2023 Granite Fondo, 3rd annual edition

The 3rd annual Granite Fondo is here.

Come on out for a day of social mountain bike riding on the singletrack and post ride mingling on Saturday, October 21, 2023. Rain day alternate is Oct 22.

NOTE: Rescheduled to Oct 28. All of the 21-22 weekend is forecast to be too wet.

Pre-Registration required!

Please email us your name(s) and the distance you plan to ride (34 km,22 km,11 km,or 3 km) by Oct 19. mcintoshrun@gmail.com

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

Donation in lieu of Fees. We ask that each participant donates $25 by e-transfer to  mcintoshrun@gmail.com. This will be used to support trail work over the next year. We will also accept credit cards and cash on-site, but an e-transfer 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, plus the Fondo riders. Smile, say hi, follow the usual yield rules – it’ll all work out!

Do you want to ride on your own or with a small group of friends? Cool, please feel free to ride independently from the the guided groups, on your own time. The routes are posted below.


Routes have changed since 2022. The 22km and 34km version will include new trails built in 2023! The 10km version is now more like 12km, gets you further onto awesome trails, and loops back on the community trail!

The Snack Stop will be at the junction of Granitude and Orange Jelly. All routes pass through the Snack Stop this year! Thanks to the North End Runners for hosting!!!

  • 34(ish) km: Ride nearly all the sanctioned McIntosh trails, some in both directions. Includes expert trails.
  • 22(ish) km: Mostly blues (some dark blues), no black trails.
  • 10(ish) km: Greens, blues, some gravel and road. And the distance this year is a bit more than 10km
  • 3km, with basic skills intro, by RideEast: Are you a newish mountain biker, who wants to get in on the granite fun? This ride, led by the coaches at RideEast, will start with a few skills then a short green (+ bit of blue) ride. You must be 16 years or older. There’a cap on numbers, so we absolutely need you to preregister by emailing mcintoshrun@gmail.com before October 18.

For maps, details and GPX downloads, see bottom of this post.

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 and the 3km/skills group will start around 11am. 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.


Trailforks route badges can be earned by completing each route. Click the image for more details!


  • Parking. The Hartlen Park lot filled up early last year. Consider car-pooling! On-street parking is available but tight. A nearby alternative 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 Road. 
  • No E-bikes. Bicycles only. All motorized uses and all classes of e-bikes are restricted from trails on these lands by order of Crown lands minister.
  • 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.
  • Snack stop by the North End Runners! Once again, the NER are graciously staging a tasty snack stop at the McIntosh trail bridge for the two longer route options. Thank you NER! Heros!
  • 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. You need significant MTB experience for the 10km, 22, and 34kms distances as none of these routes are good for novice riders.
  • Our Helpers. This event is possible because of help from the North End RunnersECMTB.netCavicchis MeatsCyclesmithRideEast, Lance Hancock Design, and NS-DNR, HRM Parks and others who continue to work with MRWA on land access for trails and conservation. 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 or have a mechanical.


For full route info including elevation profiles, see the Granite Fondo event page on Trailforks!

To download a GPX or KML file of each route, look under ‘Save/Wishlist’ for each route on Trailforks (top right of screen).

Short route (green/blue/gravel/1km of road)

Middle route (green/blue)

Long route (green/blue/black)