Big Gum BoogieIntermediate
Submitted by Brion Matthews
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Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen farmlands
A small part may depend on forestry operations.
Head off from Easby Park and following the worn track through the field. At the first fork in the gravel road, keep left before entering ‘Keith’s Walkway and Reservoir’ track and head up to the Reservoir. Cross over and take the uphill track to the big gum. Follow uphill and connect onto ‘Cavers Track’, which you will follow up until you take a right hand turn onto a forestry road.
You will see a spray paint marked track that follows parallel to the skid road. Follow your nose here until you hit the skid site and a forestry gate on Olivers Road.
Instead of tracking along the road, head straight up from the gate, following a worn track up through the guts.
Cross over the next road and carry on through, keeping the trees to your right. If you prefer to follow the roads upwards, you can, but will be markedly longer (and check a map prior).
Eventually, you will take a left-hand turn and follow for a small diversion up to the Fire House Lookout. Great views to be had up here. Backtrack, and instead of turning back down where you came from, head directly up to the Richmond Hill trig. More great views.
Head off the back and down the steep gravel track which becomes the ‘Barnicoat Range Walkway’ and take your first right onto a forestry road. Keep your eyes peeled for an insignificant track to the left side of the road (at approximately 4.3km – photo below). This is an awesome little connector track that takes us down to Oliver Road. Rope supplied to help you clamber to the road.
Head right along the road briefly before taking another small track to the left again. It is a little more obvious and called the ‘K.R.B Track’. Cruise this lovely trail down and take the left branch of the ‘Big Trees Loop’ and keep going down. You may see the following signpost ‘50m to view Totara on left Kahikatea on right’. The route ignores this, but if you have ample time, it is a neat, scrambly and rooty-taped track that is worth exploring. It will take you up the RHS of the steam, and you can either keep going up, or loop back down on the other side of the stream.
Take the ‘Macrocarpa’ track uphill they follow Tower Road until you see a grassed clearing to your left. Head into the grassed clearing, and you’ll see an insignificant marked trail leading downwards and to your left.
You may have to bash through a small bit of tall grass, but you’ll see it. Take this down until it exits out onto the gravel pedestrian path. Go right and follow back to where you started. More trails planned in this area through the recently felled forestry block.
Features of interest
Old Richmond Reservoir. The Barrington Gum, which is within the top five tallest trees in NZ.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 7%
Technical Single Track: 15%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 33%
Gravel Road: 15%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Easby Park on Marlborough Cres
Plenty of parking at the reserve.
Keep your eyes peeled on the forestry road sections for the downward heading trails. Once on the trails navigation is easy.
Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Not aware of any water.
Tracks slippery in the wet.
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