Gum Tree Farm LoopBeginner
Submitted by Melissa Franklin
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Undulating, some big hills
This run users a section of the Tukituki Trial, which has over 50 km of trails along the beautiful Tukituki River & in the adjacent Gum Tree Farm.
These trails are ideal for running walking and biking. Find out more here: https://www.tukitukitrail.com/
The route does require some navigation and looking for the right path. Its an easy trail, but Gum Tree Farm Loop can make your legs burn if you take it fast! In winter it can be slippery and muddy.
Start at the corner of Mt Herbert Road and Managtarata road. You will see the limestone track that goes across a small bridge (to your left), and one that goes straight ahead. Start running on the path that goes straight head parallel to Mt Herbert road. Continue on this until for about 300m and you should see a single MTB track starting off the limestone path to your left. Enter the track here and follow this pathway on the tracks that will loop around over bumps and bridges you will turn onto a track (to your right) that goes behind the quarry (it is sign posted) and along side the river.
You will exit this little 100m stretch on to gravel road heading to the river, turn left here and watch to your right where the trail continues. Once you find this trail follow it as it weaves its way along the river. The trail will exit on to a dirt road about 2.5km into your run and you are to follow this until it reaches Mt Herbert road past the swing bridge and through blue gate.
Turn right here and continue along Mt Herbert road and shortly you will reach a farm gate will be on your left (no 464 and signed posted as Gum Tree Farm MTB park). Go through the gate (remember to close if you found it closed) and run up the gravel driveway to the bottom of the hill, on the right side of the driveway you will see the entrance to the tracks through some gates. Enter farm through these gates (remember to close them after you).
Follow the track as it zig zags up the hill. When you get to a intersection in the track, go right and follow this track up the farm (you will also see a track on your left going up too). This track will weave its way up the farm to a dam. Once at the dam run right around it and before you head back down you will see another track to your right. If you want more climbing take this track up or if you don't, continue down the track that goes straight ahead. If you go right continue to climb up follow this track until it appears to end, but continue on the grass (you should see the MTB tracks) right up past the water tank to a closed gate (this may be open). Go through the gate and run down the 4WD track as you continue on this track you will see a MTB track going to the left, this is a big downhill track which I find not ideal for running so generally do not run down it but you are welcome to. I prefer to follow the 4WD track along the ridge because it adds more climbing to the run. Follow this track as it goes up and down and through two farm gates (remember to close them). It will exit (along with any of the other two tracks mentioned above) at the same point you started the run up. Continue to the farm driveway and run back to Mt Herbert road. If you turn right at the end of the driveway and return the way you came, you will run about 10km. If you prefer a loop course, turn left at the end of the driveway and run back to your car via dirt/gravel road and then return to the limestone path you started on.
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Features of interest
TukiTuki river, gum tree farm
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 85%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Gravel Road: 5%
Corner of Mt Herbert Road and Mangatarata Road Waipukurau
Can park on the side of the road, no issues with safety but keep valuables out of sight
Just keep your eyes open and remember this is a mountain bike trial so often there are two paths but they all end up going to the same place.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
You could drink from the river...but I don't
Muddy after lots of rain or in winter.
Watch for mountain bikers and give way to them
The farm section sometimes has livestock (sheep usually) so don't scare them too much!
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