Mountain Biking in Nova Scotia

Jimmy's Roundtop
Gorp.com
Jimmy's Roundtop
Length/configuration : 28.5-km (17.7-mile) combination (1.6-km [1-mile] spur, ridden twice, connects to 25.3-km [15.8-mile] loop).
 
Aerobic difficulty : Moderate; only rolling hills.
 
Technical difficulty : Intermediate; primarily rough old roads, cart tracks, and logging roads.
 
Scenery : Barren, glacial landscape and wooded area along a series of lakes.
 
Special comments : Popular ride due to its proximity to downtown Halifax.
 
General location : You will begin this ride from Hubley, in Halifax County. Jimmy's Roundtop lies west of the city of Halifax and overlooks St. Margaret's Bay.
 
Elevation change : You will begin this ride at approximately 61 m (200 feet) at Flake Brook. You will gain only 38 m (125 feet) over the course of the first section of the ride, which descends close to sea level at the bottom of Dolly's Pond. From there, you will gain 104 m (340 feet) over several hills, to reach Jimmy's Roundtop at an elevation of 104 m (300 feet). You will complete the ride by descending and climbing back up out of Woodpecker Hole, which brings the total elevation gain for the ride to 165 m (540 feet).
 
Season : June through October. Note that conditions are likely to be wet along certain portions of this ride in the spring and after any rainfall.
 
Services : All services are available in Halifax.
 
Hazards : Due to recent development in the area, the nature and condition of some of the trails used along this ride may have altered since we rode here. Although the trail is clearly marked on the government topographic map, the actual route may not be the most obvious. In particular, the first turnoff onto the Old Halifax Road is inconspicuous, and the linkup between the Old Halifax Road and the Old St. Margaret's Bay Road is unclear. Be sure to carry a topographic map, in case you find yourself questioning the correct route.
 
Rescue index
: You will not venture more than 5 to 7 km (3 to 4.2 miles) from assistance. At the farthest point on the trail, between the junction of the Old St. Margarets Bay Road with the last section of the ride and Jimmy's Roundtop, you will be riding along the sections of the ride that are easiest to follow. As a result, assistance should never be too difficult to find.
 
Land status : A combination of private and Crown land; the trail uses public rights-of-way that follow the Old Halifax Road and a portion of the Old St. Margaret's Bay Road, and traverse the barrens across Jimmy's Roundtop.
 
Maps : The best map of this area is the government topographic map Halifax 11 D/12. In addition, the route can be outlined in"A Map of the Province of Nova Scotia" (map 20, sections D-5, C-5, and the bottom strip of the map that actually forms the top of map 21, sections C-1 and D-1).
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Just a short drive from downtown Halifax, Jimmy's Roundtop is one of the most frequently visited rides in the Halifax area. It also seems to be the trail along which everyone gets lost on their first outing! Indeed, despite the fact that the ride appears to be clearly indicated on the topographic map of the area, there are more stories of trial and error connected to excursions to Jimmy's than to any other ride we know of. The ride is linked together following a combination of old roads, cart tracks, and logging roads that have a long history of use. The land through which the trail passes has certainly seen some dramatic changes since the old roads were built some two hundred years ago. Most recently, these changes have been primarily due to extensive logging operations. However, the ride remains a classic intermediate-level loop, offering an almost ideal combination of varied trail conditions, reasonable length, and interesting sites along the way. It is our hope that this guide might break the jinx that seems to overshadow Jimmy's Roundtop and leads so many riders astray.

© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.



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