Spirit to the Stone – the amazing tale of building the Old Ghost Road


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

Thinking of mountain biking or hiking the Old Ghost Road? Spirit to the Stone is essential reading before, during or after 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 the Old Ghost Road.

The book is available from the Old Ghost Road website, with a portion of proceeds going towards the trail’s maintenance.