We have so many rad trails in Nelson, over 200km worth, from techy grade 6 in native forest to grade 3 flow trails close to the city. We won’t confirm which ones we’ll be racing at the Aorere Enduro until the week before, but over the next few weeks we are going to give you a bit of local knowledge and load up trail videos so you can see what competitors will experience during their time in Nelson.
If there was pole to find the classic Nelson trail 629 would probably be close to, if not at the top of the list for most people. Starting at 629m (go figure) it drops through native bush in a series of sections that range from fast and flowing to steep and technical. At 1/3 distance it enters a traversing section through pines that encourages you go as fast as you dare before plunging back into the native with a series of tight dropping corners. The lower section is a real physical challenge as your legs and lungs start to burn from the sustained effort. At around 7 minutes long it's no joke, but has locals coming back wet or dry for another fix.
Crankenstein is a back country pleasure close to Nelson centre. Located off Sunrise Ridge near the 629 and Peaking Ridge trails Cranenstein is intense, rooty, narrow, rocky, steep and a hell of a lot of fun. Not the longest Grade 5 Nelson native riding by any means, but a damn good time wet or dry.
Te Ara Koa
Te Ara Koa is a 5.1km hand made singletrack trail that descends 700m from the top of Fringed Hill back into Nelson. Most of the trail runs through native forest with plenty of roots and off-camber to keep you on your toes, but if you can keep your speed there is flow to be found. At around 13 minutes long it’s a real test of endurance, skill, concentration and technique - a Nelson classic.
Keyboard Warrior/Mr Chomper
Keyboard Warrior into Mr Chomper. Tight, steep flow trail with some cool dropping corners in dense forest and off-camber to keep you on your toes. Total descent is 400m. Situated just 10 minutes from the city centre in the Sharland’s forest it’s a local favourite for an after work loop or as part of a bigger day out. Don't adjust your screen - it really is that dark for a bit in the middle section. Heaps of fun.
This one is short and rad. A steep handmade trail dropping 300m down to the Maitai river, it's a blast from start to finish. Some steep corners, off camber, a few jumps and features and a rooty finish keep it interesting.
Peaking is probably in most people's top 3 Nelson trails. Dropping 500m along a native forest ridgeline it's long, rooty, steep, flowing, challenging and a lot of fun. The birdsong and beauty of the environment flies by in a blur as your body, bike and brain try and make sense of the assault that it’s experiencing. A real enduro trail that will leave you wanting more.
Built two years ago Putakari (Battle in Maori) is always a good time. It starts techy with steep drops, tight corners, roots and rock gardens that make you control your speed and seek out the good lines, before opening out into a fast swooping full charge experience through the forest. Dropping around 450m it's long enough to get your arms and legs burning, and being only 20 minutes from central Nelson is a favourite for an after work razz.