A Guide to Biking in Nanaimo

Calling all cycling enthusiasts! If you’re looking for somewhere to ride a gnarly trail, feel the wind through your helmet or test out some new tricks and turns, look no further than Nanaimo – where cyclists of all skill levels are welcome to join the ride!

Do you enjoy ripping and riding on a downhill trail as a reward for the uphill climb, dream of the feeling of catching air from a jump or enjoy exploring cleverly designed mountain bike networks?

Maybe you prefer the speed and skill of the BMX track, or you’re a longer-distance cyclist who likes to lose themselves in the momentum of the pedal turning over and over?

However you prefer to turn the wheels, Nanaimo has the spaces, facilities and services you need. Check out our guide to the most popular Nanaimo biking spots below and start planning your next ride today!

Mountain Biking

Nanaimo has been quietly building a reputation among mountain bike gurus for having some of the best, well-thought-out and maintained trail networks on Vancouver Island. Head to the following areas for trails suitable for beginners all the way through to double black runs.

Doumont Road Trails with a network of over 60 trails, from casual to technical, this area will keep even the most enthusiastic mountain biker occupied! Most tracks are carved through the trees and elevated with wooden boardwalks, drops and jumps. There are plenty of bail-out spots and connections to different trails if you need a change of pace.

Westwood Lake is in the Mount Benson foothills, resulting in trails that offer a good climb and fast downhill ride. Warm up on the gently 6km multi-purpose lake loop trail then choose from one of the bike trails that skirts the outer edges of the park. Finish your day with a refreshing dip in the lake!

The Outer Bypass is a series of single-track and gravel roads that link Westwood with the Doumont trails, enabling riders to move between the two areas. 

Further riding is available at Extension Ridge, a multi-use, there and back trail that features steep rock formations to explore.

BMX Biking

Mountain biking beginners can master their skills at the Mountain bike Skills Park on Labieux Road. The park includes rails, rocks, bridges, rails and drops at all riding skill levels to help new riders gain confidence and others to upgrade their skills. Nanaimo’s Stevie Smith Bike Park is widely considered to be one of the best pump tracks in Canada, offering a unique spot to try our new tricks and skills, or just enjoy a few fast laps.

Built as a tribute to Smith, a local BMX Champion, this park in the middle of the city is popular with riders of all ages and skills abilities.

City riding and paved trails

Not everyone wants the experience of hurtling down a bumpy hill with only handbrakes to save them. Whether you are a long-distance road rider or just looking for a paved trail for a family-friendly afternoon ride, Nanaimo has plenty of options for you too.

The Parkway Trail and the E&N Trail both offer kilometres of paved multi-use trails that traverse the length of the city, linking cyclists to other parts of the city as well as parks or cycle the Queen Elizabeth promenade and waterfront walkway for a shorter, scenic ride.

Nanaimo has recently added dedicated cycle lanes in the downtown core that link to the E&N and other existing trails.

See this City of Nanaimo biking trails map for more information about biking routes throughout the city.



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