25.2 miles
4,199 ft
-4,181 ft
1,645 ft
High Point
This route is archived

TIMED SECTIONS: Note that for this race you will only be timed on the BLUE SECTIONS. You will be timed from the start gates to Aid Station 1. You will not be timed as you traverse over through the valley to Maple Mountain. You will be timed again from the start of Maple Mountain to the Finish line. Your cumulative time from both timed sections will be your final time for Day 1.

Welcome to an amazing tour of the best singletrack riding in the Cowichan Valley Area The race route will encompass local favorites on Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain with a one-timed course on each mountain separated by a transition that will allow you to spin out your legs. The route will mix it up with everything from undulating singletrack, too fast and flowy berms and whoops, and some sections that will put your technical skills to the test.

Detailed Description
BC Bike Race 2019 - Day 1 (Cowichan Valley) is a 25 mile expert race route located near Duncan British Columbia. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a extreme overall physical rating. This route includes 11 trails. This route climbs 4,199 ft with a max elevation of 1,645 ft then descends -4,181 ft.
Route Supporters
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society (www.cowichantrails.ca)
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
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Past Events

45 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
fiekaodclked (Jul 31, 2022 at 6:40)
Trail Lower Xylem
The entire Xylem climb is one of the best, if not the best climb I've ever ridden. Middle Xylem is probably on par with the hard parts of the No Quarter climb on Fromme. I can't wait to ride this again.
  • + 1
fiekaodclked (Jul 31, 2022 at 6:37)
I love this trail. I'd rate it as very similar to Miss Fire at Whistler Creekside. Very steep but lots of slabs. Upper Maple Syrup should be no problem if you're used to riding North Vancouver black trails.
  • + 1
heckler999 (Jul 17, 2022 at 21:40)
Very good trail but anywhere other than BC it's fair to say this is double black. The crux, near the top, is a steep rocky section- fairly short but anyone coming up expecting blue is in for a bit of walking (prob a few other spots as well). Anyone expecting DH is in for some walking as well- only the other way.
  • + 1
Arkinien (Jun 8, 2022 at 12:27)
Trail Lower Xylem
Beautiful climbing Trail
  • + 1
Arkinien (Jun 8, 2022 at 12:27)
Trail Lower Xylem
Beautiful climbing through
  • + 1
gabrielamadeus OTTA (Apr 13, 2022 at 8:40)
Trail Lower Xylem
Just visited from Oregon and this has got to be the best climbing trail I've ridden. Even grade, a few fun coasting segments, lots of nice turns and some fun uphill tech. Hats off to the builders!
  • + 0
colchilibeck (Apr 2, 2022 at 13:33)
I would agree with the previous comment. I found it a touch more difficult than upper with the chunky tech and more climbing. If you don’t enjoy climbing, you won’t be happy on this trail. But that doesn’t mean it warrants bad reviews! It’s still a great trail with a lot of spots that can get you into trouble. Worth checking out in my opinion!
  • + 0
gasman5 (Mar 25, 2022 at 16:39)
Fun trail with rock rolls and some sections of good flow. First time down may be worth scoping out a few sections before diving in. I noticed more berm work than the last time on it, hence some good flow sections. Thanks for the work! Maybe easier for some folks than lower Maple Syrup. Combo makes a good, strenuous descent.
  • + 0
gasman5 (Mar 25, 2022 at 16:35)
Fun trail for sure! Found a touch harder than Upper Maple Syrup as some of the chutes were rocky and footy and required focus (but fun!) versus Upper with steeper but less chunky rock sections. And yes, there is some climbing which seems challenging by the time you get to it. Excellent trail!
  • + 1
cove24 (Aug 20, 2021 at 11:32)
Trail Lower Xylem
This trail is one of the most beautiful ….and enjoyable climbs I’ve experienced. What an amazing job the building and visioning team has done. We left just as the sun set and some of the views were impressive. Great trail that gets you access to Lower Maple and Phloem.
  • + 0
colchilibeck (Aug 3, 2021 at 17:52)
Trail Upper Xylem
A great end to the whole Xylem series. I loved every bit of that climb.
If you like climbing, you will like these trails.
A huge shout out to anyone who has worked on the trails at Maple Mountain. Amazing work!
  • + 0
colchilibeck (Aug 3, 2021 at 17:47)
Trail Middle Xylem
Lower and upper xylem are solid blue climb trails.
Middle is a hard blue and I found much more difficult than the others.
