Rutting Up Trails Is an Act of Pure Selfishness



Rutting Up Trails Is an Act of Pure Selfishness

Some good advise any time of the year, but especially right now with our constant freeze/thaw ‘winter’ we’ve been having. If it’s above zero then the ground will be very wet and soft.

What has happened at Fight/McIntosh Run is a good example of the damage that can be caused by riding when the trail is thawed out and wet.


I’m not a trail builder so take my two cents for worth less than that -although my New Years resolution is to become more involved with trail maintenance/building/advocacy…

Great article. Unfortunately I think McFight will continue to be a victim of its own success with more and more people using it leading to more rutting and shortcuts. Moving forward, how do we prevent/ minimize trail damage? Try to educate people with signs/trail ambassadors etc-knowing that maybe 10% of people will get the message? Build trails differently with bridges over wet prone areas, block off potential shortcuts with fencing/downed trees etc? When I lived in BC there was a lot of wetness and more riders. A lot of wooden bridges and berms everywhere,-but also more resources-as in wood/funding/manpower. They also have some intense hiker/biker conflicts as well.
Sorry- just thinking out loud. I don’t have any solutions!


This was told to me not too long ago and though I knew it to be true, I never really thought about but having it said makes sense.

“In Nova Scotia, Halifax particularly, the way it works is like this. A new trail is made/discovered. Everybody and their dog rides the shit out of it until it has been completely destroyed. Even though there are other trails, everyone goes to this one new trail. By the time it is ruined there is a new trail for everyone to go to, then everyone goes to that new trail and the cycle begins anew.”

Looking back over the years… yep… Kearney Lake, Wrandees, Jacks Lake, Whopper, Fight Trail…Even Fitzies is showing signs of wear.

At least with Whopper and Fight Trail there is a disproportionate amount of granite, so the damage is limited. Spider seems to be going o…damn, shouldn’t have said anything.


That seems about right. Just human nature though. Folks get bored riding the same trails all the time. Something new opens up and it’s like a shot of adreneline. The only way to avoid everyone heading to that one new trail is to simultaneously open up a shitload of new trails to spread out the traffic.


We just need to stay on top of maintenance and education. Not much else we can do. There is always going to be a percentage of mountain bikers who just don’t give a shit. They think flinging mud from their tires is cool. In a distant dream, we would have a paid trail crew to stay on top of it.


What education has there been done on trail erosion over the years? I mean, outside of mtb forums?




Years ago, like back in the 90’s I had Trail Etiquette brochures included with the membership packages of people who took out mtb licenses with BNS. Wrote some stuff for the BNS newsletter, and of course, included my own version of the Halifax Trails Map Book (only $5!). Can’t think of anything else.


Also, when I led club rides for cyclesmith I would drone on and on about proper braking etc