Curtis FallsBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
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There is a large sign in front of the Mountain House pointing to the various trails. Look for Curtis Falls and then cross the road to the start of the trail. Not far into the trail it splits - it is clearly signed, so follow the Curtis Falls track which descends steeply to a stream crossing with a steel ladder on the far side. Pick you way over to that, it should be possible to keep your feet dry.
Once at the ladder stop and look back at where you came from, as it is not clearly marked when you return. Now just follow the undulating trail, over 3 small bridges until eventually at about 1.6km it starts to descend (and decend and descend some more) and you get a glimpse of the river below. So down you go and just as you are reaching the river you will see a large orange triangle with Curtis Falls handwritten on it - head left over those rocks through a small trail and over some more rocks down to the river.
Again at this point, stop and look around, slightly downstream you will see an orange marker pole and probably a couple of rock cairns. This is what you look for on the way back to know where to leave the river and which rocks to climb over. Now, turn around and head upstream until you reach the falls. There is no correct way, but it is pretty easy. Should you need to cross the river there are plentiful sections with large rocks and once again it should be possible to keep your feet dry.
Once you have reached the falls, grab some pics and retrace your steps
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Features of interest
Views of Mount Taranaki, a nice waterfall and some epic knarly trails.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 22%
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 28%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Head up Pembroke Road out of Stratford and just keep following it up the mountain until you reah the Stratford Mountain House. Find a park and the trail is right there.
Lots of parking
Just take note to look around at the key points in the description and you will be fine.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Plenty of water along the route
The river may become tough during the spring melt and after very heavy rain. The trail would almost certainly get very mushy in places during a wet winter - making it more fun!
Steep ups and downs
Frequent track sections where it is overgrown and you cannot see you feet
River rocks can be treacherous and care is needed at the river and the stream crossing
Post run indulgence
Stratford Mountain House
Right at the end of the run
Have had several great meals here and the rooms are great too (with spa baths).
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