Mountain bikers have 12 kilometers of new trails to explore in Thetis Lake Regional Park.
The trails are meant to provide a safe space for mountain bikers to be immersed in nature while practicing their sport.
They’re also meant to give hiking and equestrian enthusiasts space within the park to explore nature.
All paths on the new network of trails opened this week are rated by difficulty and designated for a number of uses including: hiking, hiking/cycling, hiking/equestrian or hiking/cycling/equestrian.
Capital Regional District (CRD) parks’ visitation is growing every year. In 2010, an estimated 5.2 million visitors utilized the parks and in 2021, those numbers grew to about 8.8 million.
With those numbers growing constantly, the parks need to be able to accommodate all the various activities their users require. This is the primary reason for the new multi-use trails that are meant to specifically give new space to mountain bikers.
The CRD will take on the maintenance of these new sanctioned trails while simultaneously working to decommission unsanctioned trails that have been deemed unsafe for cyclists, equestrians and hikers.
In early 2021, the CRD developed guidelines for mountain biking to make sure the needs of mountain cyclists were being met while also keeping them and those who share the trail with them safe.
The newly designated mountain bike trails at Thetis Lake are some of the first to have been designed by those guidelines.
Being that Victoria is one of the most bike friendly cities in Canada, the CRD say they are committed to building positive relationships with mountain biking communities in the region.