Granite Fondo 2021 (Rescheduled to Nov 14!)

NOTE: The Fondo has been rescheduled to Sunday, Nov 14 owing to rain forecasted for Saturday.

The Granite Fondo is here!!! We’re excited to hold what we hope is the first of an annual social MTB ride event on the singletrack trails! Come on out for a day of great riding and mingling on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

**Let us know you are coming** Say you are ‘going’ by Nov 11! Either email or on the Facebook event page. We require RSVPs to manage the rides and BBQ.

Sign-in is at 10:00 am Sunday at Hartlen Park. The first wave of riders will start around 10:30am.

Proof of full vaccination and photo ID required (we’ll be checking). We recommend wearing a mask when you aren’t physically distanced at the start/finish.

Donation in lieu of Fees We ask that each participant donates $40. This will be used to support Phase 2 trail building efforts next year. Please e-transfer to We will also accept credit cards and cash on-site, but the e-transfer option avoids fees and will speed up the pre-event checkins.

This is an untimed social ride, not a race. The trails remain open to hikers, dog walkers, other MTBers, and there might be two-way fondo traffic. Smile, say hi, follow the usual yield rules – it’ll all work out!

Route Options!

The courses are not marked so you should either a) stay close to a guide, b) have the route on your GPS, or c) already know your way around the trails.

  • 34 km: Ride nearly all the sanctioned McIntosh trails, some in both directions. Includes expert trails. Led by Kaarin Tae, Mackenzie Myatt and Artur Sagat. Passes NER Feed Zone at 10.5km, 19km and 25.5km. Major regroup at 19km turn-around to avoid two-way traffic on Granitude. Route on Trailforks
  • 22 km: Mostly blues (some dark blues), no black trails. NER Feed Zone at 7km and 13.5km. Led by Catherine-Anne Murray. Route on Trailforks
  • 10km: Super fun front country greens and blues, down to Flat Lake. Led by MRWA prez, Alice Morgan. Route on Trailforks.

For a .gpx file, hit the ‘download’ button in the lower right on the Trailforks route page.

All the routes require significant mountain biking experience. Expect granite slab, roots, ledges and drops, and steep but short climbs. Compared to most other trail systems, our trails are challenging and relatively slow.

Groups will be started in waves, with the 34km group first, closely followed by the 22km group. The 10km group will start 10 minutes later. The start order and routes are intended to minimize group overlap and two-way traffic, but it may still happen! More info will be given at the start.

More Details!

  • Parking. The Hartlen Park lot is small – Please car-pool to the event if possible! On-street parking is available but tight. The closest parking lot option is Herring Cove Community Dentistry, 303 Herring Cove Road (parking permitted when business is closed, entrance is at corner of Williams Lake Road). Trail parking is also available at the back of the lot of the Lions Rink on Drysdale. Please do not park at St. Michael’s Church since they have a Mass at 11:00 am.
  • BBQ! Cavicchis Meats, will be at Hartlen Park after the ride. Have a tasty grillable while you warm up, reminisce, and share your ride exploits.
  • Feed Zone by North End Runners! The NER are graciously staging a calorie reload stop at the Run bridge for the two longer route options.
  • Pace and Guides. The guides will keep a social, chill pace. If you are new to these trails, we recommend you stay close to a guide. This event is a great opportunity to have a guided ride of the trails if you are new to the area. You need significant MTB experience as the none of the routes are good for novice riders.
  • Presented and led by Mackenzie Myatt who has raced her bike all over the world as a member of the National Team and is aiming for the next Olympic cycle, and by Kaarin Tae, former Elite XCM National Champion, MRWA volunteer trailbuilder and organizer, and instrumental in developing multiuser nonmotorized trails in general across HRM by volunteering at HRTA.
  • Our Helpers. This event is possible because of help from the North End Runners,, Cavicchis Meats, Cyclesmith, and NS-DNR, HRM Parks and others who continue to work with MRWA on land access for the trails. Thanks everyone!
  • The fine print. Ride at own risk. 16y and over only; those younger must be accompanied by parent or guardian. This is a social group ride, not a fully supported event. Carry a cell phone and have what you need to be self-supported in case you need to turn around.

Sounds fun, but I’m a runner/hiker/snowshoer not an MTBer! We’re all about multi-user (feet and bikes!), but one step at a time. Hopefully next year there will be a similar community trail run event too!

Full Route (34km)

Mid Route (22km)

Short Route (10km)