If you have strong legs definitely give it a go!
Maybe take a bear bell? There was a big black bear that scared the crap out of me lol! Mind the wild life!
  • + 1
colchilibeck (Aug 3, 2021 at 17:43)
Trail Lower Xylem
Great climbing trail! A must do when riding this
If you find it difficult, skip middle xylem and use the road as I found middle more difficult.
Upper xylem was similar to lower.
All 3 sections are unique in their own way and worth the effort if you have the legs.
  • + 2
colchilibeck (Aug 3, 2021 at 17:39)
Rode maple mountain for the first time today. Amazing work trail crew!!!
This trail is a single black in my books. It was very dry today which made it a little sketchy at points. But very doable if you are a confident rider.
Yea there are some climbs but not as bad as some reviews make it sound. If you like climbing, do the full xylem trail and enjoy upper maple. Then to get some flow cut across to Phloem and enjoy that amazing trail!
  • + 0
Mulay7 (Nov 11, 2020 at 11:30)
How is this a black
  • + 4
Rathalos (Sep 1, 2020 at 18:45)
I did upper maple today for the first time. And yep like everyone else mentioned its definitely not a Double Black. I'd say single Black for sure, and its not an easy Black when its dry out.
  • + 0
Robib19 (Jun 16, 2020 at 22:30)
I am coming to maple mountain later this week does any body have a good sugustion of a trail after upper and lower maple syrup
  • + 4
Jeffob1 (May 27, 2020 at 23:22)
Def not a double black as others have said. Rate as a hard blue and light black. No sections to get stuck or into trouble with, if you ride hard blue and light black trails. Worth the climb. Lots of fun smaller rock rolls and chinky spabs to ride down. One section is steep near the too, can be ridden or walked if needed.
  • + 2
jamesgreenfield (May 8, 2020 at 12:11)
One of Vancouver Island’s best. Hard blue with a straightforward fall-line black section off the top and some really nice easy- black rock roll downs. Not a double black. (It’s a BC Bike Race trail!)
  • + 1
jamesgreenfield (May 8, 2020 at 12:05)
A wonderful combination of old school and new school, blue with a few bits of easy black. And yes there are fairly steep climbs along the way so be prepared. If you only ride Hartland or one quick lap on Tzou it could feel like a lot of pedalling and a bit techy (hence some of the earlier negative comments) so judge yourself accordingly before dropping in ...
  • + 1
simonconde (Apr 16, 2020 at 19:31)
Who rated this a double black?
Blue/ black at the most!
  • + 1
fish (Oct 30, 2019 at 17:45)
Its closed off during the weekdays for logging
  • + 1
dirtworship (Oct 28, 2019 at 11:32)
Super fun tech trail. I would agree mostly this is a hard blue, but there are definitely a couple mandatory areas pushing this to a harder rating.
  • + 2
dirtworship (Oct 28, 2019 at 11:29)
This is a super fun trail, lots of twisty turns and rock rolls. Definitely still has some tough climbs to keep it interesting. A perfect example of the varying terrain the island has to offer.
  • - 1
BryceBorlick (Aug 10, 2019 at 9:09)
Blue descent with climbs that bump it to single black.
  • + 2
RKELLY (Jul 14, 2019 at 16:07)
Not much up involved in the trail. Really easy single black diamond trail. Not a dubble black!
  • + 0
DarrenBlois123 (Jul 4, 2019 at 19:27)
Don’t turn left at the first sign you see at the end of lower maple syrup that says solar coaster⬅️, that’s not solar coaster, It’s a little farther up on the left.
  • + 0
Brentical (Jun 16, 2019 at 18:22)
Trail Upper Xylem
Awesome climbing trail. So fun.
Thanks for the amazing work done here
  • + 3
Brentical (Jun 16, 2019 at 18:18)
I think it's double black because of that one steep loose section with the big corner in the middle of it.
Fun ride for sure, I love all the little steep rock rides on it.
There's a little pedalling involved in some sections but really it's mostly downhill.
If you cut across to the flow trail where lower maple syrup starts you get some super fast downhill Burma, love it
  • + 0
Sylvmarie (May 21, 2019 at 20:25)
More of a blue trail rather than green, but super fun!
  • - 1
KWStefanyk (May 6, 2019 at 22:31)
Lower portion has been taken out due to recent logging
  • + 0
japage (May 3, 2019 at 22:11)
Was there 2 weeks ago and Lower MS was closed for logging.
  • - 1
vanislebiking (Apr 14, 2019 at 21:47)
Feels very enduro and not very downhill. Very technical but but certainly not black. Every time you hit the bottom of a drop it’s climbing again.
  • + 2
yvonnem SIMBS (Nov 16, 2018 at 0:25)
Trail Story Trail
This trail is great for families with kids learning to ride because it's pretty smooth, not many roots.

