Garneau Stage 4: Smallwood

Date:  August 1st, 2017

About Nelson: 

Gold and Silver were discovered in the Nelson area in 1867, leading to a boom that firmly established the city on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake by the turn of the Century. Now a centre for culture and outdoor sports, Nelson boasts over 350 heritage buildings dating back to the late 1800s. The city was recently voted the Best Ski Town in North America, with Whitewater Ski Area a short drive from town, and countless mechanized and non-mechanized backcountry skiing options in the area. 

Nelson also has a long history as a mecca for mountain biking. The area originally became famous as a destination for freeride and downhill biking and was featured in many early mountain biking movies like New World Disorder. The town features 7 distinct trail networks, some just minutes from downtown, primarily built by local rider volunteers. The Nelson Cycling Club oversees maintenance and development of the trails, including the development in recent years of many kilometres of new cross-country oriented trails, some of which will be featured in Singletrack Six including Fairly High and Upper Bottoms

For stage 4, we will utilize the Smallwood trail network, just west of town and on Stage 6, riders will experience the Giveout Creek and Morning Mountain trail networks. Our base for the final 3 days of the event will be the Prestige Lakeside Resort in Nelson, which is just a short walk from historic Baker Street. On and around Baker Street you will find scores of eateries, two great bike shops (The Sacred Ride and Gericks), plus lots of other attractions and amenities. The final stage of the 2017 Singletrack 6 will feature a start at Railtown, the heritage CPR rail station and an in-town finish. We’ll wrap up the week with a final banquet at the Prestige, and an after party to follow.

The Stage:  For stage 4, it’s off to Nelson and the Smallwood trail network. After 3 km of climbing on pavement, the route enters a short section of singletrack on Sproule Creek Trail, linking riders into the Sproule Creek Forest Service Road. Another 8 km of fast-rolling gentle climbing before the start of the toughest climb of the day… and maybe the week. Sweet Sally is a strenuous 400 m climb ascending high up the forested slopes of the Smallwood area. A couple more km of moderate climbing will take you to the top of the ridge, where you enter the Vallelujah trail. This singletrack is technical and challenging, and offers stunning panoramic views in all directions, including the Valhallas to the North. After a few km of rolling uphill, the trail turns to the south for some sustained descending, connecting into Antler Trail and then Smallwood Trail. A short but strenuous climb takes you to another great viewpoint, this time overlooking the Kootenay River and Nelson far below. Then you are rewarded again with the Bigwood descent back to the Forest Service Road. This fast roll along the FSR will take you to a final singletrack descent into the finish line. 

Distance:  Approx. 45.1 km

Elevation Gain:  2,083


*Data may be highly variable by device or mapping platform, as different software may use various data sources and calculation methods. Total elevation gain for the route on the maps provided is a middle estimate from multiple devices and applications.

2017 Race Guide with maps and schedule can be found HERE.