Silvan Forest is a privately owned forest, made accessible for recreational use by its generous owners, Rick and Sarah Griffin. The MTB Trails Trust is developing a comprehensive trail network in the forest, which will effectively link up the end of Champion Road with the TDC's Kingsland Forest to the west, and the forest road network linking Marsden Valley to the east.
In 2018 to May 2019 some of the forest was logged, however tracks are being reinstated and the forest is now open.
SORRY NO DOGS ALLOWED
As some dogs have killed wekas and chooks they are no longer permitted on the property.
Silvan provides a great front country riding area, seamlessly linking through to TDC land behind Richmond, and giving Stoke a reasonably close access point to some riding fun. Cycle path linkage through to Saxton Field from Champion Road will also enhance the off-road accessibility of this area in the near future.
Trail construction started in November 2014, with a focus on dual direction climbing trails of easy to intermediate grade heading up from the forest access point and linking to natural staging areas inside the forest boundaries. A downhill specific grade three trail, Hare Down, provided one of the first loops, followed by Sequence, Goliath, Spittrock and Exodus. Alpha trail, which is the main climbing trail, has now been extended right up to the top of the forest. For convenience sections of it have been named, starting at the bottom: Alpha, Alpha Tahi, Alpha Rua, Alpha Toru and Alpha Wha (see map below). From the top of Alpha Toru, Peoples Choice, Six-foot-five and Ezra Mamaku descend on to Jacobs Ladder and Heaven Up Here which take you back to Alpha. In 2017 Peoples Choice and Six-foot-five will be extended higher up to the top of the forest and a new DH track constructed from the top to low down on Exodus. Peoples Choice and Six-foot-five were named in memory of Kelly McGarry.
The forest is an interesting mix of radiata, macrocarpa and some wonderful patches of native bush. The macrocarpa areas of the forest give a riding surface and experience quite different to anything else found in Nelson/Richmond. Much of Silvan is also north facing, which helps hugely when combined with a sustainable approach to design and build, providing long term durability and low maintenance.
Trail signage is now in place except for the latest trails and there is a map board at the entrance gate and at the top Kingsland Forest gate.
To get there head up Champion Road, and turn right into the water reservoir access road directly opposite number 205 Champion Road. Follow the MTB signs from there and you'll come to a big gate which is the access point into the forest. There is car parking adjacent to the gate.
On your left immediately after going through the access gate is the Alpha trail, which takes you up into the trail network. You can also ride back down this trail or Omega trail if exiting the forest at the same point - please don't use the gravel road between the deer gate and the Arena, as this section of road will have traffic on it from time to time. Explore the forest road network higher in the forest, as this will take you to the Kingsland Forest boundary (and the Richmond trails), the Richmond Fire Lookout, and across to Marsden Valley if you are heading for some longer riding adventures. Omega Trail leads down from the Arena back to the carpark and is a good way to finish your ride. Off Alpha you can ride up The Sling and Exodus to the current top of Alpha Rua. Exodus is a bit steeper in a couple of places than other uphill tracks that have been built
A map of tracks as at April 10th 2017 is posted below as well as a downloadable PDF. New trails are being built all the time and some future ones are on the map. Silvan Forest is available to ride anytime, however the Trust asks forest users to be very respectful of the area, and appreciate the privilege of being able to ride this private land. There will be logging operations taking place in Silvan in the future, and any closure signage or notification needs to be adhered to.
Please note: if you are an intermediate level rider that Goliath and Spittrock tracks are a level harder than other intermediate tracks in the forest, although not as difficult as an advanced grade, so take care.
Slink Pumpline Atop the Jubilee Gum Track
Trail markers with grade, name etc Dozens of school kids enjoy the trails
The Slink pump/bump track The Sling Track (originally Sampler)