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Burrton's Track Return, Manawatu - Wanganui

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Burrton's Track ReturnIntermediate

Submitted by Tim Carpenter

Info Info
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Trail Information





Manawatu - Wanganui

Palmerston North

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest


7.00 (Slow)
5.00 (Moderate)
4.00 (Fast)



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Head into Gordon Kear Forest, following the gravel road marked for Te Araroa, approx 5km. Heading up hill you will enter the reclaimed bush on rough 4WD track before reaching the entrance to Burrton's track on the R) at edge of Native Forest, this is well sign posted.
First few KM is very muddy, before hitting the big down hill which can be slippery.

You then cross No 1 stream, No 2 stream sidling along the valley until reaching the Tokomaru River CAREFUL IN HIGH FLOWS. Depending on flow you may need to choose your crossing point. You are aiming for around 50 metres upstream on the other bank where the orange triangle is.
Follow the trail through the wetlands (waratahs mark the way) exiting the clearing on the left.

Shortly you will cross the Tokomaru River again CAREFUL IN HIGH FLOW before continuing on through the bush to Burrton's site. From here you will cross swampy land, before entering bush again to continue onto rough 4WD tracks. When you reach the main gravel road, turn R) and there is a carpark in around 1-2km. Either arrange pick up from here (17km one way) or turn around and run back to the car.
The trip back has the large climb to negotiate toward the start of the run.

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Features of interest

Takes you past the Whare site of James Burrton's original farm location

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Gravel Road: 30%

Route Data


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  • Access

    From Palmerston North, head south through Linton and turn left up Scott's Road. Road is narrow and windy.
    Drive along until you get to the sign labelled Gordon Kear Forest. There is a small space on side of road to park.

    Remote parking on roadside

    27 km

    39 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Route is well marked, follow the trail and the Te Araroa signs when on the FOrestry Roads.


    Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map.

    You can refill at the river crossings.

    It is wet at any time of the year underfoot.

    It is a shared trail with Mountain Bikers, you are unlikely to see any.
    Take care in the forestry section if during the week.

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