Prep your pack
For a more comfortable and stable carry, use a bike-specific backpack with venting back panels and adjustable waist and sternum straps. You’ll want to bring a few mountain biking essentials: water (either in a bladder or bottles), tools to fix a flat (tube, tire levers, pump, patch kit), a multi-tool, a first aid kit and snacks. This trail can be quite technical in places, so elbow and knee protection might be useful as well. Most importantly: wear a helmet when you ride, always.
Finding the trails
You can access the Five of Diamonds trail system directly from the parking lot at the end of Ridge Road. It’s well marked by small red square signs placed at numerous points along the trail. There are several points where the route is bisected by other multi-use trails, so keep an eye out for these markers. Trail sections are two directional and you can link them up in multiple ways.
What to expect
This trail system incorporates singletrack, doubletrack, open areas of rock face and gravel access roads. It covers roughly 7km, and depending on your skill level and the breaks you take, usually takes about one to two hours to complete. The terrain here requires trail-worthy bikes (think hardtail, full suspension or fat) in good working order; leave the hybrids, cross bikes and cruisers at home.
You’ll roll over Precambrian rock, slip through coniferous forest, power up grassy hillsides and buzz over boardwalk. Some climbs are gradual, others are heartbreaking. The trail can also become quite technically challenging at times and require confident bike handling skills.
Stop and smile
One of the best moments on this trail is about 1.1km into a section appropriately named Top Of The World. After a series of rock gardens, you’re rewarded with an awesome vista looking out onto the lake. Trees reach up to the sky, and there’s a slice of Falcon Lake separating the two at the horizon line. Spend a moment perched on the cliff and you’ll soon see why this is a popular stopping point for hikers and bikers.