New Beaver Lodge Bike Park: Mt Revelstoke National Park

New Beaver Lodge Bike Park: Mt Revelstoke National Park

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Combine the speed and thrill of mountain biking with interactive stations where kids can learn about local wildlife and you have the new Beaver Lodge Bike Park in Mount Revelstoke National Park.


Photo by Heidi Korven


The new kids skills park in Revelstoke BC, which recently opened July 8, is about getting children out into nature while providing skills training for the budding mountain bikers. Skills such as terrain variation, looking ahead, balance and cornering can all be learnt and practiced at the Beaver Lodge Bike Park. There is even a beaver tail that gives riders a slap as they ride over, what kid wouldn’t enjoy that?

 

Parks Canada Visitor Experience Product Development Officer Zuzana Riha, was the main designer behind the art and sculptures which decorate the park, giving it a unique feel compared to other bike parks in the province. 

 

The concept for the park came about when Zuzana organized a ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day’ in Mt. Revelstoke National Park. The day, an International Mountain Biking Association event, saw an obstacle course built in an old parking lot. They used pylons, rope and a few basic obstacles made from lumber. The event was a success and followed up a year later, it was then that they decided to build a permanent kids skills park. 

 

Zuzana explains, “Our design process involved consultation with a mountain bike expert and coach, (Lorraine Blancher), to fully understand the skills that kids need to learn for mountain biking.  We wanted to create an experience for children to learn these skills in a fun way, and we wanted to connect kids and families to our national parks through a learning experience as well as make the park visually appealing. The idea of ‘creature features’ was used as a way for kids to engage their biking skills with a fun learning experience.”


Photo by Heidi Korven

 

A number of these ‘creature features’ displays are dotted throughout the park including a brilliant ‘Who Dung It’ exhibit, where seven different types of animal scat could be found and the kids can learn which animal it came from. Other features include a 6-metre long Coeur d’Alene salamander, a 2-metre high snail and a 4-metre long banana slug.

 

“The Beaver Lodge Bike Park also includes a dragonfly and a beaver teeter-totter that kids can ride their bikes over, an intertwined ‘snail trail’, a ‘seven scat swerve’ trail with animal scat, where kids have to learn ‘who dung it’, two giant slug and salamander trail berms, a culvert cave that they can ride through and over, a bike ‘fix it’ station, a picnic area with a set of red chairs, and much, much more,” Zuzana said. 

 

Lorraine added: “I feel it's unique and amazing for many reasons, the most notable point is that our National Parks are adding 'bike infrastructure’.”


Photo by Heidi Korven

 

The new skills park is located in the Nels Nelsen area of Mount Revelstoke National Park, which is also home to ‘nationally significant’ ski jump made famous by the ski jumper Nels Nelsen.


Words by Mike Cotton.  Cover/top photo by Kent Popovitch

Mike Cotton is a former journalist from the UK, currently dreaming of life in the mountains.

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