west of Kaslo is a wide, shady trail that can be ridden in both directions. This trail is frequently used by hikers and families so remember to ride respectfully and in control. One of the highlights of this great trail is the cable car that crosses Carpenter Creek. It holds one bike at a time so it provides a nice opportunity to stop and take some pictures. Just west of Nelson is the Slocan Valley Rail Trail, winding along the Slocan River for 50km between Slocan Lake and Crescent Valley. The gentle rail grade is mostly packed dirt with a short 5km section of pavement, and features delicious bakeries and eateries along the route.
Preventing Invasive Species
The West Kootenay region is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise, with endless recreational opportunities. While enjoying all that the Kootenay Lake region has to offer please keep in mind that invasive species can act as hitchhikers and latch onto your clothing and gear. Stopping the spread of invasive species is as easy as PLAY CLEAN GO. For more details on how you can take action visit the CKISS website.
Honouring The Legacy of Trail Builders
In the Nelson & Kootenay Lake region, we celebrate these heroes of dirt, these keepers of knowledge, these “trail fairies” that ensure the rest of us have perfect rides. Tight-knit, skilled and friendly, mountain biking clubs in Nelson, Kaslo, and the East Shore organize, fundraise and innovate year-round to share their passion for the exhilarating sport of mountain biking with their community and all who visit.
Kaslo Mountain Biking Club
Finish a ride, go for dip at the beach, then head to the pub; all in a few steps. Kaslo's small-town charm goes hand in hand with its incredible 70km of single track.
To learn more or donate to KMBC, check out their website here.
Nelson Cycling Club
With a storied history of mountain biking and rides from entry-level to extreme, there's so much to discover amongst the the trails in the Nelson and Balfour areas.
East Shore Trail and Bike Association
Local secrets, an island-like mystique, and incredible views abound in the woods of Kootenay Lake's east shore. Check out trails that can only be described as "hidden gems".
To learn more about ESTBA or donate, visit their website here.
Ask any mountain biker about their favourite local trails, and you’ll probably get more than you bargained for. We love to talk about it, sometimes without being asked. Ask a trail builder about their favourite trails, and you’ll be treated to stories and knowledge only they could share. Insights into the highlight features of a project, absurd stories from when a trail was being conceived, and maybe even the history of it from the days of rigid forks and bad haircuts. In the Nelson & Kootenay Lake region, we want to celebrate these heroes of dirt, these keepers of knowledge, these “trail fairies” that ensure the rest of us have perfect rides.
Bike clubs and trail associations are rooted in communities up and down Kootenay Lake. From the Kaslo Mountain Bike Club to the Nelson Cycling Club and the East Shore Trail and Bike Association, we have these volunteers to thank for the incredible network of routes and rides that get better and better year after year. Donate or buy a membership and support our local trails. Ride Responsibly.