There’s now a place in Terrace for brave mountain bikers to ride through the snow this winter.
The Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club is shaking things up at Onion Lake and has introduced a fat bike and snowshoe trail this winter season.
“It’s just going to enhance everything that we’re doing out in that area, to have that option to go biking or snowshoeing is going to make it so much more attractive for people to come out,” says Dean Bergstrom, chief groomer of the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club.
The new 4.7 km one-directional trail will be solely for bikes with winter tires and snowshoers that starts beside the club’s electrical shed down to Onion Lake and returns parallel to the highway, with five exit loops to shorten the adventure.
Bergstrom says the clearing of the trail took approximately two days during the summer with lots of help from club members and the fire suppression crew of almost 20 people, as they were looking for extra work to keep them busy during the wildfire season.
“These guys were really on it, they were just having a good time working on the trail,” he says with a laugh, adding that he wasn’t expecting that many helping hands to get the job done so quickly.
Hearing feedback from members, they learned that people wanted to have other activities when coming to Onion Lake — especially if they weren’t skiers themselves and had to wait for friends and family to finish their rounds.
For several years, Bergstrom says they had an issue with snowshoers using the cross-country ski trails which sometimes led to collisions. Their tracks would also create ridges on the ski groomers and became a tripping hazard for users.
“Unfortunately, when the snow is a little soft, the snowshoes and the fat bikes do leave a bit of a mess… the biggest problem was to give everyone a sense of safety,” says Bergstrom.
Also new at the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club is their rental shop, which previously was a small, uninsulated shed. Bergstrom says they brought in an unfinished “tiny house,” approximately 30 by 80 feet, equipped with multiple rooms and a washroom, and fixed it up so their members could have a warm, comfortable place as they run rentals.
“We have a separate room for boots now and a separate room for the skis, it’s just wow, it’s amazing,” Bergstrom says. “It has a nice deck so you can go up the stairs up to the counter and put your order in, and grab them from another side door — it’s going to make a big difference for us.”
He says their total distance of trails is about 30 km and are planning to excavate more trails in the future as their club grows, currently standing at almost 440 members.
“We’re pretty excited about how this all is going to turn out for the years to come.”