See Logging Crew Locations in the sidebar for areas where active logging is occurring.
See Logging Crew Locations in the sidebar for areas where active logging is occurring.
The east end of Big Bush Track from the top of Kaka through to the start of Duck Down is open again and in much better condition after Rob did a bit of remodelling on it with the digger.
If you haven't ridden on the Teetotal tracks you are really missing out on some great "old school" trails. Buy a copy of our Trails book (see link in sidebar) for all the details and the best way to link up the trails.
We are grateful to DOC For back-loading 3 large fertiliser bags of gravel with a helicopter to various points on Duck Down. Surfacing materials were very hard to come by in these places so it was great to get the material dropped in. Rob Kay has been busy this week up there laying Jakmat and spreading the gravel over it so the most troublesome parts of the track are now in better condition.
Today Bruce and Jane McCallum were with Rob working on the new downhill track off Beebys Knob. This is going to be an awesome track in the style of Flying Moa but three times as long.
July 30th 2018
Big Bush Track at Teetotal, St Arnaud has been closed between the top of Kaka Track and Duck Down. We have had the digger up there to improve drainage on some of the muddy sections and it all needs time to dry out and settle down. Riding it will just create more mess and mean we would have to go back and fix it again. Will open as soon as the weather settles down and the track dries out. Other tracks in the area are open but please don't ride them when they are wet/
The Trust has received permission to extend Wots up Doc further up the hill to ease some of those steeper parts of the road that you still have to ride. We will also be starting Wots up Doc lower down the hill as well.
We are currently building a new track down from Beebys that will come out at Waireka Rd on the Tophouse–Kikiwa road. It will descent 700 metres through beech forest all the way and utilise some of the current Beebys walking track.
Silvan Forest is closed for logging. Estimated to reopen in December. The owners are considering replanting in kanuka and maybe larch.
All recreational access is a no-go.
17.6.2018 Over the last 4 days Rob Kay and Alan Eskrick have been working with the Trust digger on cleaning out grade reversals on the top part of Kaka, clearing fallen logs, realigning one of the corners on Kaka and correcting drainage on Big Bush Track between the top of Kaka and Duck Down.
Realigned corner at the top of Kaka Track
Improving drainage on Big Bush Track
6.6.2018 Once again the Trust conducted a 3 day trail building course for trainee rangers from NMIT. A short presentation was followed by practical sessions maintaining and improving Teetotal tracks. Rattler Rim was given a makeover with the removal of rocks and trees to widen the trail making it easier to ride. Drainage maintenance was also carried out on the lower half of Kaka Track. On the Thursday the crew assisted with construction of the new downhill track off Beebys Knob to the Kikiwa road.
1.1.2018 Robin Banks Hill at the west end of Big Bush Track was completed before Christmas and has created an easy climb to the top of Flying Moa.
6.3.2017 Maitland Ridge is in excellent condition drier than it has been for months. Maintenance over the last 3 months has improved the few sections of trail that weren't up to standard.
Flying Moa is riding well with the small wet patch a quarter of the way down now dried out.
Bruce on Flying Moa
Sidewinder is in great condition too. Remember that the west end of Big Bush and Douglas Hill are closed for harvesting for the next 4 weeks. Please respect all signage.
Duck Down is now all dry. Work continued over the weekend with another 4 tonnes of clay dumped on soft sections. This track is now in mint condition. Yesterday we made improvements to one of the sharp corners on the lower part of the track. Another couple of tonnes will be added as time permits to finish it off properly, but in the meantime make the most of the dry weather and go ride it.
Rocks added to the corner on Duck Down to widen the radius
Muddy sections of Big Bush Track have
dried out and we will deal to them once we have completely finished the
section of Duck Down from Big Bush track in to the clearings.
Maggie Barrie, the Minister of Conservation, was at St Arnaud on Friday as part of the Vespex wasp poisoning programme. Alan Eskrick represented the Trust at a small gathering near the lake.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry is shown how to put Vespex wasp poison in a bait station
26.2.17 Over the weekend a crew of keen volunteers worked to fix the boggy sections of Duck Down Track at Teetotal that have resulted from the wet spring and summer that we have experienced. Using the new power barrow, several tonnes of clay was mined in the clearing at the top of the track and carted along the track to fill the hollows. Jakmat was then installed in some places to help stabilse the surface with more clay spread over the top again to bind it in.
