Bigger Kids

6 family-friendly biking trails in British Columbia

Grab your bikes, trikes and trailers and enjoy these family-friendly biking trails in B.C.

Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler Photo: Whistler Valley Trail/Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

1. Myra Canyon Trestles, Kelowna This is one very cool bike ride: it takes you over a part of the decommissioned Kettle Valley Railway that swoops around Myra Canyon, just south of Kelowna. The ride is a flat 12 kilometres each way (so you can stop partway and come back) and has wide wooden trails with railings on either side. Along the way, you bike over a whopping 18 trestle bridges, through two tunnels, and take in amazing views of the tree-lined rocky canyon and the city of Kelowna. No bikes? You can rent from a company at the beginning of the trail.

Go biking: East entrance, Myra Forest Service Road> Free (Half-day bike rental–adult: $39; kids: $30; trailer: $25; helmets free)

2. Whistler Valley Trail, Whistler There are 40 kilometres of paved trails and boardwalk that connect Whistler neighbourhoods, with plenty of lakes and scenic spots in between. For a good family ride, try the Whistler Village to Rainbow Park portion, which is 6.4 kilometres round trip. Start near the Whistler Golf Club (watch for the Valley Trail sign to the right of the clubhouse) and follow the Rainbow Park signs. The multi-use trail winds along the River of Golden Dreams, where you can watch canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboarders. Have some fun at Rainbow Park—which has great views of Blackcomb Mountain, a sandy beach and swim area at Alta Lake, bike racks and a public washroom with change area—and then head back to the Village.

Go biking: Whistler Golf Club (trail is to the right of the clubhouse), 4001 Whistler Way> Free

3. Fernie Dirt Jump Park and Main Town Loop, Fernie If your little mountain biker wants to practice some gnarly moves, head to the kids' loop trail at Fernie Dirt Jump Park. Your kid will be able to try out some gear changes on small single-track climbs and bump over little wooden bridges. From the jump park, you can pedal east on the mostly flat, graded dirt or gravel 7.5-kilometre Main Town Loop, known locally as the Community Dyke trail. It circles past the historic downtown area, along the Elk River, Annex Pond and Maiden Lake (good spots to toss some rocks in the water!) and then back to the parking lot at the jump park.

Go biking: 250 Pine Avenue, behind the Aquatic Centre> Free, donations welcomed at Dirt Park


4. Vedder River Rotary Trail, Chilliwack An easy riverside ride beside the Vedder River in Chilliwack, this hard-packed, wide, flat gravel trail is suitable for little riders and bike trailers. It runs 8 kilometres with several access points along the way if you want to shorten the ride, plus picnic tables, benches and portable toilets en route. Kids will like the smartphone feature—just scan the QR code on signs along the trail to get a self-guided video tour at each stop. If you have time, take a fun little detour into the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve just off the trail, which has free admission, public washrooms, walking trails, and an interpretive centre.

Go biking: Parking lot beside Vedder Crossing bridge, Chilliwack (and head west)> Free

5. Shoreline Trail Bike Path, Port Moody This horseshoe-shaped, well-marked paved bike path along Port Moody’s waterfront is 5.5 kilometres from end to end. Even your tyke on a trike can manage it. Start at the popular Rocky Point Park, where older kids can try out their skills at the PoMo Rotary Bike Trials Park (for mountain bikes) and SK8 Park (for BMX). There’s a waterpark for the whole family to enjoy, a playground, a fish-and-chips restaurant and an ice cream shop. From there, bike along the trail, right beside the Burrard Inlet, with sparkling waves lapping on the beach and overhanging trees creating leafy green tunnels. Stop at Old Orchard Park, which also has playgrounds and public washrooms, then zip back the way you came.

Go biking: Rocky Point Park, 2800 Block Murray Street> Free 6. Beaver Lake trail, Vancouver Biking the Stanley Park seawall is considered a must-do in Vancouver, but the crowds combined with the sections without railings make parents of wobbly new riders hesitate. Fortunately there’s an alternative that gives you the best of both worlds: the Beaver Lake trail in Stanley Park. Located in the middle of the park, it’s a mostly flat trail about 1 kilometer round trip. Start just off Pipeline Road, then bike along the north end of quiet Beaver Lake, a wetland home for ducks and beavers. (The trail does go south around the lake but bikes aren’t allowed on that portion.) Then, bike back the way you came, crossing Pipeline Road this time, and venture out to the seawall to take in the view over Burrard Inlet. Head south to find snack bars and attractions like the Rose Garden and the Vancouver Aquarium.

Go biking: Stanley Park, Pipeline Road, Vancouver (access main entrance at west end of Georgia Street, west of downtown Vancouver.)> Free Read more: 10 family-friendly hiking trails in British Columbia> All the best in family fun: British Columbia> How to buy your kid's first bike>

This article was originally published on Jul 31, 2015

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