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Swampy Ridge Track, Otago

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Swampy Ridge TrackBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Corey Woodward

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

2:30 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



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Head up from the trail head on easy single track for about 1k and then you'll see a sign on your right for Swampy Ridge Track and Summit. This trail is not used as much and can be quite grassy and overgrown in places but it is easy to see where the trail is and there are even orange snow pole markers. Having wondered how a ridge could be described as swampy it soon became obvious, there are some quite boggy patches but it was possible to traverse without going full brown shoe. However, after significant rain this trail could become quite the mudfest. Significant effort has been made in places to lay down cut manuka sticks and these were very useful. There was evidence of cattle movements (prints as well), didn't see any in the flesh but keep an eye out.

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Features of interest

Great views of the Dunedin surrounds (Blueskin Bay, Taeri Plains, Mosgiel, etc) from the summit, but not the city itself.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 2%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 58%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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  • Access

    Drive up Double Hill Road, which briefly becomes Semple Road, then Mountain Track Road. You will see a green trail head sign on your left just after the road curves to the right.

    The road verge is wide enough for a few cars to park here, there is a turning area a hundred metres or so down the road. Please note the road can be rough and large pot holes exist, take care. 4WD not required when dry, some of the steeper bits might be interesting after rain.

    13 km

    29 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    There are a few side tracks, but these as named and quite obviously not Swampy Ridge, which is also clearly labeled.


    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    No water supply available, BYO.

    Would get very muddy after rain. Some angled terrain would require considerable caution after rain to avoid falls (no significant drops).

    Where sticks have been laid to help negotiate the mud there are gaps and sticks that shift, care is required to not twist ankles. Cattle also occassionally leave large holes when walking through the mud, avoid those too. Mountain bikers do use this trail and as such parts of the trail have associated ruts.

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