Maymorn features regularly on the WATRC calendar, generally early in the season. The ride base is in Tunnel Gulley, reached by Plateau Road. For the past few years the ride base has been located in the lower car park. Access to the ride base is by sealed road, but a small bridge at the park entrance is unsuitable for large horse trucks.
The event has sometimes been postponed due to periods of wet weather which leave the grounds prone to damage from vehicle tyres. This is a public park and must be left clean and in good condition.
The trail is entirely within the Greater Wellington Regional Council's Pakuratahi Forest and is based on two sections of the historic Rimutaka Railway linked by forestry trails. The trails are very well formed and maintained, and are quite hard under-foot. If forestry trails have been recently re-metalled some care may be required in sections where the metal is still large and loose. The trails have mixed recreational use and you're likely to meet hikers and cyclists, so take care and be courteous.
From the Tunnel Gulley base, riders take a short section of sealed road up to the level of the old railway which they then follow until it intersects the forestry road. The forestry road follows a rolling course, steadily climbing overall before decending quite steeply to the Rimutaka Incline. Open and Intermediate riders follow the trail to Summit passing through a short tunnel and crossing the river on an old railway bridge.
For a few rides in the past, we used the Black Road loop for the Open and Long Intermediate classes, but deterioration of that trail and the difficulty and time to mark it have forced us back to using the "out-and-back" route with the turn-around at Summit.
Novice, Junior, and Marton Brick and Tile competitors ride a shorter course, reaching a turn-around point at a ford on the rail trail shortly before the tunnel.
The ride base at Maymorn is at an altitude of185m. The first section up to the intersection of Station Drive and the forestry road to Goat Rock rises to 265m. The Goat Rock section rises to 410m and descends to 255m, rising again to 355m at Summit. As you would expect, the Rail Trail sections are a very gentle gradient. The Goat Rock forestry road section is much steeper. Although this is not one of our harder rides, it should not be under-estimated as the vertical component of the ride is significant.
The trail files linked from this page are based on GPS data up to the Novice turn-around point, and on satellite imagery in Google Earth for the two Open trails.
KMZ package for Google Earth (this will open automatically in Google Earth if you have it installed)
Low resolution PDF view for printing
GPX 19 km Novice trail
GPX 31 km Open Summit Return trail
GPX 30 km Open Black Road Loop trail