People wanting to immerse themselves in dense forest cover will enjoy the Cariboo’s newest downhill biking shuttle trail near Likely.
Named Warren Peace, the two-and-a-half kilometre trail winds its way from the top of Mount Warren off the Winkley Creek Road and down through cedar and birch stands, coming out onto a forestry road.
Riders can go over or around several natural rock formations and five wooden stunt features built with dead dry standing cedar from the local forest.
“It came together so well,” said Gustav Vollmer who designed and built the trail with Chris Purdy.
Vollmer grew up at Bowron Lakes where he began building trails in his parents’ yard about 17 years ago.
From building near home he’s gone on to build trails as far away as Alaska for a movie, and in Wells, 100 Mile House, Revelstoke, the Monashees, Clearwater, Valemount, Quesnel and Williams Lake.
He loves building bike trails just as much as biking them, he added.
A contract through First Journey Trails, Vollmer said he was challenged to build a blue level trail with some black features that would be fun for all speeds and skill levels.
“That means a beginner can roll over things or a really hardcore rider can rip it at speed and hit all these jumps and features and everything in between,” Vollmer said. “That’s usually the goal with these funded trails — you build one trail but it is for everyone and that’s one thing I feel very proud about with this trail.”
It’s not easy to do and something he said he has been getting the hang of during the last three or four years.
“It was a nice change for a project to come out and expand on the Williams Lake riding area,” Purdy said. “It was a totally different building style, but it is a fresh new zone and it will be good to open it up for more tourism out here.”
Purdy had never worked with Vollmer directly, but has been building and riding trails in Williams Lake since 1994 doing volunteer days and he helped with the Snakes ‘n’ Ladders project a bit.
Warren Peace is a unique trail thanks to the diverse forest setting near Likely, he added.
“You don’t see the forest like this anywhere in the Cariboo that I’ve seen — just the variety of terrain — in one short trail is pretty amazing.”
Likely Xat’sull Community Forest License manager Creole Dufour said the trail is an awesome opportunity to show how sport, tourism and forestry can work on the same landscape and not be in conflict.
“It is great to bring this to small rural communities to give youth alternatives and reasons to stick around.”
The trail location was chosen because it can be accessed by a good all-season road, Dufour said.
It falls within the Likely Xat’sull Community Forestry boundary, which means it can be maintained long term, he added.
“There is an opportunity to build trails in every direction off this mountain and it is close to Cedar Point Park for camping and relatively close to downtown so it made sense.”
The trail is the first trail built from scratch within the community forest.
“What a great opening of the trail,” Likely co-ordinator Lisa Kraus said after she walked the trail in its entirety.
“There was such enthusiasm from the riders. Gus and Chris did a great job building the trail.”
Kraus thanked Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Likely Xat’sull Community Forest Society and the Likely Chamber of Commerce for financial support and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for allowing the project to go forward.
“The chatter and comments from the riders encouraged me to look into having another trail built in the Likely area,” she said.