Up bright and early to start our day trip meeting at the Railway Station: 7AM. It was really great having two cars for this trip as the starting and finishing points are different. The road to the start of track is gravelly and potholed, take care when driving.
The start of the track is Scott’s Road to Mangahoa Road which lies between Palmerston north and Shannon.
The track is part of the Te Aroroa Trail. It was a well graded, easy-to-follow trail and took us 6hrs at a moderate pace, with stops along the way.
There were a few ups with one long down and very diverse terrain: pine forest, native forest, mud, rivers, grassy flats, a few slips and more.
A highlight is that it is a historical trail built by Jim Burtton almost 100 years ago. A major undertaking for one man without a chainsaw, rockbreaker or even tools with lightweight fibreglass handles! [Building tracks at say, Makara Peak, takes up to 2 volunteer-hours per metre – Ed.]
I admired his dedication to nature and his loyalty to his furry friend companion. (Look out for the heritage sign at Burtton’s Whare, below).
I would recommend this trail to both history and nature lovers. It was a great day being surrounded by good company.