Distance: 3.3 km
Time: 20 – 45 min
Elevation Gain: 50 m
Elevation Loss: 261 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: March – November
Permit Required: No
The Marathon Trail is a fun descending section of the Sunshine Coast Trail (SCT), located in the area referred to as North of Town. The entrance to the trail is marked as SCT North and is found 3.2 km up Theodosia Branch 10 road – you may shuttle or ride up this access road to get to the trailhead. Marathon is an incredibly fun intermediate descending route, with a lot of flow. The trail begins with a few rock bluff rolls. There are several picnic areas located along this route, with the main one stationed at the Gibraltar Lookout. Remember to stop at Gibraltar Lookout to take in the incredible views of Powell River and Salish Sea to the south below, you won’t be disappointed if you do on a clear day. This is also a great place for a lunch break, as there are several picnic tables and a fire pit conveniently located on the rock bluff. From the Gibraltar Lookout the trail drops into the woods, popping out of the trees in several spots as it descends all the way down to Theodosia (Okeover) Branch 2.
From the SCT North trailhead, Marathon Trail begins along a section of well-lit, yet tight singletrack, leading to the first of several rock bluffs. The great thing is that the trail doesn’t see a whole lot of bike traffic, made apparent by the glowing moss covering the rock slabs and creating a carpet like appearance – it’s like riding on a well-padded carpet. After the first few rock rolls, the trail drops back into the woods as it traverses and climbs up to Gibraltar Lookout. From the lookout, look for the trail to drop back down into the woods as it descends west. This is where the real fun begins as you pick up speed and flow. The trail winds, dips and flows all the way to the Theodosia (Okeover) Branch 2 access road below. Marathon is meant to be ridden east to west, for maximum enjoyment and flow. However, please be careful of hikers heading up the trail and give them right of way as this is technically the Sunshine Coast Trail, primarily used for hiking.
TRAILHEAD | N49 56.539 W124 37.578
From town drive northwest on Hwy 101 to Wilde Road. Take a right onto Wilde Road and continue northeast along to Tomkinson Road. Turn right onto Tomkinson Road and drive to the junction of Theodosia Branch 10 and Theodosia Branch 1. Park by the gravel pit and begin your ride up Branch 10 to the trailhead, about 3.2 km up from the gravel pit. Or shuttle up Branch 10 for 3.2 km to the pull-off/parking area next to the trailhead for SCT North (Marathon Trail).
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
If you’re looking to loop this trail, consider combining the following (the local’s like to ride it this way). Start from the Gravel Pit at the junction for Theodosia Branch 1 and Theodosia Branch 10. From there ride Branch 1 to the trailhead for Appleton Canyon Trail. Climb up Appleton Canyon to SCT South and up SCT (west) to the trailhead for Marathon; it’s right across from where SCT South pops out. Descend down Marathon from there to Theodosia Branch 2. Ride Branch 2 to Wild Creek Loop trail, taking Wild Creek across to Tomkinson Road. Once on Tomkinson head north (left) to Theodosia Branch 1 – your starting point.