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Hike, Bike or Paddle Your Way Through British Columbia

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For heart-thumping adventure, British Columbia offers a plethora of choices worthy of an adrenalin rush. Take your pick.

In Kootenay National Park, the Stanley Glacier trail has long been a draw for two-footed adventure. Bonus: tucked in the mountainside near the trail’s namesake glacier, paleontologists recently discovered 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale fossils, including the never-before-seen Stanleycaris. From June through September, you too can see these wonders on a Parks Canada-led excursion that takes in sweeping mountain views and camera-ready relics.

When your mountain bike trails sport names like Smells Like Bacon, Squealin' Wheels, Piglet and so forth, it stands to reason that a yearly celebration in your backyard be dubbed The Big Pig Mountain Bike Festival. Set to gear up August 15 – 17, this Burns Lake community-focused Northern BC competition features downhill, a jump jam, 4-cross, a beginner-friendly relay race named Wilbur's Wheelay and a 70-kilometre (43-mile) cross-country race, Dante's Inferno. An ideal way to cool your heels post-race: settle in for live music while you soak your toes in the lake at the base of Boer — or Boar, as the locals call it — mountain.

Should whitewater beckon, Hyak River Rafting offers a rush with its Chilko/Chilcotin/Fraser River excursion. Offered July and August, these three- to six-day custom journeys explore challenging whitewater, launching from tranquil Chilko Lake, rushing through the world-class rapids of the Lava Canyon before finishing along the desert-like terrain of the Fraser River. But it’s not all fast-paced action: casting for catches, hiking nearby trails and spotting wildlife round out days next to the crew’s ever-changing lakeside camps.

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