Spirit to the Stone

Spirit to the Stone

This story begins with a stranger, a lost map born of gold lust, and a knock on a heavy wooden door…

Thinking of cycling or hiking the Old Ghost Road? Spirit to the Stone is essential reading before – or during – your adventure.

Stretching between the West Coast’s Buller and Mokihinui Rivers, the Old Ghost Road is the most ambitious trail-building project New Zealand has seen for generations – creating the country’s longest continuous single-track through some of its most rugged wilderness.

The challenges of building the 85-kilometre trail were as epic as the terrain it traverses, with everything from landslides to cash crises, and even a proposed hydro-dam threatening to bury the dream alive. But when forced to abandon the route originally planned – but never completed – by 1860s gold miners, the trail builders’ mettle would be tested to its limits and reward them with the ultimate prize.

In Spirit to the Stone, trail hero Marion Boatwright delivers his rousing account of building Old Ghost Road.

We managed the publication of the book gratis in co-operation Mokihinui–Lyell Backcountry Trust. You can do your bit for the trail, too, by buying a copy of the book – a portion of proceeds goes towards the trail’s maintenance.

A story of true grit and persistence, yes, but more than that this story speaks to one of the most compelling facets of Kiwi spirit, the refusal to view something as ‘impossible’. Vicki Woolley, Kiwi Trail Runner