Trails for beginners


Just got into mountain biking this year and I’m loving it. I always had road bikes in the past. My favorite parts of trails are the fast and flowy parts. I did nine mile river trails on sunday and that’s the most advanced I’ve done. Some parts were a bit tough but nothing too bad except I ate shit on a sharp turn on one of the boardwalks. The only other trails I’ve done are point pleasant, shubie, oakfield and macdonald sports park. I’m wondering what a good trail would be to hit up next. Something more advance than a walking path but nothing that I’d be walking through a whole bunch.

I have a GT aggressor 3.0. I had a cheap ccm dual suspension for 3 days then had to get rid of it…it was such a chore to ride. The GT, while nothing fancy, is so much more fun to ride.

I also started using strava if anyone else uses it, it would be cool to see other people’s rides.


Congrat’s! It sounds like you are hooked.

A couple of trail systems out side of town have some fast n flowy sections:

Irishman’s road is good step from Nine Mile River.
Victoria Park in Truro is good as well.


Trailforks and the MTB project are great resources for finding trail Systems. If you’re ever up to Vic park give me shout!


I’ll second Jeff’s suggestion of Irishman’s. I live close by and can show you around sometime. I, too am primarily a roadie but still do a little off-road from time to time. Ping me if you are heading this way.


Empire Trails (aka Gore) has some nice entry level trails too. Closer to the city, check out the McIntosh Run trails at Norawarren Dr. Not a lot of distance in there but you can do multiple loops to stretch it out. Great spot for anyone wanting to take the next step up from crusher dust.

Re: Strava. A bunch of us on here use it regularly. The best way to hook up with other users is to join in on a group ride, then check the strava flyby. It will show you everyone else that was using strava too.


The Bird Sanctuary in the Valley has great trails for all levels of riders especially beginners. Nothing too technical, and you can challenge yourself more by going faster.


Is it relatively flat? Kids hate prolonged climbs.


We were there not too long ago and there were no trespassing signs everywhere. Is there a spot there that’s not intentionally marked to keep people out?




I ride here 4-5 times a week and literally have never seen a no trespassing sign.
Where were you at exactly?
Your best bet for parking is at Evergreen Home for Special Care in Kentville.
Enter through the back of the parking lot. over the rail trail and onto a dirt road. Ride over a large wooden bridge (double wide, sturdy enough for a truck) that crosses the river and you are in. Single track starts on your left or directly in front of you at the top of a small hill. I put a mark on the attached map showing where you will need to get to in order to hit the trails. Im always available to give a tour of the area as well. Nothing is marked in there at all.

Bird sanctuary is very flat, but does have some great sections that are smoother and great for beginner riders.


Driving Along Brooklyn st


Ah gotcha,
You were on the wrong side of the Cornwallis River. The no trespassing signs you see along Brooklyn St. are in regards to Camp Aldershot the local army training base. They own land on both side of that road and most of it is all fenced in.
The bird sanctuary trails all are on the south side of the river. Google maps doesn’t really do a good job of showing where the actual sanctuary is. Strava segment explore shows a lot of the trails in the area as most of them are now segments.


Aaaaah! Honestly, I usually search strava before I run/ride in new places to see where people are going. I definitely didn’t when I went.


Thanks for all the info! I live in dartmouth so am thinking of trying out spider lake next time. Hard to get out with work and the kids and stuff though. And rain :frowning:


Spider Lake is quite rooty and rocky in places. Stay out of Replicator loop, unless you’re up for a challenge. It’s very rocky and bumpy. Same with Skull Trail. Inner Peace is not too bad for newbies. The main road can be bumpy and rooty past the Skull entrance, but it’s wide, so easy to find a good line.


I really enjoy Bird Sanctuary for flowy trails. I usually park by the pump house at the end of Mitchell Ave., ride down the rail trail to the Seven Bridges Road, and ride up past the Sand pit.

Reservoir Park in Wolfville has great stuff too.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of “in-betweensy” level trails around HRM. Nine Mile and Norawarren are probably the best around for newbies.

If you want a little more challenge, try riding the Osprey loop at Fight Trail. It’s fairly smooth, so you don’t have to deal with rocks and roots. The challenges are descending, cornering, climbing and riding narrow granite ledges. You can do it as a loop, starting at the cul-de-sac, finish the loop and come back to the cul-de-sac. It’s got tricky parts, but by riding it over and over you can practice it. The Shnitzel loop near Osprey might be not too bad for progressing newbies, once it’s finished. Doing the Spar/Nothin’ Fancy/Divide section of Fight Trail might also be a good loop for progressing newbies too.


PS Be careful on the boardwalks at Nine Mile. They weren’t designed for biking, and the boards run parallel to the trail rather than across. They are particularly slick when wet.

There’s one particular bridge with a sharp corner on it on the loop near the entrance. A general rule for cornering is to start a corner wide, cut the angle and come out wide. This also applies to the sharp corner(s) on the bridge(s). That one particular bridge corner used to give me problems. Now that I come into it as wide as I can it’s not a problem. Another tip for bridges is that you don’t always have to cross a bridge by aiming straight up the middle. You can turn onto a bridge or turn off if that helps getting on or off it easier, or sets you up for a better line as you enter or exit the bridge.


That bridge near the entrance may be the same one where I went into the trees lol. I took it too fast and not having never been there before, I wasnt ready for the sharp corner. The only other problem I had was a ditch or two that had rocks placed to get across. I had to walk over them. I dunno of it’s just me, but I found the trail maps to be confusing off the main trail.


Yes the posted maps are a bit misleading. They show trails that don’t exist yet.