Help me plan my East Coast road trip to hit all the best riding

Hey folks,

Its been over a decade since I moved away, this’ll be the first time im back with a bike since then. Im taking the summer off between contracts and drove from BC, currently in northern Ontario, plan to get all the way to St. John’s and work my way back. Trip is a bit of a visit, lot of holiday, and scouting as we are thinking about moving back in the next 5 years or so (dont hate me, I know thats a touchy subject now - if it helps people feel the exact same way about people moving from Alberta and Vancouver where I live now!).

Man, theres so many more trails out east than there was when I left! I know Im going to hit up corner brook, st. John’s, and fight trail again (I guess its called Macintosh run now?), probably wentworth, but Id love to hear your suggestions too. New Brunswick has got some killer terrain and solid elevation changes, whats good out that way?

I consider myself an advanced+ rider, and I brought a 140/125 bike I’d be happy to try all but the hariest of stuff on. Throw it at me!

@j-t-g welcome! If you haven’t been here in a while you’re in for a treat.

The Mountain Bike Atlantic site is a great place to start for an overview of all the main riding hotspots. Plus there’s tons of other smaller trail systems they don’t list, that you can find on Trailforks.


We’re in a golden era of trails around the maritimes! So many great trails that keep getting better and better.

McIntosh Run (formerly Fight Trail) is pretty much a must-ride. It’s a very large trail system now, with unique granite-ridge terrain.

Victoria Park is also a large trail system, and is seeing lots of continued development.

Keppoch for downhill fun.

Empire Trails/Gore Trails is getting work and new trails.

Since I volunteer with Nine Mile River, I have to mention it, but it’s a much smaller system than these others and much more mellow. If you were ever on it when you were here 10 years ago, you’ll see a big difference. If you’re looking for a relaxed chill ride or want to take a newbie, I recommend it, but it’s Ok if you give it a miss this trip. :slight_smile:


If I was coming from the Ferry from NFLD:
-Stop at the Lik-a-Chick outside of North Sydney for some Fried chicken
-Big Spruce Brewing in Baddeck
-Hit up the Paved Pumptrack in Port Hawksbury to burn off the Grease/stretch the legs
-Check out some refreshed downhill Trails at Keppoch followed by Patio Beers at Oak Manor in Antigonish, or Coffee at the Tall and Small
-Wentworth followed by lunch or ice cream at the Masstown market or Tatamagouche for beer at the brewery
-Railyard in Truro followed by patio burgers/ tacos and Margaritas at The Nook and Cranny
-Empire/Gore Trails followed by Withrows Farm market for snacks/fresh produce and steaks for bbqing later
-McIntosh Run followed by Patio beers at Serpent brewing
-Hit the Gorge in Kentville and Burgher hill Jumps, Kings Arm Pub after
(optional side trip-ride the Harvest moon rail trail to wolfville, sample some wineries such as Mercator, hit up the reservoir mtb trails)
-Make a run to Brookvale in PEI, (coffee/beer, cinnamon rolls at bits bikes brews on site)
-Camp at Fundy, hit the pumptrack through the trees. Ride whitetail down into Alma followed by a dip in the Fundy Saltwater pool, then patio at the Tipsy tails in Alma
-Ride Minto, camp at Tiny Trails (Tap room on site)

If you haven’t seen it, this MTB road trip video is worth a watch


A lot of this but I would ride any of Poley, Sugarloaf, Whiterock, Edmunston and make Minto a if I had time thing. And Crabbe if I had the legs for it.

Minto has unique scenery, worth checking out but in my opinion, it’s ok riding, but kinda feels repetitive and bland, wouldn’t call it the best in Atlantic Canada, but maybe the most unique landscapeZ

Alternative Fredericton area ride is MVP, ride into the landing and have beer, or pedal 4-5 kM into town and have all the breweries you could want near by.

(My annual Minto spiel)


Hey all, thanks for the suggestions! I’ll give an overview of what I managed to get on the trip as I type from Montreal on my way back to BC. Unfortunately I didnt get to do everything as this was a hiking/camping trip primarily, but I did manage to grab quite a few riding days! One thing I was not expecting was that I think I would have been happier taking a bigger bike than my up-forked Top Fuel. Oh well, next time!

