Family-Friendly Bike Trails
Just as much as Pemberton is a great place for extreme mountain biking, it is a wonderful place for families to cycle. A large part of why this is the case is due to the Sea-to-Sky trail, an initiative spearheaded by Allison MacDonald, a local Pembertonian who back in the day was an extreme mountain biker. So things come full circle.
Many people who started out mountain biking when they were younger look to both road cycling and family-friendly biking trails later on. The Sea-to-Sky trail is the perfect addition to Pemberton’s cycling trails for families.
The Sea to Sky Trail Project
The Sea to Sky Trail is a 180-kilometre, non-motorized, multi-use trail that literally connects the communities of the Sea to Sky Corridor, from Squamish to D’Arcy.
The Sea to Sky Trail project is made possible by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and partners such as the District of Squamish, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Village of Pemberton, Dakine, Trails BC and the Government of BC.
Another important aspect of The Sea to Sky trail is that it is part of the shared traditional territories of the Lil’wat, Squamish and In-SHUCK-ch First Nations. As Allison mentioned, she is working in partnership with Johnny Jones, the Cultural Technician for the Lil’wat nation. They are working together to make sure that the trail respects all culturally sensitive places in the Lil’wat nation territory.
For more information on how to become a sponsor or to get involved with the Sea to Sky Trail Project, visit www.slrd.bc.ca/recreation-culture/parks-trails/sea-sky-trail.
Nairn Falls Connector
The Nairn Falls Connector, the newest portion of the Sea to Sky Trail, goes from One-Mile Lake, the small lake right you may have passed when you came to Pemberton (if you arrived from Whistler). This trail is accessible for bikes, strollers, pedestrians and cross country skiers and is a lovely, easy to follow path that children as well as adults love. Nairn Falls itself is worth a visit. The round trip is just over 4 kilometres, making this an easy nature walk for the entire family.
Whistler to Pemberton
The Sea-to-Sky trail will eventually connect cyclists from Squamish all the way to D’Arcy. Currently, the section from Whistler to Pemberton, a 32 kilometre stretch, is about half complete. This means that for about 15 kilometres, you’ll be on Highway 99. It is more than possible to cycle on this stretch of highway, but cars do go quite fast, and it’s not recommended for kids. The trail is complete to Wedge Woods, a subdivision just north of Whistler, and from Nairn Falls to Portage Road in Pemberton.
The ride in from Whistler is clean and the road is wide. It’s downhill, too, with a net vertical drop of 300 feet.This section of trail should be complete by 2015, so stay tuned.
Slow Food Sunday Cycle
This year will mark the 9th year of the Slow Food Cycle Sunday in Pemberton. This event is the first of its kind, but has proven so popular that many municipalities have taken this idea and run with it.
The Slow Food Cycle Sunday is the perfect family cycling event; a quiet day spent along wide farm roads, stopping as you feel the desire and sampling farm-to-table produce along the way. Music, outdoor cooking, face painting, etc. keep the journey fun and leisurely. Just don’t forget that the event happens right at the peak of the farmer’s busiest time! They’re often working, hard, as you cycle through. Still, they’re more than happy to share their bounty with you and offer a taste of the farming lifestyle in Pemberton. Find out where your food comes from and enjoy a day with your family at the same time. Learn more about Slow Food Cycle Sunday.
In part because of the combined efforts made by The Ironman race and Slow Food Cycle Sunday, road cycling in Pemberton is quickly maturing, and Pemberton’s benefits as a place to spend the day with family and friends are being noticed:
- Roads accommodate bicycles with 14 to 16 foot lane widths
- Encourages safe cycling
- You’ll find that the boardwalk and the downtown area make it easy to cycle through. Residents are already used to horses downtown, so the addition of families cycling is a welcome site.
- Accommodation welcomes cyclists and provides storage
- Basic bike tools are readily available
- Cafes and restaurants are cyclist-friendly
- There are both quiet roads to cycle on as well as the Sea-to-Sky multi-use trail system, allowing for different types of family cycling
- The weather! The Pemberton micro climate means that you can cycle comfortably nearly year round in Pemberton.