Mountain Biking in Nova Scotia

Eigg Mountain
Eigg Mountain
Length/configuration : 24-km (15-mile) loop.
Aerobic difficulty : Moderate; the ride begins with a steady, gradual climb.
Technical difficulty : Easy; a combination of double-track trails, logging roads, and some pavement.
Scenery : Several beautiful views, especially along the final downhill stretch.
Special comments : Arisaig Provincial Park includes walking trails that descend to the ocean.
General location : Arisaig Provincial Park is located northwest of Antigonish.
Elevation change : From Arisaig Provincial Park, you will climb steadily to approximately 285 m (935 feet) on Eigg Mountain. Total elevation change for the complete loop is roughly 570 m (1,870 feet).
Season : Riding conditions are suitable from late May through October.
Services : All services are available in Antigonish.
Hazards : You will cross a bridge of questionable stability along the initial uphill climb to the top of Eigg Mountain. Toward the end of the ride, watch your speed, as well as possible traffic, on a long, winding descent that includes a couple of tight turns.
Rescue index : At the halfway point in this loop, you will be about 10 km (6 miles) from assistance.
Land Status
: You will be following an old wagon track and a series of logging roads through Crown lands.
Maps : This ride can be found in"A Map of the Province of Nova Scotia" (map 29, section B-3).

Eigg Mountain, at 305 m (1,000 feet) above sea level, is a prominent spot overlooking the Northumberland Strait. This ride climbs to a point just below the summit, offering the occasional view across the water to Prince Edward Island. Although the climb toward the summit of Eigg Mountain is gradual, it does require stamina and sound cardiovascular fitness. Technically speaking, the ride is suitable for all levels, as it follows relatively easy terrain along double-track trails, logging roads, and a short stretch of pavement. The total distance for this loop is 24 km (15 miles).

The ride up Eigg Mountain begins from Arisaig Provincial Park in Antigonish County. The park overlooks the Northumberland Strait and includes a campground, picnic sites, toilets, water, and an interpretive centre that provides geological information about the region. Arisaig is a popular destination among geologists because of the number of fossils that can be viewed from the shore below the park. In fact, the area boasts one of the world's best, exposed sections of Silurian rocks, which date back 438 to 408 million years. After your ride, it is well worth stretching out along the boardwalk and walking to the beach, where you may find examples of these 4-million-year-old fossils in the sedimentary rock.

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