Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Hanmer Old Forest Loop

Hanmer Springs, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Grunt Factor: 13 ?

Gnarl Factor: 32 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Plantation/exotic forest


Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +3.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







Start up at the Woodland Reserve, cross the bridge and follow trails on the true left of Dog Stream back to Jollies Pass Road, going under the bridge to avoid road traffic. A short distance down here ascend a section of stairs with a short sharp climb up onto the forested river terrace.

Follow a broad trail south until it loops around to the east, then crossing a couple of bridges and heading straight through a couple of intersections in a magnificent stretch of forest. Next pick up Alligator Alley and follow out the forestry road north back to Jollies Pass Road and a water tank. The route then returns into the bush southbound on a less defined tree rooty stretch to loop back onto Herdmans Road.

Pick up the cross country section after this to the NW to rejoin the riverside track on Dog Stream, crossing the road and taking you back to the start and completing the first half loop. It will be worth downloading the GPX route to follow the exact route.

The second half is the hillier part. Return back down Dog Stream via the trails behind the obvious building. A short switchback takes you down onto the now familiar main trail back to Dog Stream Bridge- this time take the stairs before the bridge and emerge northbound out of the trees and into a reserve area. Follow the trail around a wetland bounding houses. Re-enter the forest and cut accross to pick up the steeply ascending section of trail that picks up Jolliffe Road. This takes you over the high point of the circuit. Follow this forestry road downhill on the other side to the east until you reach a junction with a bridge that hooks you southbound on the Upper Dog Stream trail. A pleasant mix of riverside and then Mountain Bike trails will loop you back to the main bride at Woodland Reserve, and the start/ finish line. Rinse and repeat as many times as you like if you want to really get to know the race day course!

This is a loop of the Hanmer Old Forest 100 Miler course. 16 laps in May and you can have a buckle!

Plenty of parking at the reserve

2 km

3 minutes




Take the GPX file and map- on race day it's marked but the rest of the time there are sections that could be confusing without the line on the map


Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Water available at start/finish - Dog Stream

Can get a bit icy in winter conditions

Navigation skills as per above GPX file comment

Anything in Hanmer Springs, especially the pools!

You and Hanmer Old Forest Loop

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Trail Reviews

The section that I managed to run (Southern section) was fun and I found a couple of new tracks that I hadn’t run before. There’s one section there that has trees felled and is a 200m bush bash through brambles to keep to the original route.
The bigger issue is the north western section of the northern loop. This is closed for logging (April 2023). I had a quick peek to see if the track was still there, but it had been completely destroyed for quite a large section. Not sure if this will be rebuilt later, but don’t try to run this trail at the moment.

Craig Monkman

April 1, 2023

Nice run amongst the pines, although can be pretty tricky to follow the navigation even with GPX. :-)

Anthony Sowerby

January 9, 2021

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