Generally when I hear the term connector trail, I picture a gravel road between two good trails, or even a paved bit to get us from one trail network to the next.
Best case scenario is a sketchy piece of overgrown double track that is only challenging because of all the branches smacking you in the face.
The connector trail is a necessary evil to put together longer rides in bigger areas, but generally avoided if possible.
My normal “straight to work” commute is eight kilometres. It consists of some pavement, the main gravel path through Beaver Lodge and the ERT road. It’s a nice commute with almost no traffic, but since I just got a new mountain bike I’ve been looking for more trail.
This morning I commuted to work and stretched my ride to more than 20 km, with almost all of it on sweet single track.
Over the last few years a handful of local trail builders have put in connector trails trying to eliminate pavement, gravel roads and those dreaded overgrown double tracks.
You can now ride from McGimpsey Road through to the North end of the Beaver Lodge Lands, and over 95% is on single track. Really nice single track.
I chose my route this morning and included some of my favourite trails, then I didn’t think much about it after that.
It was a fantastic ride and when I looked at my Strave map, I realized a few of my favourites are actually just connector trails. The local builders have done such an amazing job you can’t tell a connector trail apart from purpose built single track.
I think in most communities the necessary evil still exists, but in Campbell River we are lucky enough to have dedicated and devoted builders who understand what fun trails look like.
Next week I am going to try and do a 30 km commute with more than 25 km on single track, including all these great little connectors.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…