Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. The trail is now open. 
(Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Mountain bikers lining up for Hartland’s newest trail

Revamped black diamond run ‘what the community needed’

As a black diamond run, the newly redesigned section of Organ Donor trail at Hartland-Mount Work mountain biking park is not for everyone.

But the lineups of bikers at the top of Organ Donor show just how popular the trail is, and how badly needed it is at Mount Work, located on the Saanich Peninsula, just outside Victoria.

(And yes, the mountain bike trails have extreme names, ranging from off-colour humour, such as Birth Control, Lumpy Pants and Who’s Your Daddy, to the subtle, such as Small Craft Warning and Bubble Wrap.)

“Now that it’s open, everyone is enjoying it and sharing that stoke around the community, they are so happy to have this kind of trail in our community,” says Alon Soraya, vice-president of the South Island Mountain Biking Society.

What’s significant about Organ Donor, which has long existed but has had a significant reroute, with a new design, is that this style of flowy trail with built-up jump-style features has not been allowed in Mount Work park until now.

In the past, there were legal issues that limited the building of ‘features’ such as jumps and drops, not just in Greater Victoria but across B.C. However, in the past decade trail building elsewhere has undergone a boom and has put places such as Cumberland on the map with Whistler as one of the fastest-growing mountain biking destinations.

Now the stewards who oversee trail building at Mount Work are working to catch up. In the spring, the South Island Mountain Biking Society signed a licence agreement with the CRD, the result of several years of negotiations between CRD staff and a number of the society’s board directors.

“It supports us to do work like this and continue improving the park,” Soraya said.

There’s a long history of trail building, including recent work, however, it’s mostly unsanctioned, and the CRD will often step in to close trails.

Once South Island Mountain Biking Society had permission this summer, longtime volunteer and local mountain biker Jesse Jubinville couldn’t wait to build.

The work started in September with more than 1,000 volunteer hours in total and officially opened on Jan. 17.

“Hartland for years hasn’t had a progressive-style trail and has been left behind in comparison to other [parks] which have flowy, fun trails with drops and jumps. When I set out to build something, I wanted something for the community that all levels of riders can have fun on,” Jubinville says.

So while the trail is fast, it is a bit wider than the usual single track, and it covers the craggy roots and rocks that make Hartland “technical” and difficult, but fun. It also has opportunities to slow down where other black diamond trails don’t. There are also “rollable” options next to the bigger jumps, gaps and drops, so moms and dads can go easy while the kids go big.

This spring the CRD is expected to produce a draft management plan for Mount Work that the society hopes will include an expansion of the bike trail boundaries. That could open the door to build more trails, or even sanction some trails that are lesser-known and go back to the guerilla trail building days of the 1990s, but were marked outside the boundary when CRD implemented a management plan.

To get there:

From Victoria, follow the Pat Bay Highway (Hwy. 17) to West Saanich Road exit. Turn right on West Saanich Road, then turn left on Hartland Avenue to the park entrance on the right.

Learn more, including trail map and ratings, at simbs.com/trails

***

Please note that Provincial Health Protocols currently advise against travelling outside your region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Plan your future adventures throughout the West Coast at westcoasttraveller.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thewestcoasttraveller. And for the top West Coast Travel stories of the week delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our weekly Armchair Traveller newsletter!

adrenalineBikingBritish ColumbiaCanadaMountain bikingSaanichSaanich PeninsulaThings to dovancouverislandVictoriawct-intro

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read