Riding History in Northern BC: The Alexander Mackenzie Trail

On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to ride the Alexander Mackenzie trail with Scott, Phil and Dean: three outstanding riders (I saw them for about 3 minutes over a 30 km stretch). This trail, called the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease trail by local First Nations, was a  super-highway running West through the Interior Plateau and Coast Mts. that allowed Interior and Coastal First Nations to trade items such as Oolichan oil and obsidian. In fact, this trail network and First Nations guides were critical to Alexander Mackenzie’s 1793 expedition to the  Pacific. Natives, from a village near the junction of the Blackwater and Fraser rivers, guided Mackenzie west along the river, then south into the Nazko area.

The Alex Mack trail is a 30 km in-out ride characterized by flowy, rolling single track with short steep uphill sections. Its ideal for all-mountain bikes and hardtails, however, fat-bikes works too!

This single-track trail heads West along a bench through stands of Douglas fir, birch and aspen. The South-facing slopes are covering with cured pine grass, juniper and some very large fir veterans. At the 36 km mark (36 km from the Fraser), the trails crosses another historic trail: the Collins Overland Telegraph trail. Surveyed and built in 1865 by the Western Union Telegraph Company, the Collins telegraph line would ambitiously link the United States and Russia. However, the project was abandoned not long after it was started.

There are some great views looking south. The short downhill sections are non-technical and quick, but you have to watch out for the trees…

Watch Downhill Video

Thanks to the efforts of local riders, this trail is kept open, however, there are still a couple of sections where massive firs have blown down. With a little effort even a heavy fat bike can make it over!

For more info on this trail check out:

Alexander Mackenzie Trail Info