The Fox Mountain Trail Network will undergo a significant machine- and hand-built upgrade thanks to a $253,000 grant from the province’s Rural Economic Recovery program. Scott Horley photo

The Fox Mountain Trail Network will undergo a significant machine- and hand-built upgrade thanks to a $253,000 grant from the province’s Rural Economic Recovery program. Scott Horley photo

Williams Lake cycle club launches Major Fox Mountain bike trail upgrade

A machine-built downhill trail, along with an improved uphill route, are part of the project

The wheels are turning on a new project at Williams Lake’s Fox Mountain riding trails.

The Williams Lake Cycling Club initiative includes the construction of a machine-built downhill mountain bike trail, along with an improved uphill route on Williams Lake’s Fox Mountain Trail Network. The club received $253,000 from the province’s Rural Economic Recovery program to support the project.

Russell Bobrowski, vice-president with the WLCC, said the intent is to create a high-use trail, with the most accessible and largest existing parking areas on the trail network chosen as end points at Ross Road and the Tourism Discovery Centre.

“Machine-built downhill trails have become exceptionally popular in other communities and Williams Lake has experienced an introduction to this success with the rebuild of the Foxfire trail on Fox Mountain in 2019,” Bobrowski noted in the WLCC’s grant application.

“These trails appeal to a wide array of user groups ranging from beginner to advanced riders.”

One of the main goals of the construction of the new trail is to introduce and draw more people to Williams Lake’s world-class trail network.

The machine-built portion of the trail on Fox Mountain will be roughly 1.5 kilometres long, while another two kilometres of existing trail will be improved.

Construction will include wooden trail features, four complex features, cambered, curved and flat ladders, multiple height variations and high, off the ground, hand railings.

Also included will be eight wooden features and flat ladders.

Hand-built trails will include 1.3km of new single track and the improvement of another existing 3.8km of trail.

Bobrowski noted a picnic table will be installed at the centralized trail intersection for use.

Work is scheduled to get underway this May, and is expected to be completed by November of 2022. Up to seven trail builders will be hired in the construction of the trail and upgrades.

“The trails surrounding Williams Lake reached all-time highs for usage in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bobrowski noted. “However, these trails were not overly crowded due to the vastness on the network, especially when compared to similar quality/quality trail networks near large, urban centres (e.g. Kamloops, Revelstoke, Squamish).”

READ MORE: Williams Lake is the Shangri-La of mountain biking

While he said Williams Lake remains an attractive mountain biking destination which has resulted in increased tourism in recent years, there is still room for growth.

“This project should provide a showcase trail to attract tourists,” he said, adding it will also benefit residents of Williams Lake. “It’s going to be worth it, and so awesome when it’s done.”

Once built, the WLCC will maintain the proposed trail. They are asking users to stay out of the area once work gets underway as some sections will need to be closed down as construction ramps up.

READ MORE: A mountain biking novice tackles the trails of Whistler (mostly)

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