Mountain bike enthusiasts have a whole new network of rides available thanks to the hard work of the Pohutukawa Coast Bike Club.
The club was awarded a $40,000 grant from Franklin Local Board but also raised another $97,000 to make a total of $137,000 available to it to build seven kilometres of new mountain bike trails in the Maraetai block of the Whitford forest in East Auckland.
There is also a dedicated walking and running route.
Back-breaking work from club members alongside experienced track builders over many months has seen the tracks open for the public to enjoy.
Club president Callum Wilson says the tracks are high-quality grade professionally built grade 3-4 trails suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.
While the tracks are open to the public, riders must obtain a forest permit first from the club via its website at pcbc.co.nz. Maps are available on the Trailforks app.
The forest is accessible via the end of either Rewa Rd in Maraetai or Okororo Rd in Beachlands.
The area has recently been logged and is now replanted in pine and will continue to develop over the next 25 years.
The club has extensive plans for further trails for riders, runners and walkers.
Board member Malcolm Bell says one of the board’s conditions around its grant was that the club make the trails available to the wider public, while ensuring safety concerns around forest access were met.
“The club is to be congratulated because what it has achieved is remarkable and something that will be a huge asset for the area, not only for locals, but because the trails will attract riders from across Auckland to the area.”