Words by: Brent Hillier Photos by: Brent Hillier, Ryan Purcell & Jordan Drinovz
I've always been a fan of the mountain biking in the Fraser Valley. When Eli, Ryan Jordan and I decided to head out there for a day-trip I knew the perfect way to showcase the area. So we loaded up and headed to Abbotsford for a double down in the hills.
Rolling into town we stopped off at O'Neils Home Cooking for a classic breakfast sandwich. What appears to be a simple ham and egg sandwich on a sweet potato bun that's far from simple. An O'Neils sandwich would be the perfect ante up for our double down.
Who needs a truck when you can shuttle in a hatch-back. We loaded Ryan's Subaru and drove up the Sumas Mountain Road towards the upper parking lot. From there we had a short pedal up to the top Knob Gobbler.
Knob Gobbler is a 'pedally' All-Mountain trail that starts from the top of Taggert Peak on Sumas Mountain. The top section is a fun technical trail; rooty steeps flow into loam filled corners. One after another they kept coming, and we kept letting out the hoots and howlers.
The end of Knob Gobbler pops you out at the bottom of an extremely quick climb leading up to the crown jewel of the Fraser Valley: Squid Line.
Squid Line doesn't feature any drops, jumps, skinnies or steeps; it's 4.7km of simple fun. It's a flowy trail that can be shredded on your first visit, and my third visit was no a disappointment.
We finished our ride on Sumas, re-loaded and shuffled the cars and after a Slurpee stop at the 7-Eleven we were on our way to McKee Peak and the trail network known as Ledgeview. Abbotsford's other trail network is where I put my tires onto West-coast dirt for the first time eight years ago. Some things have a changed at Ledgeview, a large network of All-mountain and XC trails have been built on the backside, but the free-ride focused front-side remains, in essence, the same.
Using the freeride trail Speedway, as a climbing trail, we pedalled our way up to the access road and started our climb to the top.
From the top we dropped into Little Buttafuoco. The trails on Ledgeview are vastly different then Sumas. The dirt is clay-based and hardens up like concrete, the vegetation is green and consists of deciduous trees unlike the rest of the coast. It's a unique place and always provides a fun ride.
We made the obligatory stop at the viewpoint, took in the sights and took our photos.
From the lookout we made our way to my new favourite trail on Ledgeview. Mixed Bag is a perfect combination of pedalling and descending, it really milks the terrain and makes for a long, enjoyable ride.
From the bottom of Mixed Bag we headed back up the access road and dropped into Speedway to Lebiteme Mike. Most riders visiting Ledgeview will finish their ride there and head back to the lower parking lot. It took me a long time to discover one of the best trails on Ledgeview was just across the road.
Before Squid Line and Mixed Bag my sole reason for raving about the riding in Abbotsford was The Lost Oakley. The trail starts out as a fun pedal with a couple of punchy climbs. The middle section consists of a number of dirt jumps and freeride features. The third section of the trail is a steep DH line with a couple of drops and roll-downs finishing with a couple of wallrides.
It was a great ride, with a great crew. If you haven't been to the Fraser Vally I highly suggest it. Coming up next: A couple of big local laps on the North Shore and a week long adventure at the Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival. Happy Trails!
Stories, Pictures and Video of all my adventures, on skis and bike.