For those who love grasslands, singletracks and exploring … come to Merritt! From easy city walks to exciting mountain biking, Merritt has something for everyone.
The Merritt Mountain Bike Association (MMBA) is your local go-to-cycling-resource. They organize beginner rides and have lots of trail information. Merritt’s trails are walker and horse friendly. Many local trails are listed in the Nicola Valley Trail Guide and on Trailforks.
There are five designated mountain riding areas with a variety of green, blue and black diamond rides: Swakum Mountain, Coutlee Plateau, Iron Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Kane Valley.
At Swakum Mountain, the Tom Lacey Trail is a popular hiking+cycling trail. It switchbacks up the north side of the valley with beautiful views and is open year round. It’s a great out and back and often there will be more hikers than bikers on it. For an easy access with minimal climbing, drive up to the Flagpole and make your way across Tom Lacey and back along the hillside with some great views.
The Coutlee Plateau is a little closer to town and this is where MMBA has beginner ride loops like the small and easy Flojo Loop. Locals tell me, “The hardest part of the climb is the very start so it gets it out of the way fast there is also the option to go up Pond Scum if you prefer a harder climb but you get a great swamplands view along the way. A very nice out and back is also just to walk The Cow Trail path to the end and back its a nice green double track that just rolls along. For someone looking for intermediate hiking/cycling check out the Too Much Info Trail. It loops back and forth across the mountain and at the end of each switchback you get a really nice view that gets higher with each corner it also follows beside our newly rebuilt Ridge trail so you might be able to see some riders making there way down some super steep rock faces.”
The Kane Valley trails are easy to access with good signage and nice scenery. The area is a popular cross country ski area in winter.
Sugarloaf Mountain has some great trails around Marquet and Lundbom Lakes. The grasslands around Merritt are a unique ecosystem and there is much information about the significance of grasslands on the Laurie Guichon Memorial Grasslands Interpretive Site. A great beginner loop is Coco Bonk-Access Road/trail-Marquart/Lundbom Road. Here’s an easy-easy route map to get you started:
Explore the City’s Walking Loops on foot or bike. Here’s a link to the map and directions.
Stop in and visit Travis at Breathe Bikes for local maps and all your biking needs. You can buy or rent a bike, try an ebike, repair a tire or kit your bike out with all the latest gear. The go-to-shop in Merritt for all things bike!
The map is a work-in-progress … if you have a route you think others would enjoy, please send tracks, photos and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org