Quite a number of years ago some locals in Gold River decided they would build some mountain biking trails in the Scout Lake area to practice and hone their skills. The project took on a life of its own and a decade or more later some of the trails still exist.
As of this writing (2016), most of the trails still exist with the exception of the northern portions due to recent logging that took place a few years back. Those trails were left alone and have now become overgrown but still accessible for those who like a challenge.
The most popular trails are located between Highway 28 and Antler Lake. These trails are used every day by hikers and bikers so they are still in good shape. The trail from Antler Lake to Scout Lake is the most used by mountain bikes as the trails provide everything from extreme to easy riding.
Because the trails are used by hikers and walkers make sure to make some noise and be patient and courteous to others users of the trails. Everyone has a right to use and enjoy the trails provided and safety should always be first on everyone’s mind.
The Antler Lake Trail Loop is the most popular by far for all users with hikers being the most dominant. The trail starts about 300 yards west of the lake with a small pullout on the south side of the road access where you can park your vehicles.
From there you can walk across the road to the entrance which will take you down towards the creek leaving the lake with a nicely crafted board walk to get to the other side. Than you climb back up to the ridge where you wind your way along the creek to the lake.
Once you arrive at the lake you enter the old growth forest that encompasses the northwestern side of the lake. Here you will ride among some giant Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars and old Maple trees that have existed for hundreds of years.
The trail is very well maintained and has benches and board walks at various points along it’s length for resting or photo opportunities. Follow the blue dots on the trees and you will not get lost. There are logs where mountain bikers can ride across to avoid hikers or just experience the thrill of mountain biking at its best.
Once you leave the old growth forest and enter the second growth forest the trail will wind around the bottom of the lake on the east side. Here you will venture through an old rock slide that occurred decades ago.
The rocks are the size of buses and the trail works its way through them before coming to a branch in the trail which leads up to the road or continues on over a board walk heading towards the south side of Antler Lake.
As you pass the beaver den in the lake you will come to a fork in the trail that offers you a choice to proceed alongside the lake or head up to the road where you will cross (look for the blue dot on a tree) and continue up to the summit (Shovel Head Junction) where the trail branches off towards Scout Lake or continues on to the parking area where you started.
The trail that branches to the right and follows Antler Lake isn’t for bikers as it still is in need of some maintenance in one spot that goes up and over a steep bank alongside the lake. However, by heading up towards the road and the summit you will find all the trails originally created just for mountain biking.
Once at the summit aka Shovel Head Junction, you will see the sign that points towards Scout Lake and the other mountain bike trails in the area. The trail starts an upward climb towards Scout Lake and passes by the View Point.
Along the way there are trails like “High Log Ride”, “Monkey Motion” and “Scout Lake Loop” that meet up with the main trail. Other like “Heaven’s Gate” or “911” can be accessed on the southern side of the “Scout Lake Loop”.
On May 21, 2016, the first annual PBR Grand Prix will be taking place in Gold River for participants in the 2.5km paddle, 7.5km biking and 5km running events. This will be an excellent outdoor adventure experience and if successful will be an ongoing annual occurrence.
The event is part of a larger organized series of events that take place once a month from April to October in seven pristine wilderness regions of Vancouver Island. All the events will consist of three legs: Paddle, Bike and Run. In October there will be the Grand Prix where $10,000 cash and prizes will be awarded. For more information go to Paws For Nature.
To see what mountain biking provides and fun that bikers experience while participating in their sport watch this video of various mountain bike trails from across British Columbia.