One more day's work should see the whole of the wet sections fixed. The track is already quite rideable and better than it ever was.
Brendon tries out his latest berm creation. Gareth & Dale dump another load.
The first creek crossing improved and another section fixed with rocks.
Rob covers the Jakmat with clay while Jane and Dale mine another load.
We have had so many offers of help from people who have enjoyed riding the St Arnaud trails that we thought it would be rude not to take advantage of them. With rain forecast for the weekend it will be a great opportunity to do some maintenance on Kaka Track when we can see where the drainage needs a bit of attention. If you have a grubber or spade handy, please bring them along as most of our tools are still out in the bush.
27.12.15 Last Wednesday Bruce, Jane and Alan completed remediation of another boggy stretch of Duck Down at St Arnaud. Rocks were scrounged from the surrounding area and bedded in the mud, while jakmat and clay were laid over other soft sections. You can now ride the whole track without getting your bike dirty...providing the weather is dry. But then none of us ride tracks in the wet, do we!
The bog before it was attacked
A jakmatted section above the bog
Bruce brings a stack of jakmat on site
The rock feature that now replaces the bog
The creek crossing filled with rock and the following soft section jakmatted
27.12.15 If you weren't on Maitland Ridge track today this is what you were missing. The track was in perfect condition with at least 16 riders going through. If you were one of them please go to http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7006182/maitland-ridge-track and rate the track and each of the photos. Higher ratings will give our region more prominence, which can lead to more funding for more tracks like this one. Take a good look around MTBProjects.com, it's quite an impressive website and next year we will be loading more of our rides on to it. Wakamarina, Kill Devil, and Fowler Pass-Lake Guyon and Heaphy are already there.
12.12.15 Great news, especially for all the holiday visitors to Nelson!
It's been a difficult situation for NCC staff - this logging couldn't be delayed as once the Brook Sanctuary fence was completed, it would have been even more challenging to get these trees out. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, but it's another example of that period in time 20-30 years ago where plantation pine was thrown at many sites that would be considered inappropriate to plant these days due to other, and arguably more important demands for the use and protection of the land.
11.12.15 This two year old was spotted today riding the Silvan tracks with her father. Might take the record for the youngest rider on the trails.
Two year old and dad riding up Exodus
The dynamic duo head down Spittrock to squeals of delight
9.12.15 Bruce and Jane McCallum and Alan Eskrick were up working on Duck Down today fixing one of the boggy sections. They scoured the area for rocks to drop in to the bog, then overlaid jakmat, which was then covered with barrow loads of clay. More jackmat is needed to completely finish the section but there is enough rock in now to make it rideable. There is one more major bog to fix, which they hope to attack in the next week or two and then cast their attention on some of the smaller muddy sections of the track that have developed over the last winter.
Bruce drops rocks into the seemingly bottomless bog
The completed piece of track
8.12.15 Big day today with a meeting of diggers in the forest. Andrew Spittal working down from the top of Exodus and Gary Donaldson working up from Jubilee Gum linked up today to complete the track.
Exodus is now fully open all the way through, for your riding pleasure in either direction. It's also signposted with trail markers at each end so you know where it is! (top of Alpha - top of Sequence/Jubilee Gum)
Massive thanks to Chris, Andrew and Gary - this trail has been a serious undertaking, and the result is well worth the hard work and taking the hard options.
Exodus opens up some new loop opportunities in Silvan, and is something a little bit different to add to the network.
Gary carves out a corner on the Jubilee Gum end of Exodus
27.11.15 (for breaking trail news visit our Facebook page).
Work commenced last week on the new Exodus track linking the current top of the Alpha track back to the top of Sequence. There has been some very steep terrain and quite a bit of rock to test Andrew and Gary's skills on the diggers, but progress has been rapid. Amazing work by these guys and Chris who, as always, is there hand grooming and finishing behind the diggers as well as keeping the guys on the diggers going in the right direction.
The key to the trail was to find a route through a major gully involving 3 creek crossings and this has now been achieved with the rest of the route now more straightforward. Exodus is intended to be 2-way if we can keep to acceptable grades on the terrain.
Exodus crosses a very steep side slope before crossing the native gully
Andrew creating a corner in the native gully
Meanwhile higher up in the forest Rick is working his way down what will be an upper extension of Alpha that will provide an uphill route to the top of the forest. This will open up routes for new downhill tracks higher up in the forest.
