Sharlands Creek Tracks

Rating: Nelson Mountainbike Club has built a series of trails in Sharlands Valley, a tributary of the Maitai River which vary from grade 3 to grade 4+.
Know before you go: Most of these trails are accessed through production forests so a Hancock Forest Permit must be carried (join Nelson Mountainbike Club to get one). Check the sign at the gate off the Maitai Road to see which days and hours the forest is open. Currently, December 2015, it is open 7 days.
Getting there: From central Nelson ride east on Nile St and turn left up the Maitai Valley just before the second bridge. 2.8km up the Maitai turn left up Sharlands Rd. Take the first left after 600m and start the climb up Sharlands Rd.

Key to Map. 1. Ground Effect Slingshot. 2 Scotswood Wiggles. 3. Lancewood Waggles. 4. Waterloo. 4.1 What the Doctor Ordered. 5. Willow Lane. 6. Rimu. 7. Matai. 8. Supplejack. 9. Sharlands creek Track. 10. Chings Highway. 11. Aorere. 12. Broken Axe. 13. Kaka DH. 14. Putakare.

Turn right and ride up the road to where it levels off. Either climb the steep firebreak to your right to the trig and the start of grade 3 Ground Effect Slingshot or ride 20 metres to the left along the road to the start of grade 3 Scotwood Wiggles which drops off the road to the left. The Wiggles zig-zags through pine trees for some way before entering the darker bush of Douglas Firs for some fast singletrack paralleling Bobs Fern Rd. There are 2 options further down the track where a sharp right drops you down through a root garden or straight ahead for an easier way around the roots. The tracks join again after the worst of the roots to soon cross a bridge and climb to the start of the grade 3 Lancewood Waggles. You can also exit straight ahead on to Sharlands Rd at this point.

The Waggles follows down Sharlands Creek and ends on lower Bobs Fern Rd. Go left on the road across the culvert then right on to Waterloo Track (grade 3). This is a fun track, wider than the Waggles, that crosses Sharlands Creek twice before ending at a creek crossing at the start of Sharlands Creek Track (hard right, grade 4) and What the DOCtor Ordered (straight ahead across the creek, grade 3). Both of these tracks join again near the start of Willow Lane which takes you down to the carpark at the bottom of Sharlands Road.

Sharlands Creek Track has the odd knarly section

Sharlands Creek track is narrower, rocky in places and entails a carry down a steep drop to cross Sharlands Creek. An alternative from the end of the Waggles is to go right up Lower Bobs Fern Rd 250 metres, then take the road to the left that dips across a creek and then starts climbing. Ride up here for 1.25km to where the Matai Track crosses the road and Supplejack Track goes off to the left. To ride the top part of Matai Track continue up the road until it reaches the ridgeline. Turn hard right and follow up around a high point then down on to a wide skid site. Cross to the north east corner of the skid site and locate the start of the track.

NMTBC has built boardwalks on the Wiggles and Viagra Falls Bridge on the Waggles

When you drop on to the road the Rimu and Matai tracks go to the left and Supplejack to the right. These are all grade 4+ tracks through native bush with tight technical switchbacks. They all drop on to the Sharlands Creek track, which can be followed out down to Willow Lane and the Sharlands Creek carpark.

Another alternative after riding the Scotwood Wiggles is to exit on to Sharlands Rd rather than going down the Lancewood Waggles and turn left up the road. Keep climbing past the Bobs Fern turnoff to the Super Skid on top of the hill. Head to the south east corner of the skid site to locate the start of Chings Highway, grade 3. The section is reasonably steep and loose down a firebreak, so stay under control. 750m down here watch carefully for a sharp left turn off the firebreak on to singletrack. Chings Highway exits on to Sharlands Creek road just above the carpark.

Other tracks off the Kaka Hill Road are Broken Axe, grade 4 and the Nationals Downhill, grade 5. Climb Kaka Hill Rd which starts through the locked gate at the north end of the Sharlands Creek carpark. Once you reach the ridgeline turn hard left and look out for the marked entrances to the trails on your left. From Kaka Hill ridgeline you can also follow along the top of Wells Ridge to access the top of Matai Track or continue along the ridgeline and access the top of Ground Effect Slingshot.

A good intermediate ride is to ride up Sharlands Rd, take the second left turn up Bob’s Fern Rd and ride up Bobs Fern to the top of Scotwood Wiggles. Follow the Wiggles down on to Lancewood Waggles, drop left on to lower Bobs Fern Rd then right on to Waterloo Track and then on to What the Doctor Ordered and Willow Lane to finish at the carpark.