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All posts for the month April, 2008

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Sugarbowl Viking Ridge Loop

Access: Parking lot about 50 minutes east of Prince George. Well marked on the south side of the highway just inside the Sugarbowl Grizzly Den Park boundary. About 10 minutes past Purden.

Description:

This is a mountain trail starting with about 1 km through rolling cedar forest. It transitions to a 4 km climb to the top of an alpine ridge. The trail then follows the ridge to the peak of Sugarbowl mountain (6,003′) and continues to the saddle before Viking ridge. The trail downhills to the highway and one can run the side of the highway back to the parking lot (approx 6km of highway travel).  This loop excludes adding in the actual Viking Ridge.

There is a mix of old growth cedar, subalpine fir, full open alpine and lot of other plant  life. I have seen blue grouse and caribou on the ridge and sign of mule deer and moose. Although I am sure this is grizzly country, I have not seen any nor their sign.

This is a great all year around trail but it is only completely snow free for August. Expect heavy snow for a lot of the year.

There is water at the trailhead and at about 3 km on the trail to Sugarbowl Ridge. There is also water on the down trail on the Viking Ridge side.

As you get better on technical trail, you’ll be able to run this faster and with confidence.

This trail is sparsely marked.

Length: 22.6 KM for the full loop  with 5400′ gain.

From the parking lot to the ridge and back is around 8.5 km with almost 3000′ gain.

Difficulty:  The full loop is a lot of fun but is difficult, technical and subject to weather.

Other notes:

This is also an excellent hike. Other options are just the ridge, leaving a car at the Viking Ridge parking lot (to cut out the highway running) or just climbing to the summit and back (18 km)

Link to GPS file here

Link to Google earth file here

Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.

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LC Gunn

Access: This trail can be accessed on the south-east side of the highway 97 bridge near the BCR site or on the east side of the bridge on highway 16 east near the jail.

Description:

A lot of folks really like this trail. It goes from bridge to bridge and follows the river high up on the ridge. It’s predominantly Douglas Fir, single/double track with some ups, downs and a nice little hill climb.

Length: 3.5  KM’s with 685′ gain

Difficulty:  There are some roots and a bit of back and forth but this is a relatively easy trail.

Other notes:

This can be combined with a run through Fort George Park, the Cottonwood Island trail or some road running too.

Link to GPS file here

Link to Google earth file here

Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.

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The Free Running Trail

Access: Access to the Free Running Trail  is from the Forest for the World parking lot (Kueng road) on Cranbrook Hill.

Description: This is a great starter technical trail.  It’s gradual downhill with little jumps, rocks, bridges and other trail obstacles. Kids absolutely love it as they can’t really stop themselves from running the whole way with the neat terrain mixed with the descent. Last summer, all my kids ran this at least once a week including my four year old.

As you get better on technical trail, you’ll be able to run this faster and with confidence.

Length: 2.2 KM’s with 728′ loss and 232′ gain.

Difficulty:  It’s technical single track for the first 1.5 km’s and then double track or wider at the end. The last little bit is a  steep section before hitting UNBC way. However, the down hilling make it a lot easier.

Other notes:

You can combined this with a whole number of FFT routes, the UNBC Way hill or before you descend the UNBC hill you can go south to UNBC or north to the end of Crest road and loop back.

Link to GPS file here

Link to Google earth file here

Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.

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Fir Ridge

Access: Access to Fir Ridge is from either of the Forest for the World parking lots (UNBC or Kueng rd on Cranbrook hill).

Description: Quite possibly one of the nicest trails in Prince George. Mostly single track with a few climbs up to the highest point on Cranbrook hill. A must do.

The map above and GPS files provided have this as a full loop from the FFT UNBC parking lot. The actual Fir Ridge trail is just from FFT Kueng Road to where it joins the Greenway – but the whole loop is fun!

Length: 7.4 km’s with about 830′ positive elevation gain if this is run as a full loop from the UNBC Forest for the World parking lot.

Difficulty:  Pretty moderate. Single track, some logs and roots and some climbing.  A bit of difficult footing. A more difficult route when compared to the rest of Forest for the World.

Other notes:

You can combined this with a whole number of FFT routes and even the Greenway.

Link to GPS file here

Link to Google earth file here

Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.

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Unnamed Hart Trail

Description: Single track trail following the ridge north of the North Nechako River. One end of the trail starts at the weigh scales on the Hart Highway (Blueberry road across from Hoferkamp road) and traverses through to Foothills between North Nechako rd and the Garbage dump. It comes out near the new cell tower road.

This is a spectacular trail. Largely single track travelling through mixed forest that is predominantly Douglas Fir. The trail is well draining, sandy and there are a lot of good climbing sections to hill tops along the way. It is also one of the first snow free trails in town. There are a myriad of trails that crisscross this trail so route finding can be a little tough. When in doubt stick to the ridge tops.

Length: 6.5 km’s with about 1200′ positive elevation gain

Difficulty: Some steep ups and downs. Some difficult footing. One of the more challenging single track routes in town.

Other notes:

You can combine this with some adjacent runs like the Pulp Mill Road cutbanks climb, the Cottonwood Island River trail, Edgewood Terrace along the river or Foothills through to Pidherney. There is probably great potential to connect through to the atv trails to the north on the Hart.

Link to GPS file here

Link to Google earth file here

Beware that my wristwatch Garmin can be up to about 30 meters off.