Overall there were a lot of impressive areas and Im looking forward to riding some places again one day.

Ride 1: I hiked to the top of Cape Blow Me down/coppermine DH to then ride down. It was a pretty solid hike, a great view on a clear day, and a fun ride down. My Girlfriend was hiking with no bike so I sessioned quite a few fun sections on the way down. The trail was 95% rideable, got a lot of funny “youre crazy” comments from other folks on the trail! Lucky to get a clear day, the owner of a shop in St. John’s said hes been trying annually for decades and has yet to get a clear day there.

Ride 2: Corner Brook - rode all the black and double black trails in the city’s network. The jump line at the end of axemate was pretty cool, and moose knuckle was a flowtech treat. Amazing scenery again.

Ride 3: after a couple days doing other stuff, we ended up in Rocky Harbour. I saw a trail on trailforks and decided to give it a go. Doctor D or something. Great name. I think its built by a single guy and it showed a bit, but i was happy to get out nonetheless.

Ride 4: Did a scouting ride of White Hills (St. John’s) on the north/xc ride. Very cool, very little dirt.

Ride 5: Did the DH ride of White Hills. I was really impressed with this network. Its so unique, its almost entirely root and rock. So little dirt that to build their flow trail, they had to hike buckets of dirt in! I think my favourite trail was Oceanside because it was such a treat to ride down a whole trail of almost entirely rock slab descents. I rode with some local rippers and saw they had grip (and 170mm bikes to my 120), and asked what tire pressure they were running. They said 20 front and rear with inserts!!! Thats what you need for the wet roots and rocks I guess. Overall a ton of fun, Id love to get back to the area on a bigger bike.

Ride 6: A big day of Pippy Park and Mount Scio. Pippy park is nothing special IMO, but a nice enough little XC network. Mount Scio is where the locals are building fresh tracks and it shows. I did every descent on Scio after a huge portion of the Pippy Park network. My favourite was Siren for its rock rolls. The steeper, loose tracks reminded me a bit of home, even though the dirt was totally different.

Ride 7: all the way in Antigonish some time later, at Keppoch. Missed the shuttle by a day, but thats OK because of the rain the next day anyway. Rode Skyline(twice) Olli Bot, Switchcraft, and Money shot. Hit the first drop of skyline blind and it was huge and to flat, followed by two tiny little drops. Oops! I believe I was the only rider hitting Olli Bot that day, and the biggest drop took a couple roll ins to get properly without anyone to follow. Solid, well built big jump line. Some folks there said the trailbuilder claimed it was the biggest jump line this side of whistler, which while its a great trail, is a bit of a load. Switchcraft left lots to be desired. I loved the flowtech of Skyline so much I had to get it again. Overall really impressed with what I rode there, would love to get a full shuttle day sometime.

Ride 8: Railyard and Wentworth -

Rode railyard in the morning and wentworth in the afternoon. I think the highlight of railyard was the two dirt jump lines in the middle of the park. I thought the single black line worked a bit better than the slightly larger double black line. Hit both a couple times.

Overall Wentworth was a ton of fun. Rode all the black trails plus kitchen party. Sadly Outer Limits was closed from the rain washouts, and I didnt have energy to go searching for any “bonus content” accross the street. Talked to a local who sounded like he knew what was up, he said Outer Limits is more flowtech than tech tech, which I guess is OK but I suppose I was a little disappointed there wasnt a single actual tech trail in the legal network so far. That said, what I did ride put a huge smile on my face. Kitchen party is like a DH pump track with gap opportunites everywhere and excellent sight lines so I could ride it blind fast. No name was the other highlight, i liked it a bit more than loveshack but they were pretty similar. Also the beer and hotdog at the shed mid-ride were great too!

Wentworth was an east coast highlight and it seems like you guys have managed to develop quite a little bit of riding culture in the area. Im really excited to see what the area does over the next couple years.

Sadly I missed riding Halifax due to the flooding at the time. Next time!

