2018-2019 Goal – Connect West Pine trail to Flat Lake trail
MRWA has an ambitious goal for 2018/2019: connect the two ends of the McIntosh Run Trail System!
The McIntosh Run Trail System is currently spilt into two unconnected trail areas. The north end of the trail network traditionally known as the ‘Fight Trail’ (now evolved to McFight) is accessed from Alabaster Way and Mica Crescent in the Governor’s Brook subdivision in Spryfield. The south end of the network is accessed from Norawarren Drive near Herring Cove. MRWA has been working to connect the north and south ends of our trail system by building a ~4 km link between West Pine and Flat Lake trails (about 9 km between the two trail heads). This includes building two water crossings, one over Porcupine Creek and the other crossing the McIntosh Run River at ‘Pizza Corner’ (where the currents from a bend in the river create floating ice ‘pizzas’ in the winter).
Volunteer trail builders invested 1386 hours over the 2018 trail building season working on West Pine, Divide, Flat Lake, and Schnitzel trails. Volunteer build days were held weekly throughout the spring, summer and some of the fall with great turnout. It was exciting to see the progress made each week as the trail inched (metered!) along.
Divide and Osprey Trails to officially open
Volunteers also finished up Divide trail off of Alabaster Way this spring. HRM officials inspected Divide and Osprey (also accessed from Alabaster Way) and were pleased with how they were built. Both trails are now officially open.
Volunteers from East Coast Mountain Biking (ECMTB) spent a number of their regular bike rides building instead of riding trail. The group worked on ‘Schnitzel‘ a short loop off the bottom of Osprey trail (built in 2017). Schnitzel was completed late this fall. The trail has not yet had final inspection from the landowners and is not yet officially open.
We hired a trail crew!
With funding from Mountain Equipment Coop and the Province of Nova Scotia and through partnership with Mountain Bike Halifax, MRWA was able to hire a full time trail crew. A crew made up of 3 to 6 builders and rotating team of supervisors started in August 2018 and worked to extend West Pine Trail from the trailhead at Norawarren Drive about 3 kilometers to ‘Pizza Corner’ where the trail will cross the McIntosh Run River. The build included an impressive new boardwalk crossing Porcupine Creek.
The trail crew along with weekend volunteer build sessions also began working on a section of Flat Lake trail to reroute the heavily washed out ‘Climb of Champions’. The new trail route is now on public land and under formal agreements between MRWA and the landowners.
Other work included fixing up a few problem spots on the Attic trail. The trail crew finished late in the fall and completed their final workday in early December.
New signs and way finders
Trailhead signs were put up at the Alabaster Way cul-de-sac, Mica Crescent (Spar), and Alabaster Way (Divide) trailheads. The trailhead signs, when complete, will have trail sponsor panels, the new trail system map, trail ratings, and other information for trail users.
We’re also adding navigation aids within the trail network. Trail junction signs have been installed in many places with trail names and ratings shown. We’ve been adding ‘blue dots’ along the trail in the open granite areas to help users find their way.
Thanks for the support!
MRWA is pretty excited to connect the two ends of the trail network over the next year. A huge thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who are making it happen! Special thanks to MEC, the Province of Nova Scotia, and Mountain Bike Halifax. Thanks also to C&D Recycling Ltd., Thompson Reuters, and all the individuals who donated to the project. We also received in-kind support from Cyclesmith and Bromoc Print.