HAWKSBURN ROAD The Hawksburn Road cycle trails takes you between Clyde and Bannockburn, skirting the Cairnmuir Range...
Hawksburn Road, known to locals as the Pylon Road is a trail that offers a mixture of mainly 4WD gravel roads, some tar seal, and some very steep climbs, but if you’re fit and love an adrenalin rush and the vast open spaces– do it: you won’t be disappointed.
The Hawksburn Road runs between the historic township of Clyde and Bannockburn, skirting the Cairnmuir Range on the southern side. This is a land rich in history. This was once the main travelling route to Bannockburn, the Clutha and Kawarau Basins during the gold mining era - sense their gruelling journey, their conquests and the tragedies of the rush for gold. It may even have been the original Maori routes possibly dating back to the 13th century when moa were hunted in large numbers throughout the area.
From Clyde, cross the historic bridge over the Clutha River and turn right, after 1km to the signposted ‘Lookout’. The first 4km is a leg-burning climb. Take a short detour to the Lookout, and take in the broad sweep over the Manuherikia Basin. Here you will see a certain ordered symmetry from the orchards and vineyards below and in autumn the colours are sublime. Moving on from here there are some rocky sections as you climb to Cairnmuir Flats and follow the pylons to the highest point.
After approximately 9km of ups and downs, sidles and dips, go straight on at the junction of Hawksburn and Pylon Road. From here, there is one final gully before the gradual descent on the tar seal into Bannockburn. Take time to treat yourself to some of the local award winning wines or relax over a coffee at the Bannockburn Pub or Café – you deserve it!
The Hawksburn Road is exposed and quite high so be prepared for all conditions after checking weather forecasts.
Distance: 25 km
Fitness: Intermediate / Expert