VIC Temporary Closure, Services Continue

Your best source to creating the unforgettable

Back To All Posts

Family Mountain Biking with Dani

Family, Mountain Biking, The Local Take

The first year I bought a decent bike was the year my baby was born. I needed a way to free my mind of intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and chores.  I was exhausted and depression started creeping in. My partner, an avid biker, suggested we go for a bike ride! After an hour of being in the quiet forest, focused only on Steve’s instruction, I realized it was the first time in months that I didn’t feel some level of stress. It was the only time I forgot about the pressures, the lack of sleep, the everything. Along the way, I found myself reconnecting to nature and my body. We began to ride as a family at every opportunity- At first using the bike trailer, then a backpack, the shotgun seat, and eventually making our way down trails with the kids on their own bikes (such a milestone)! Seeing the kids connect with nature, get active, and feel the freedom that only two wheels can provide is wildly heartwarming! Biking is truly a connection between family. Hot tip: Laundry and cooking can’t find you on the trails! With over 65 kms of trails at Pidherny, breathtaking paths through Blue Spruce and Forests for the World, 39 trails throughout Otway, and countless parks to cruise through, we’ve got a plate full of options in Prince George! Here are a few of my go to’s from the time the kids were freshly squeezed until they were able to spin their legs themselves!

The Heritage Trail: 

This trail is short and sweet; An easy, approachable option to get back on your bicycle postpardum and get a hit of fresh air. Park on 17th avenue, right near the Kiwanis Bandshell at L’heidli T’enneh Park, then ride on the Heritage trail to Ingledew Street and turn back. It’s just over 2 kms (total) of wide paved trail along the river and is level ground- That means you can ride with your little one in a bike trailer, on a strider bike, or whatever works! Heads up, this trail is 11 km in total and can lead you all the way to and through Cottonwood Island Park! BONUS: Grab a picnic beforehand (Col Juicery has some yummy options for everyone!) and stop on the soft grass for a bite to eat! 

Cottonwood Island: 

When you’re ready to up your game, take the kids to Cottonwood Island! Head over to the parking lot on River Road beside the Railway Museum, and take the paved trail on your right side. This will lead you across a few bridges (always a kid’s favorite), through the trees, and loop back around the parking lot. Although this nature park is 83 acres, don’t worry about getting lost… If you continue turning left, you will find your way back to your car and will learn the trails in no time. You can also hunt for the spirit carvings that local artist Elmer Gunderson has hidden amongst the towering Cottonwood trees! Bonus: Be sure to bring some bird seed and stop to feed the chickadees!

Otway: 

Caledonia Nordic is an amazing, world-class facility to fully explore on two wheels, but here are a couple of specific runs to crush with your littles! Start at the upper parking lot. The trail from here is a straight line that connects to the Greenway Corridor. You’ll know you’re on the proper path when you pass the big gravel pit on your right. Follow the Greenway Corridor for about 0.5 km, all the way to Santa’s cabin. The cabin is an exciting discovery for tiny explorers and the perfect place to stop for snacks! (Note: You can turn around OR loop back on Pine flats (1.5 km) to return to the parking area!) Starting to feel more adventurous? From the upper parking lot, take the trailhead into Karma- follow Karma for about 100m until you see the sign for Twister. Follow Twister for another 100m, then you will see the trailhead for Tin Can Alley! This is a 2.7 km (one way) green trail with some turns, inclines, and declines! At the end of the trail, you’ll find a ’55 Chevy hunkered in the trees and a mountain bike teeter totter to play on! Bonus: With over 30 kms of biking trails and a skills park in the upper parking lot, the whole fam jam can keep entertained here for years to come! 
*Note: You do not need to purchase any passes to mountain bike here- Simply pull into the parking lot and explore at your leisure!

Pidherny Pump Track: 

The Pidherny Recreation Site is a 620 hectare area located off Foothills. There is a network of mountain bike trails within the site, but there is also a kid-friendly mountain bike pump track located at the top parking lot! Bonus: The entryway to the Pidherny trail system is also located here, so when you’re ready to conquer some bigger routes, the trails will be waiting!

Moores Meadow: 

For the ultimate Sunday afternoon slay, hit Moores Meadow! You can find a parking lot off Foothills Boulevard, and drop into the meadow from there, or from the 1st Avenue parking lot. The loop is around 4 km long and is stunning in the summer and fall months. The peaceful valley and meadow that make up the park was actually formed by melting glaciers in the last ice age! Bonus: Bring the pooch as this 150 acre meadow doubles as an off leash dog park! 

Something I cherish about our local trails is that we feel like we’ve escaped the city. The inner and outer noises vanish however we’re close enough for it to be convenient and feel safe when it’s just the kids and I. The sweet spot between two worlds. Happy Trails Friends! 

Dani is a wife, mom and craftswomen. Her most popular creations include cedar mountain pieces and mosaics, while she also plays with chalk art and window painting. Dani’s most powerful motivator is her family; Partner Steve, kids Zoey + Cruise, and Dog Milo. Dani is the Founder and solopreneur of North Soul Studios.