My son (5.5, strong for his age) walked the ups and rode most of the down bits.
  • - 2
cottonmouthdug (Aug 11, 2018 at 16:58)
Double blue square at best. It is also classified as a downhill trail which is very misleading. Every descent is met with more climbs
  • + 0
Lukemarshall (Jul 4, 2018 at 15:29)
  • + 5
cdgordon (Jun 11, 2018 at 19:51)
since when is this a double black diamond? you may need to be fit to enjoy maple syrup, but it certainly isn't technical enough to be rated a double black.
  • + 5
Maje SCC (Apr 25, 2018 at 21:32)
Rode this trail today for the first time and ran into a couple of the builders putting down some sweat equity. Thanks fellas, great trail, I'm tired!
  • + 2
Stasher CTSS (Apr 27, 2018 at 13:00)
Thanks for checking out the trails Maje, those would be the hardworking builders of the CTSS. Hope you had a great ride.
  • + 8
tashi (Jan 3, 2018 at 10:22)
Hey guys, thanks for the wicked trail! Just thought I'd balance out the bitchin' a bit and let you know that there are still riders out there that like pedaling their bicycles, can navigate a super simple network of fire roads, and don't act like trails are products for our approval and consumption. Keep up the good work on Maple!
  • + 4
Stasher CTSS (Jan 30, 2018 at 11:50)
Thanks for your support Tashi. We are constantly striving to maintain and develop trails to meet all types of riding and terrain. We will be improving signage, trailforks info and more trails on this mountain in the near future. Cheers
  • - 3
BCsaltchucker (Oct 29, 2017 at 19:22)
This trail could have been so great. All that elevation you work for to get to the trail head .. is rewarded with a drastically non-flowing trail with far far far too much climbing on it. Too much of the trail shoots down fall lines which will mean bad erosion in future - these trail makers need to learn about traversing. I won't be back. Tzouhalem and Hartland offer much better designed trails. This one is a mess, not suited to anyone but the most advanced riders with strong lungs, by most measures it is a true double-black-diamond trail due to many sketchy rock rolls.
  • + 9
Stasher CTSS (Jan 2, 2018 at 8:21)
It's unfortunate that you didn't enjoy your time on Maple Mountain but we each have particular riding that we enjoy and not everyone will like the same thing. Maple Syrup was not designed to be a fast flowly trail like say DoubleD on Mt Tzoo that you reference. The trail was designed specifically to be a difficult and demaning single track enduro trail. The trail has been exceptional for maintenance over the last 5 years and we have had no major concerns. Looking at the date of your review it should be noted that we had completed a race the weekend prior with well over 100 plus racers on the trail. This would have left significant trail wear that would have been addressed on following trail days. We are very well aware that Maple Mountain needs a downhill flow trail as not all riders want enduro style riding. Therefore over the last year we have raised funds and are in the final stages to have a downhill flow trail approved so we can start building. I really hope you will return once we have our downhill trail built. It should be noted that due to the technical style of Maple Syrup we were just awarded the BC Bike Race as the opening leg of the series this summer which we are extremely excited to host. We appreciate your comments at the CTSS and with feedback we will know how to better improve.
  • + 1
Flarix MMBA (Sep 5, 2017 at 15:05)
awesome ride down the mountain lots of technical rocks and drops very fun. My only problem was there was a little to much uphill for a ride down the mountain and once you start the trail you cant get off until you get to solar coaster and there is an unmarked trail to take down to a dirt road. Seems like an awful long ride with no middle ways in or out in case of emergency.
  • + 5
Stasher CTSS (Jan 1, 2018 at 19:44)
Hi Flarix, the mountain will be fully signed in the near future, our previous signs were vandalized and stolen. There is an exit point between Upper and Lower Maple Syrup which is the m600 logging road. This is the quick and safe exit off the trail. This trail was specifically designed to be a technical enduro trail and now a downhill flow trail so yes, it is a work out on the legs and lungs for sure.
Deleted threads/comments are hidden

Route Sections

1 Timed Section
  • 10 miles distance
  • 2,707 ft climb
  • -2,361 ft descent
2 Timed Section
  • 11 miles distance
  • 2,269 ft climb
  • -2,469 ft descent

Trails in Route

Route POI

Aid StationAid StationAid Station
Aid StationAid StationAid Station


  • Race Course
  • Race Date
    Saturday July 6, 2019 at 08:30am
  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Point to Point
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
More Stats for BC Bike Race 2019 - Day 1 (Cowichan Valley) mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    17 ft
  • Altitude min
    87 ft
  • Altitude start
    250 ft
  • Altitude end
    266 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    14 miles
  • Distance down
    10 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
Avg: 1 (2 votes)

  • view (1)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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Trail transparency
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BCBikeRace 2018 - Mt Tzouhalem
BCBikeRace 2018 - Mt Tzouhalem
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Feb 1, 2019

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  • By BCBR & contributors
  • #11394 - 13,495 views