Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Lost The Tracks - Otago Central Rail Trail, Otago

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Lost The Tracks - Otago Central Rail TrailIntermediate

Submitted by Adam Carlson

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands


24:00 (Slow)
18:00 (Moderate)
15:00 (Fast)



Open year round, but busier with bikers in the summer.

Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.



There are currently no female FKTs for Lost The Tracks - Otago Central Rail Trail.

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


It's a big day. Obviously, this can be run in either direction and both have equal merit. However, it is probably worth checking the weather forecast for wind as the Nor'wester can really get strong and may make an east-west run rather troublesome.

As a supported run, there are plenty of places for crew to come and visit, refuel, refresh and push you back out on track. The longest section with out access is about 13-15km. Unsupported is possible also with many small towns along the way, however, in summer be prepared to support local businesses and pay for water refills as it's a desert out there and water doesn't come easy.

In the 'off' season (winter) many of the small towns effectively close down, so it's worth phoning ahead if you are wanting to rely on shops or cafes etc.

The surface is pretty uniform, not much variety, it's well packed gravel the whole way. You don't need your deep tread mud shoes here, but a little cushioning goes well. The hills are gradual, both up and down, so much so that they pretty much feel flat... until late in the day! There are long flat and straight sections, remember it was a train alignment. However, there is generally always something new to look at, there are definitive milestones (literal and figurative) which come and go keeping things interesting.

It's worth noting that the milestones placed at kilometre intervals don't start from Middlemarch, they start some 62km further downstream, so don't be surprised if they don't match your 'kms to go'!

Spring and Autumn are probably best, with summer being brutally hot and dry and winter having a panache for frost fogs that last for weeks and don't let the temperature get above -3 degrees. There are definitely options to do it over a couple of days, but it's clearly possible in one push.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

There's plenty of history along the way and loads of towns too. Tunnels, bridges, viaducts, bunnies, creeks, rivers, lots of schist cliffs and plenty of big sky central Otago.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 100%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Turn off Springvale Rd in to the carpark and look for the multiple Otago Central Rail Trail start signs.
    The Clyde train station sign is a good place to start.

    There's a reasonable parking area at the Clyde terminus. Or it's about a 2km warm up from Clyde town centre.

    26 km

    20 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    It's all pretty clear out there, there's plenty of signs where you cross the occasional road.
    If it's late and you're getting tired, keep your eyes open and your wits about you when crossing roads, some are state highways and those cars are shifting along at 100km/hr!

    Generally good.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

    As noted above, water is available in the towns, however during the busy months the local businesses are over-run by trail users wanting to top up their bottles. As water can be scarce in Central Otago, some places will charge a small sum for a top up. If you are being supported by a crew in a car, bring a tank of your own.

    There isn't much of any of the following: Shade, shelter, shade, shelter, shade or shelter.
    The wind will find you, the sun will find you and in winter, if the frost fog is there... the cold will find you!
    Be well prepared for changing weather. The winds can get really strong and there is nowhere to hide.

  • Post run indulgence

    Strath Taieri Hotel - the only pub in Middlemarch
    Opposite the Middlemarch Station
    it's the only pub!

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register