More often then not, road trips which involve a weekend of MTB'ing always need that, just one more trail to completely satisfy that weekend splurge.
Tree Trunk Gorge, is located an hour south of Taupo in the Kaimanawa Forest park and can be accessed by either the Northern or Southern ends through Kaimanawa Rd or Tree trunk Gorge rd respectively and offers that exact delivery. A perfect little trail to cap off an epic weekend of riding.
The trail is part of the Great Lake Taupo trails and offers a year round, grade 4 smorgasbord of trail surfaces, stunning views and deep history where if the climbs don't leave you breathless, the views sure will.
The trail itself is relatively easy with a few mellow-technical assents and descents for the experienced rider and a step-up challenge for the mid level rider wanting to take on something a little more adventurous. with the main technicalities being a slippery but fun surface of Beech forest Cornflakes.
Being only 7km long, this trail offers that perfect last ride to cap off your weekend if you're around the central plateau area with an option to ride out and back or by a looped ride back around the state highway to your car.
If you want to ride this more scenically and not flat-out like we rode on a recent road trip, shuttle services are available for pick up and drop off from either end. Alternatively, this can be made into a more leisurely ride with a few perfect spaces to sit down, enjoy a bite to eat while looking at some truly remarkable views of Tongariro shadowing your every move.
The recommended riding direction is from the North to South but having ridden the trail out and back, both options are suitable for an experienced rider and the hills balance themselves out.
For more information check out Great Lake Taupo's website which explains all of the above in more detail.
A few key tips
- Due to this trails geographical location, suitable clothing for all conditions is recommended to be carried especially in the cooler months
- Due to the river crossings involved, some of these can be known to be impassible after periods of heavy rain so plan your journey accordingly
- Cellphone coverage is scarce over the trail
- The trail is open to walkers/trampers so take care on tight, blind corners.
- As normal, don't be a clown... Respect the land, respect the area, take only photos and leave only tyre prints.