Club Profile: McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association

Everything you need to know to ride through McBride, B.C.

by Kyle Born

A pink snowmobiler rides a black snowmobile through rolling hills of white snow.
“You've tried the rest, now ride the best!” — Vicki Barrett, president of the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association. Photo courtesy Steven Cosnick

McBride is the most desired destination to ride in all of B.C. During SnoRiders’ annual SledTown ShowDown competition, McBride was named British Columbia’s 2020 SledTown ShowDown provincial champion. To win the provincial title in 2020, McBride had to dispatch the previous winner, Tumbler Ridge, in the provincial finals. In 2018, McBride was not only B.C. provincial winner, but was also the champion of the entire SledTown ShowDown competition.

The McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association is an enthusiastic group of sledders who promote responsible sledding and are dedicated to making McBride a must-do sledding destination in B.C.

Here’s everything you need to know to ride McBride:

How many kilometres of trails does McBride have?

Approximately 54 kilometres of groomed trails altogether. Renshaw has 30 kilometres of groomed trail, Lucille has 12 kilometres of groomed trail, and Belle Mountain has 12 kilometres of groomed trail.

What are McBride’s top trails/riding areas?

Renshaw, Lucille and Belle Mountain.

Loranne Martin, mayor of McBride, B.C., displayed signage downtown to promote the city’s 2018 SledTown ShowDown victory.
Loranne Martin, mayor of McBride, B.C., displayed signage downtown to promote the city’s 2018 SledTown ShowDown victory. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain Goat News

Renshaw

Renshaw is McBride’s flagship riding area and the largest managed riding area in B.C.

To reach Renshaw, head east of town on Highway 16. Take Mountain View Road for 21 kilometres to the staging area, which has a huge plowed parking lot with plenty of room to turn trucks and trailers around.

A short trail takes you to the main trailhead where an attendant will collect daily trail fees and confirm that beacons are functional. The 30 kilometres of groomed trail goes to the heated cabin. This area is for all levels of riders and has all different kinds of terrain. The easiest riding is within close proximity to the cabin. Beyond the cabin, there is plenty of technical terrain for the most advanced riders. Adventurous riders will always find fresh, untracked areas to play. Consider packing extra gas as this is a huge area.

Lucille

Make your way to Lucille by taking a short drive through town to reach the staging area on Lucille Mountain FSR. At the trailhead, an attendant at a booth will collect daily trail fees and check all beacons. It’s a 12-kilometre ride over groomed trail to get to the heated cabin. All levels of riders can handle the trail.

From the cabin, you can expand your ride by taking the granny trail through meadows into bowls. Advanced riders can climb the hill behind the cabin and follow the ridge to the bowl areas.

The MBCSA hosts their annual Family Day BBQ event at Lucille in February.

Belle Mountain

Belle Mountain is located eight kilometres west of town on Highway 16. Take Belle Mountain FSR to find the staging area after five kilometres. This parking lot is shared with Yellowhead Ski Club. The trailhead has a booth where an attendant will check passes, beacons and collect daily trail fees. A heated cabin awaits at the end of the 12-kilometre groomed trail. This area has all types of terrain for all levels of riders. It is considered the most family friendly riding area in McBride. It is also a great area for tobogganing and snowboarding.

A snowmobiler’s helmet is set upon the back of a snowmobile in the foreground. A wooden cabin with BBQ is in the background.
Lucille Cabin is a warm-up shelter on the way to a large bowl of snowflakes. Photo courtesy Vicki Barrett

How do I get to the staging area? Is there enough room at the staging area for trucks with big trailers?

Parking lots are able to handle trucks and big trailers. Ramps are available to get the toy out of the box of the truck.

Is it plowed regularly?

Yes

Do trail fees apply to all trails/riding areas? If so, how much are the trail fees?

Trail fees are $25 a day.

How much is it for an annual membership?

Annual memberships are $250. Pre-season (before Dec 1) $225. Youth (15-18) $150. Under 14 is free. Seniors 65-plus $150. Veterans and serving members of the forces $225.

Where can I get a trail pass?

Membership and season passes are sold at the Visitors Centre, located in the old train station. Daily trail passes are sold at the trailhead.

What kind of groomer does the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association have?

The MBCSA’s contractor, El-JA Grooming, has a Prinoth BR350 at each trail and provides updates on trail conditions. Trail information line 1-250-569-8871.

Are there any cabins or warm-up shelters in the area? What are they like?

All cabins have heaters, drying racks, BBQs and picnic tables.

When and where does the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association have club meetings?

Meetings are held at a local business on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come to the meetings.

How does someone join the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association?

Contact the Visitor Centre (1-866-569-3366) or come by the monthly meeting.

What year was the club started?

2011

On average, how many members are in the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association?

65-plus

Who is the club president?

Vicki Barrett

If people want more information about the McBride Big Country Snowmobile Association or snowmobiling in McBride, who should I contact? 

MBCSA website 

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