Submitted by Renee Lyons
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McHughs Forest park is a flat, single track on the outskirts of Darfield. There are a variety of tracks in the forest, the greatest being 5km, the inner loop being 3km. The loops are well sign posted, so you can mix and match, or loop back and forward to increase your running distance. There is a central wide, fine gravel track, which is suitable for running with a buggy, and the single tracks are suitable for a child riding a bike - ideal for parents who want to get a run in with kids!
This is a dog friendly and bike friendly track, and its not uncommon for a half dozen cars to be parked outside, but its unlikely you will be crowded.
There are plenty of piwakawaka to keep you company. There is a clear information board with trail map, public toilet, and water fountain at the carpark.
Features of interest
McHughs Forest Park site is a former plantation - there is a history/information board at the carpark.
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 100%
Drive west from Darfield on SH73, turning right across the train tracks onto Horndon Street. You will see the forest block from the SH, and it is immediately to your left.
Plenty of parking available.
Look for the track marker posts at any intersection, they are colour coded. The whole forest is only about 5km long and 3km wide so if you really loose your bearing you won't have to go far to get out!
Water fountain at carpark.
Boggy patches on track after prolonged or heavy rain.
Post run indulgence
BEST pies in all of canterbury, and a donut filled with custard and salted caramel sauce....
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