Grande Prairie, AB - Eric Zoobkoff lets out a whoop as he flies into the air on his mountain bike. Seasoned rider that he is, the excitement of a well-built and maintained dirt jump still evokes that thrill when he’s suddenly airborne. And the South Bear Creek Area in Grande Prairie, Alberta, has just the right setup to launch you into an adventure weekend.
Laid out in a spoke-and-hub configuration and operated by Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park, the South Bear Creek area features a full mountain biking and skills park (where Nitehawk offers bike courses for all ages), a campground, driving range and the Bear Paw Par 3 Golf Course. Camping, biking, golf, hiking trails, it’s got everything you could need for a weekend away.
Basecamp at South Bear Creek Campground
Golf clubs? Check. Bikes? Check. Kids? Don’t worry, they can’t be far. Whether it’s a weekend with the family or with the gang, it’s easy to coordinate and connect with everything in close proximity from the forested comforts of South Bear Creek Campground. You can relax, put your cellphone down, pop your helmet on and roll into it.
Crank it up in the bike park
From baby jumps to massive booters, the bike area challenges all skill levels. There’s the main dirt park, a technical terrain features (TTF) area and trails to transition your practice into natural settings.
“South Bear Creek is a great place to learn. You want to jump? You can jump. You want to ride flats? You can do that. If you want to go uphill, you can do that too,” Zoobkoff says. “When it’s time for an easy cruise or to get into town, there’s trails to take you there too.”
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Swing into Bear Paw Par 3
With short holes (maximum 150 yards), no course marshalls, astro-turf tee boxes and greens, and a laid back atmosphere, this is the opposite of the country club experience. No pressure to tee off in a hurry.
“It’s short shots, which is challenging but it’s a good place for someone who doesn’t know too much about the sport,” says Brett Mace, Zoobkoff’s golfing buddy.
“Even for someone who has been around for a while, it’s got some challenging spots,” Zoobkoff chimes in, with a teasing nod towards Mace.
Go Grande Prairie après
After a day of riding bikes and swinging golf clubs, an overflowing platter of potato skins, wings and chili dip greets the guys at Jax’s Grill and Lounge.
From there, they wind the day down with a brewery tour and a patio beer at Grain Bin Brewing’s new patio, complete with shrubbery and a funky yellow and purple sunrise mural.
“I’ve lived here five years, but I’ve never been to some of these places,” says Zoobkoff.
“There’s a lot more to the city than meets the eye.”