Ride 9: Rockwood Park and Shady Grove

The locals in St. John’s warned me their rocks were slippery. Even though I only rode them in the wet, in comparison, they were not. Rockwood’s rocks are slippery even when mostly dry! My favourite section was Skywalker, what a cool little descent!

Shady Grove was a treat. I was a bit tired from the Tech-C of Rockwood which really took it out of me, so I only ended up riding the little descending trails on the north end of the network (but I did manage to get all of those). Growler had some cool features, so did the kick off of Ridgeline which was a rock wedge booting you to riders right followed by a decent sized drop and a little gap. Shady grove itself (the trail) was fun too!

Ride 10: Poley Mountain and Sussex Bluffs

This was a sunday so it meant lift access at Poley. Rode all day there, I did all the blues and up and my girlfriend mostly stuck to the blues. She liked Maverick and Foxtrot, I mostly rode Tribute with some 99 laps mixed in after sampling everything. Biggest criticism is the throughput on the chair, hahaha, but theyre just starting out so fair enough. Tribute is a great midsized jump trail, but IMO theres still quite a gap between Maverick and Tribute, I think it would be tough to progress up to Tribute in a vacuum. Apparently theyre getting tray racks next year, which will really help throughput. Again, really excited to see where this mountain goes!

After the lifts closed we headed over to sussex bluffs. This was a nice little network with great views. The descent (and climb trail return) down to the second bluff was fun as it snaked through the gorgeous forest, as was the “2nd bluff alternate descent”. If i were to say anything its not about the trails themselves, but the difficutly ratings on trailforks. Much of the network is marked black (with the alternate descent marked double black, described as “steep and loose”; i was unable to find anything that fit that description). Compared to Ballistic and 99 a stone’s throw away at Poley, theres nothing marked on trailforks at sussex bluffs which should be rated double black.

Ride 11: Crabbe

I managed two laps of Crabbe, wanted three but I slept really poorly the night before and two was what I coupd manage. Woopie Pie was clearly getting redone, and has been flagged for the new route. Unfortunately not ready to ride as there was just some moto tracks beating the trail in. Oops!

The other lap was on Hectic. Another network I wish I had brought more than a top fuel!

The potential of Crabbe is off the charts. I talked to both shops in Fredericton and nobody really knew what was planned for the area, seemed like.

Ride 12: Minto and MVP

We did almost the whole network at Minto, only missing a trail or two due to closures. You guys were right, interesting terrain!

I was severely disappointed by MVP. I rode a handful of blacks and double blacks, as well as fern gully. In light of not being too negative on a volunteer built trail network, Im not going to say much more. I guess Fern Gully was my favourite except for the two riders who were stopped, texting on the trail, completely ignored me when I greeted them, and then forced me to get off my bike and walk around them to continue. What the fuck???

I wanted to go to sugarloaf and edmunston on the way out, but thunderstorms go the better of me for two days at both networks - not to mention locals describing the edmunston network as “gone” after the days of heavy rain over the last few weeks.

Honourable mention: Bromont.

Because I missed Sugarloaf, I had time to stop in and get Bromont (even though its not the East Coast anymore). What a great park. I did get heckled by some locals for riding the double black slab line under the chair on an XC bike (and looking like a total dork while doing so too, Id imagine). I can see why so many Ontarians make the trip.

Overall it was great, lots of fun to be had all over! Incredible terrain in many places and gorgeous forests all over. Im really excited to see what happens in the entirety of the Maritimes over the next couple years. The community is clearly starting to go off, starting to see sweet bikes all over.

Also, while the beer game is STRONG everywhere we went I gotta give the crown to New Brunswick for my tastes. Sorry everyone else!


Ah Fredericton riding at its finest. (Nothing like blocking a trail)

Luckily I believe RVC has or is planning on having Kodiak (poley and Wentworth builder) do some enduro stuff at Woolastook. That will be nice.

Huge things happening for Freddy MTB but it’s simply not as far ahead as places like Truro, Wentworth, SJ etc.

Also RVC keeping up with I think 5 riding areas spreads resources thin. I’m hoping to see a shift to prioritizing one or 2 and making something worth a trip from other areas of Atlantic Canada.