Hornby Island is home to some of the best Mountain Biking in the world. Whether you are looking to get your feet wet and learn how, or are a seasoned racer seeking some of the smoothest, fastest trails around, Hornby Island has it all.
With several trail access points around the Island, you are sure to have one near your accommodation. One of the joys of riding Hornby is that you don’t have to load up the car to get on the trails. You are never more than a 10 minute ride to the nearest trail!
If you are new to the Island, the first step is to get a map. Stop by the bike shop in the Ringside Market to pick one up. With over 80km of single track, you will be glad you did. And be sure to check out the Hornby Island Mountain Bike Association’s website for info on Hornby mountain bike events.
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Every Ride Begins With A Single Pedal Stroke…By Sasha LeBaron
Hornby Island. The name evokes stunning vistas, hot sandy beaches, cool forest lowlands lit with shafts of dappled light and of course the legendary buttery smooth singletrack.
Adrift in the Salish Sea, Hornby Island was long known as Ja-dai-aich by the Pentlach and other first nations who enjoyed hunting, harvesting and other more esoteric retreats there for over 5,000 years. Since then it has been transformed from a farming and ranching powerhouse, to a logging economy and thence to vacation hotspot and getaway for back-to-the-landers, draft dodgers and intellectuals. Then came the offspring!
They were born of the hippie movement but they wanted more. And sensing the hardscrabble history in the dirt of Mt Geoffrey they took tools in hand and started sculpting the 80+ kilometers of trails now available to those hardy enough to make the trek to “The Rock”.
Blessed with mild winters and good drainage, Hornby’s trails remain open year round. Spring and early summer offer lush valleys filled with the emerald green of the Coastal Rainforest complete with tacky dirt, almost abandoned trails, and otherworldly seas of sword fern.
As summer’s heat drives the majority of Hornby’s seasonal visitors to the beaches, the trails open up to silent morning rides and moonlight night rides. Swimming, diving, art classes, galleries and wineries further tempt, as days of riding take their toll.
Finally autumn arrives in all its golden glory and Hornby’s trails almost sigh as the first rains begin to soak in; but the air is still sweet with the scent of ripening fruit and the sun still beckons one back to the trails.
Even after November storms with accompanying downpours, the trails remain mild and even tempered and for those hardy souls with rain gear, a whole new playground opens up. Rain soaked moss, dew drenched spider webs and eagles soaring through the mist as you wend your way along the cliff edge, all are the rewards for those who find Hornby when others are back at school or work.
Leave the quad, the dirt bike and the jet ski at home. Hornby, like fine wine, is best savoured slowly over a number of days and best of all on two rolling tires.