The Wells/Barkerville Mountain Bike Trail Project

Apr 30, 2009 at 21:18
by Tom Schoen  
The small mountain town of Wells, B.C. is developing a large network of MTB trails. I will start work as soon as the snow is gone and will post updates as the work progresses. This is my first commercial trail building project and I'm excited to make the transition from hobby builder to full-time trail builder right here in my back yard.

Here's an introduction to the project, more on the actual building process, equipment and my crew will follow.Wells and Barkerville
The town of Wells is developing a large mountain bike trail system. Wells is located in northern BC, 80 km east of Quesnel. Founded in the 1930s as a gold mining town, Wells today is a tiny community of about 250 people. Its main economic activity is as the service community for Barkerville, a gold rush ghost town that is now a historic park with costumed performers, theater shows, themed business, stage coaches – the whole nine yards.

For more information about the area go to or

The Trails
The mountain bike trails for the Wells/Barkerville area will make use of many of the area’s historic pack trails, wagon roads, and ditch lines – some dating back almost 150 years. In fact, there are so many of these existing trails, that a big challenge in this project is selecting which ones to include in the mountain bike system. Too many trails to choose from – it’s an enviable problem.

The trails run through breath-taking landscapes of all types. Quiet wetlands, dense forest, and alpine meadows are all part of the scenery. There are some easy, level routes; but also a great selection of more challenging rides with lots of elevation changes as riders make their way into the Cariboo Mountains.

The Project
The mountain bike trails project will repair a core network of trails – complete with signage and up-to-date maps. There are lots of trails for the more adventurous riders to follow further into the wilderness. The log-term plan is to upgrade more and more of these trails in future years, but for this year the project will focus on the close to town network.

Although these trails are for the most part already existing, there is a lot of work to be done. Danger tree removal, brushing, tread repair, drainage remediation, bridges, signage, outhouses, etc. all needs to be done.

Marketing the trails is another aspect of the project. A component of this will be an event to take place some time this fall (2009) – after most of the season’s work has been accomplished. Watch for announcements about our inaugural trail ride event.


  • 1 0
 Sweet! I can't wait to get up there to ride this network. My family grew up working at Northwoods Inn before it burned down, and used to *shuttle* up the old skill hill and bushwhack ride through there back in the 80's. (Surely you know Neil and Virgie)

Be great to see more interest in new places for younger people, not just the ol 'tourists' driving to see the gold rush town.

Would like to hear more info on the trails, I would definitely spread the word in Squamish to check it out. Never can ride enough trails.
  • 0 0
 I grew up in Wells. I lived there for 17 years. There are endless possibilities for trails. It's awesome to see someone take it on. I'll definately come ride some trails. I'd come help but I live in Vancouver now. My family still own Northwoods Lodge in Wells. It actually used to be the hospital in the late 30's early 40's.
  • 0 0
 I was building some trails in wells last year - wells has crazy(!) potential for cross country and downhill.

its all about bringing in a gas power brusher to get ride of those damn willows

Good luck with your project - I'm sure I'll see you up there in July.
  • 0 0
 Pretty cool, if I was living in Canada, I would come and join your team because I think this is a great opportunity for your small town and hope that I'll work for you and your friend. I'm sure it will bring new tourists and business to you.

GOOD LUCK_ from Switzerland ( the country with so many singletack that you can't count!)
  • 0 0
 thanks! I was only riding in the Bavarian Alps (Bikepark Oberammergau) and never made it to Switzerland yet... just read a story about epic singletrack in Switzerland (I think it was in Decline)....
sounds incredible.
  • 1 0
 Sounds cool. I'm from PG and would definitely come down to ride in Wells if the trail network was a bit better laid out. Let me know if you need any mapping skillz, might be able to help out.
  • 0 0
 i am also stoked to see this progress! i moved to quesnel 2 years ago from the north shore... it is great to see the community growing, thanks for taking this project on caribooyj.... i'm happy to lend a hand as well!
  • 1 0
 Saweet! Love the area...willing to lend a hand, just put the word out, I'll be there!! Good to see your drive and enthusiasm...I'm from 100 MILE...
  • 0 0
 Keep sending would not take much to encourage me (and I am sure a sh1tload of other folks) to come up that way and help build (and ride) for a couple days!
  • 0 0
 Wow, thanks for all the positive feedback and comments so far.... great community spirit here on Pinkbike! Now if only the snow would melt... I want to get started.
  • 1 1
 the uk needs more areas like that and a more accepted trail building areas less knockers more diggers
  • 0 1
the UK has f*ck all when it comes to legal trails
  • 0 1
 You guys have a little more elevation to work with than the trail I'm making in Wells (Minnesota):

-Chris D

  • 1 1
 good job!, my respect grows and grows, we need more individuals like you to progress this sport properly
  • 0 1
  • 0 0
 Definately an awesome idea, we go snowmobiling up there all the time so MTB trails would be wicked!!
  • 0 0
 If you guys ever need a hand let me know I would love to help, and I live in Prince George.
  • 1 1
 nice projekt i hope to see more pictures soon
  • 1 1
 Nice, hope it will turn out great! GL guys! Smile
  • 0 0
 Great to see this type of organized approach! Well done..
  • 2 3

Borat Big Grin
  • 0 1
 Yeah It Will Definatly Be Really Nice!
  • 0 0
 Its Nice!
  • 0 1
 good luck with the trail building.... ever need a hand send a msg
  • 0 1
 beautiful surrounding there
  • 0 1
 Sweeeeeeeet I just moved to quesnel.
  • 0 0
 nice work man
  • 0 0
 it is
  • 0 3
 Sweet trails, nice write up. Nice little sculpture, too. Is that a Specialized Big Hit?
  • 2 1
 its a demo

Post a Comment

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2021. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.030145
Mobile Version of Website