Mountain Bike Halifax
President’s Report May 13th, 2019

It has been a busy year for Mountain Bike Halifax and we are happy to take this opportunity to bring everyone up to speed regarding all the developments with Mountain Bike Halifax to this point.

For those of you who are not aware, we are a volunteer-driven organization that strives to provide, preserve and promote sustainable mountain biking in our community. Our board of directors consists of:

  • President: Charles Sutton
  • Vice President: Mark Gentile
  • Secretary: Jeff Vienneau
  • Treasurer: Andrew Bruce
  • Director of Operations: Marc Pike
  • Director at Large: Sarah Warford

Mountain Bike Halifax is an associated member organization of Bicycle Nova Scotia (BNS), a member of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), and member of the Sandy Lake Regional Park Coalition. MBH is a strategic partner with the Friends of Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes, the Sandy Lake Conservation Association and the McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA). Mountain Bike Halifax has worked with HRM staff to create a report requested by council to inform a regional mountain bike strategy for the Halifax Regional Municipality and is now working with HRM staff in the development of that strategy. In addition, MBH is working with representatives of Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry toward the development of a sustainable single track trail system in Long Lake Provincial Park. Finally, Mountain Bike Halifax is a partner with Positive Action for Keppoch (PAK) and the Annapolis Valley Mountain Bike Association (AVMBA) as well as other stakeholders across NS, NB and PEI working collectively with representatives of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) toward the development of a mountain bike tourism strategy for the Maritime Provinces.

From our inception, a key goal has been to raise funds to support current trail development efforts with the long-term goal of developing and raising funds for our own trail projects. What this means is that our first goal is to support the efforts of the McIntosh Run Watershed Association in further developing the single track trail network in the McIntosh Run Watershed.

This year, we plan to assist by providing funding and logistical support for the design and construction of the bridge to span the McIntosh Run at the end of West Pine as well as fund the construction of the trail connecting Flat Lake to Duck Pond.

To do this, we have raised nearly $26,000 in cash contributions. For start up and initial operating costs, we were generously provided with a cash donation of $1000 from four members of the Halifax mountain bike community – Doctors Neil Smith, Rob Hart, Tim Brown, and Bruce Macaulay. These funds have been key in establishing the organization and setting us up for success in accomplishing our goals. Additionally, we have generated more than $40,000 of in kind corporate contributions in the form of brand design, web development, social media platforms, and presentation decks for our meetings with HRM staff and our AGMs.

In addition to this, we were successful in acquiring funds from HRM with Councillors Tony Mancini, Stephen Adams and Shawn Cleary providing $9000 in funding. This generous contribution will be used to help fund the construction of boardwalks in the McIntosh Run trail network scheduled for 2019. We are grateful for the councillors’ recognition of the value that these kinds of trails add to our community and their support in making them happen.

A further contribution of $3000 has been provided by local business, RPM Productions in Bedford. These funds are valuable in that they will be used to support the summer’s build efforts but will also help leverage other corporate financial contributions to support trail development in HRM.

Finally, our most recent financial contribution has been received through our successful grant application to the Mountain Equipment Coop. In 2018, we were awarded $12,808 in grant funding to fund the Flat Lake trail including the boardwalk at the bottom of Climb Of Champions.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank the following who have supported us in the form of in-kind contributions with organization administration, web and brand development and print production: Kula Partners, Dose.Media and BroMoc Printing.

In addition to funding, Mountain Bike Halifax has gained support from Vision Air Helicopter Services to transport build materials to remote areas of the McIntosh Run single track trail system. There are some significant structures required to span waterways in the McIntosh Run Trail Network – most notably the McIntosh Run crossing in the West Pine area. This is a significant bridge structure requiring engineered design and special construction.

Vision Air Helicopter Services has generously offered their services to sling these materials in to remote build sites at a greatly reduced cost to facilitate the construction of these water crossings. This is a significant contribution as delivering these materials to such remote locations is a massive undertaking and would be near impossible to transport by other means.

Lastly, we have again, in partnership with the McIntosh Run Watershed Association applied for grant funding from MEC in the total of close to $19,000. These funds will support the development of the section of trail between Flat Lake and Duck Pond.

Aside from our initial goal of supporting the McIntosh Run Watershed Association, Mountain Bike Halifax has been working on a number of other longer-term initiatives to support mountain biking in HRM. We worked closely with HRM staff to support the creation of a report to council to inform the development of Regional Mountain Bike Strategy. The motion to move forward with the strategy was unanimously passed by council in January. This strategy will involve identifying and engaging key stakeholders, the identification and strategic planning of sustainable mountain bike trails and infrastructure, identifying sources of funding and a combined initiative from a recreation, ecotourism, and health-and-wellness perspective to develop and market mountain biking in HRM to become a world-class destination.

In addition to our work with HRM staff, Mountain Bike Halifax is now working with Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry toward the development of multi-use single track trails on the south west side of Long Lake in Long Lake Provincial Park. Long Lake Park has had one of the longest histories of mountain bike trails in HRM and Mountain Bike Halifax is working to continue the legacy with the development of a formally approved and developed trail network within the park.

Finally, MBH is currently working with a number of stakeholders in NS, NB and PEI in the development of a proposal to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to fund the development of a mountain bike tourism strategy for the maritimes.

It is the partnerships of local organizations, businesses and individual volunteers that are bringing mountain biking to the attention of HRM planners and will enhance the potential for future trail development. We are fortunate in HRM to have such a strong community of contributing members. If you would like to get involved and show your support, consider getting a membership with Mountain Bike Halifax by visiting

Charles Sutton
Mountain Bike Halifax