Want a locals view point? Free riding guru Jeremy of the Riding Fool Hostel in Cumberland, BC is full of useful info. Here is his take on the Cumberland area trails.
Cumberland Area Trails
Otherwise known as the shread-topia of Vancouver Island, Cumbreland is rich in trail from cross country and free ride to downhill. Primarily focusing on the intermediate to advanced rider, the trails here are progressive and technically challenging. Cross country loops start right out the back door of the Riding Fool Hostel and offer options of upto 2-3 hours in length. The free rider can also find amusement on these same trails as there are some well constructed stunts (log rides & teeter totters) as options along the way. The cross country trails are fairly rolling with no sustained climbs - excellent singlespeed terrain. The downhill/free ride options also start right out the back door but require a little more climbing (420 metres) to get the elevation required - the real fun begins on the way down. Trails like Bucket o' Blood, Ginger Minge, Dodge Balls, Grub, Stub, Pitty the Fool, and Chump Change will make you sweat adrenaline and leave you begging for more. These trails are peppered with stunts like log rides, ladder bridges, drops and gap jumps but also rely heavily on the naturally textured terrain to give you the best thrill. Words best used to describe these trails are tight and flowy. When you are done with your ride, plan on hanging out at Comox lake for a swim and some relaxation - then hit the cafe back in Cumberland for an espresso milkshake before the night begins!
Location: Cumberland, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Cananda
Activities: Mountain biking, hiking, equestrian
Access: Trail acces can be found at the Cumberland Recreational Center. It's at the end of Dunsmuir Ave. in Cumberland. As you head down Comox Lake Road you will see a road with a yellow gate - this is the main trail head.
Admission: currently none
Contact: Comox Valley Visitor Information Centre WebsiteEmail
Phone: 250-334-3234 or Toll-free: 1-888-357-4471 Fax: 250-334-4908
Mail: 2040 Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada V9N 2L3
Riding Fool Hostel - Owner Jeremy is knowledgable of local trails and very friendly. Accomodations were affordable and very nice as was our overall stay. We can't recommend enough! Bunks for singles and private rooms for couples available.
Mountain biking in, on and around Vancouver Island, British Columbia
By Dana Farnsworth, Outdoor Travels
Moab, Utah; Slaty Fork, West Virginia; Ashville, North Carolina; British Columbia in Canada - what do these three places have in common? They are usually mentioned when talk turns to mountain biking “must ride” destinations. There are other great places to ride, but few offer the shear number of ride possibilities and thrills that these three do. While Moab and Slaty Fork are specific towns, British Columbia offers many more choices in a Canadian province that seems to be designed purposefully as one big outdoor activity center.
Central on Vancouver Island, British Columbia is the tiny town of Cumberland. The pace is slow, the population young and hip and the riding is, as they say in Cumberland, “wicked”. The biking folk in the great northwest are a different breed than the cross-country riding enthusiasts that I‘m used to being around. The BC hammerheads are, well, just plain nuts. They fly around on big 50-pound bulletproof bikes descending summertime ski slopes at dizzying speeds. When that’s over, they huck through primeval bright green forests while leaping over all sorts of jumps, defying common sense riding over man-made bridges and planks that at times resemble contraptions that Wiley Coyote himself must have constructed. Then they return home and ride wheelies down Main Street. In my case, I watched in amazement as the owner of Dodge City Cycles, Matt, test rode my bike “one-legged” down the center of town with one full-casted leg sticking straight out to the side while he pedaled half strokes with his good leg. Right on.
I have never been that interested in the free-riding or downhill scene myself. I’ve always been more of a cross-country guy. I was skeptical of the guys clad in layers of pads and the big motorcycle-looking crash helmets. Consider me a changed man. After a ride on a particularly tough trail that featured a plank bridge that had been crushed by a rock and then rerouted by another set of planks up and over the rock, I was discussing with our host Jeremy, the immense sense of satisfaction one might have if they could muster the balls to actually clean it. Jeremy replied, “I get air there”. Imagine that. I can’t. I have a newfound respect and, I should add, idolization for Jeremy and his insane friends. I don’t plan to be jumping off eight-foot drops anytime soon, as I have no desire to break my knee in three places (like Matt), but I do plan to push my personal envelope a little.
My experience riding on and around Vancouver Island can be summed up with one event: One evening while relaxing in the Riding Fool Hostel enjoying a post-ride beer, I peered out of the window and watched in awe as a kid practiced stunts on his bike. Wheelies, endos, back spins, bunny hops – he repeatedly performed all effortlessly. I thought aloud, “I really need more practice” - then took another swig of Lucky Lager.
Note: Not all the trails in the Vancouver area require a giant set of cojones and a X-games attitude. In addition to sketchy trails that give most riders a chamois short full of poop, my wife Kelli and I found flower-lined rail trails, sweeping fast hard-pack as well as steep climbs and descents on non-obstructed single track that tested one’s level of fitness and not sanity. The choices are almost endless.
Help Keep Outdoor Travels A Free Informational Source!
By clicking through the links of these great outfitters when you want to purchase new gear, you'll not only receive the best pricing, you'll also be helping Outdoor Travels pay the bills. We certainly appreciate this simple gesture!