The snowshoeing trails through the forest around Blue Mountain Resort highlight the wilder side of the high Escarpment. And though it may not boast the same thrills as sliding downhill, snowshoeing has a lot to offer.
The cardio workout is second-to-none, especially when you’re huffing up one of Blue’s bottom-to-top trails. And there’s no better way to appreciate the forest as it slumbers under winter’s sheet. This season, Blue is opening a new snowshoe trail, K’ Bye, adding to its already extensive network. Recently we talked to BMR’s Manager of Grounds Maintenance Geoff Tripp about the new route.
ML: Why a new trail now?
GT: The trail was built to add to our existing snowshoe trail infrastructure. We already had The Grind trail, but felt there really wasn’t an offering for people who wanted the snowshoe experience, but didn’t want to climb the hill. The new K’ Bye trail is a Green-level trail, travelling an approximate 1.5 km loop with gentle slopes. It’s certainly not nearly as intense as the Blue-level Grind trail. The K’ Bye loop provides several glimpses of a few of the other activities we offer on the Resort – specifically skating and skiing/snowboarding. And check out the small side trail just north of the Orchard lift – it offers a great view over the Southern Cross run.
ML: How onerous was the trail-building process for this one?
GT: The trail building process in this case was fairly simple, as for the most part we utilized existing multi-use trails. It did take some effort to revitalize an abandoned stretch of trail that traveled through a cedar grove – this is a unique section of the path we think provides a closeness with nature that hikers and snowshoers seek. As for the new sections, we simply cleared some undergrowth and branches and followed the natural flow of the terrain.
“It did take some effort to revitalize an abandoned stretch of trail that traveled through a cedar grove – this is a unique section of the path we think provides a closeness with nature that hikers and snowshoers seek.”
ML: Where do we find K’ Bye?
GT: The K’ Bye Trail is accessible via our South/Skating Parking Lot at the top of hill. There are snowshoe rentals available at South Base Lodge at the bottom of the hill. For those who want the full snowshoe experience here at Blue Mountain, we suggest combining both the bottom-to-top Grind trail with the K’ Bye loop–a workout no doubt, but a rewarding adventure in nature. You can even stop for a skate at the Woodview Mountaintop Skating trail as you pass by. Skate rentals are available as well.
ML: What’s with the name?
GT: The name K’ Bye pays homage to one of our longtime employees here at Blue, Gary Scarrow, who was instrumental in building many of your favourite hiking trails on the resort, as well as leading the crew on the build of K’ Bye. Gary ends many of his conversations by saying “K’ Bye”, hence the name.
Blue Mountain Resort just released their latest free trail map which includes updates to the snowshoe trail network. Pick it up at numerous locations throughout Blue Mountain Village.