Submitted by Katie Smith
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushLakesideOpen farmlands
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This loop run takes in some nice bush tracks, great views along Kapitea Reservoir, and a side trip to Londonderry Rock. The surface is generally fast and easy with small short climbs only.
Set off along the gravel road at the end of Fifth Street heading up a short hill. At the top there is a DoC sign for the Kumara Walk - take this lefthand turn. Follow the trail through regenerating bush until a junction - the straight-on option is the way you will return, so keep right here following the orange cycle trail signs. The tracks winds through more bush before turning into a gravel road through paddocks.
Continue along this gravel road past a property on the left then up a short hill to pop out on tar seal at just after the 3km mark. Turn right here. There is a good verge to run on. Continue past the turn-off for Kapitea Reservoir and run alongside the dam wall, taking the next turn-off to the left, which is a rough 4WD track. This brings you out at the end of the reservoir on the track along the top of the dam wall - turn hard left and run back along the water.
At the other end of the reservoir pass the toilets and head back towards the sealed road. You will see a track winding along beside the road for a short distance - follow it as it heads right along the head of the reservoir, then follow orange cycle trail signs through a short winding bush descent. Head right at the bottom, then cross the sealed road to the turnoff diagonally on the left.
This heads downhill to a powerhouse then back up onto another gravel road. Run along here beside the water race until you see a sign for Londonderry Rock on the left - take this. At the junction continue to the Londonderry Rock track for a short technical out and back. Retrace your steps then take the left turn signposted to Kumara. This passes some mine tailings before popping back out onto the original track - head straight on and follow your nose back to the start.
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Features of interest
A short out-and-back takes you to Londonderry Rock, a huge boulder unearthed during mining times There are also several mine tailings and old mining gear
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Gravel Road: 55%
Sealed Road: 5%
Turn off the main road in Kumara on Fifth Street. Park at the end past the school, or you can continue another 200m where the road turns to gravel, signposted to the West Coast Wilderness cycleway
Plenty of on-street parking in Kumara, one parking bay at the end of the gravel road opposite the DoC sign.
Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Public toilets by Kapitea Reservoir are your best bet for water
Some bits can get muddy after rain, but generally runnable year-round
Post run indulgence
Theatre Royal, Kumara
Good coffee and cake, nice dinners too but often requires booking in advance
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