Rick's digger parked on the Alpha extension
Rob inspects the easy grade of the Alpha extension
Over the weekend 7th & 8th of November MTB Trails Trust guided several groups of varying abilities around the new trails in the Teetotal/Big Bush area at St Arnaud. The response from these riders was overwhelmingly positive with many finding them challenging but lots of fun and "so different to the tracks close to town".
The Trust has supplied DOC with signage so the trails are clearly signposted
Julie rounds a huge boulder on Flying Moa
A group crossing a clearing at the top of Duck Down
Happy riders at the top of Flying Moa
Crossing the dam at the bottom of Sidewinder
Oringinally named Sampler, the new Sling climbing trail up to the Jubilee Gum boundary has been completed today. It runs up through another stunning macrocarpa block, and is a climbing option off Alpha, designed to access the new downhill trail and Sequence a little more directly. While built predominantly as a climbing trail, Sling is two-way.
While Sling has had a groom and first shape, a couple of the corners will get some more attention as they settle in over the next few days, meantime, get some tire tracks on it!
We'll keep rolling these out! Goliath is a downhill specific trail, running from the Jubilee Gum viewpoint down to the start of Alpha in the valley floor. It's an intermediate grade trail, with plenty of features which are all rollable and with good sightlines.
The bottom 1/3 especially is still a bit fresh (cut through on Friday Aug 7th) and a section through the middle is getting dealt to with these heavy frosts we are having at the moment, so is a little bit mushy. It will likely stay that way until we get a bit of drying weather, but is still fun to ride!. At the bottom, we've built a mellow little jump sequence to finish the trail off. These will settle a little over the next few weeks and will be reshaped as they need it, but are riding well already.
Thanks to Andrew Spittall and Gary Donaldson for the machine time - another MTB Trails Trust project delivered for your riding pleasure!
The next big push in Silvan is underway as at July 20th. We are working to fill the north-eastern corner of the property, and this stage will complete the network of easier, wider trails which have real easy accessibility from the main entrance point. The potential for quick, easy to access loops will be realised with the completion of these trails.
Here's what we are working on:
- The completion of Jubilee Gum, which will take riders to a fantastic viewpoint over Tasman Bay (at the gnarly old Jubilee Gum) July 23rd Flash - Jubilee Gum finished and ready to ride!
- Sling, which is a climbing specific trail branching off Alpha about 2/3rds of the way up, an will take riders to a high point on the lower network, just across a small saddle to the Jubilee Gum. Slink, linking Sling and the top of Sequence, includes a long pump line, which will provide a fun alternative route from close to the top of Sequence to Sling and on to the Jubilee Gum
Slink pumpline is finished already and ready to roll!
- Goliath, a downhill specific trail, starting at the Jubilee Gum and running down the northern boundary of the property right down to the valley floor
- Another as yet un-named, short downhill specific trail beside Sling, which will have a riding feel similar to Sequence with some added features to keep things interesting
If you're around and about, come and have a look and say hello. Andrew Spittall (Chings) is running his new digger, and progress is suitably rapid!
The first stage of the Victoria Domain project in Picton is well on the way to being completed, after a three week push at the end of June. The Marlborough MTB Club's Picton trail group, led by John Pickering and Gavin Beattie have supported Chris on the digger to get the 1100m link between the marina carpark and the water reservoir completed.
Edridge Contracting (via trustee Malcolm Edridge) generously donated their small Cat digger for the job, and 70 hours digger time later has seen this first grade 2/3 link completed. Its a real cracker too - winding its way up through regenerating native bush, with a big feature being the many old tree ferns and mamakus that define the trail route.
The trail mover heading back to Edridge's Pelorus base
Next time you're passing through Picton, take a little time to explore this developing trail system. Victoria Domain and the Snout have a growing network of handbuilt grade 3-4 trails, and this new (two-way) climbing link will help make accessibility so much easier and more enjoyable. All going well, the bottom loop of this first stage of the project will be completed before the end of August, when the focus will then shift further out onto the Snout to another, longer MTB loop trail.
Keep in touch direct with the Picton group via their Facebook page here
Red line on the map shows progress to date. Grey line shows the approximate route that will be followed up to Big Bush Track, the black dashed line.
First creek crossing - before Rob got into it
Rob & Alan survey first creek crossing after Rob attacked it
Rhys tests the new trail
A borrow pit being used for clay to cover roots
Mature beech forest and bird song abound along Flying Moa
Here the track winds through the beech forest on a flat section of ridge