Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Vernon Ridgeline

Blenheim, Marlborough

Submitted by James Crockett

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 17

Gnarl Factor: 9








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







One of my favorite hill runs!! Tough and challenging, but highly rewarding with some of the best views in Marlborough. Most days the North Island is easily visible.
Head east from Rifle range or Quail Stream Car parks, taking the lower route until you come to Redwood Street.
From there its a short little section south along the road until you reach the Mt Vernon car park.
Take the Lower Sutherland Stream Trail which undulates for about 2km then hang a left and start the big climb up the Covenant Track to the Mt Vernon Lookout (water fountain here).
Follow the trail around (add in the the trig climb as well if you really hate your legs..) along Split Apple track until you meet another junction on Reservoir Ridge (water here as well....sometimes).
Continue along the ridge on Taylor View Track which starts dropping more gradually until you reach the water tanks, where you turn right on to Lower Quail Stream. This takes you down to Quail Junction with a toilet and another water stop. From here its North up Lower Quail Stream through the bush to Quail Stream car park, and back to the start!!

Check out the "Airstrip" near the Mount Vernon Stonehenge Lookout - would make for some interesting landings....

Rifle Range: Water and toilets
Quail Stream (top of Forest Park Drive) Water and Toilets

5 km

8 minutes




There are detailed maps at each of the major car parks to plan your run, if new to the area i would suggest mapping it out first here, the tracks are all really well signed so shouldnt have any issues getting lost.

Perfect throughout.

Windproof jacket, Cellphone.

Water is available on various points of the run, however some times they have been not working so i always carry at least a hand held.
The water at the car parks is generally always working, just the ones on the track at the Mt Vernon Lookout and Ridge-line can be pretty temperamental.

ALWAYS be prepared for wind! Some of the ridges are very exposed and can get cold. track is still good to run in the wet and in really good condition!

Watch out for livestock (sheep and cows) and cyclists. Its a working farm, as well as dual purpose tracks in places.

Old Bank Tavern
81 Cleghorn Street, Redwood Town
Great selection of local brews... and hot chips!!!

Trail Legend

Tara Jackson

Tara Jackson

has completed Vernon Ridgeline once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I ran this twice to make it a 30km, thoroughly recommended, and theres a merciful water source via a council water fountain just as you re-enter the bush around three-quarters of the way round the loop. Recommended.

Kevin Grimwood

July 2, 2020

A classic Blenheim run. To extend it you can include the Mapp Track at the East end and climb up Mt Vernon via the airstrip

Ian Buunk

January 30, 2018

Great run if ya visiting Blenheim. Close to town. Nice big climb with views that make it worth it. Must do if ya in town.

Dan Boulton

August 30, 2017

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