NASEBY FOREST Discover a network of Central Otago cycle trails through the Naseby Forest
The 500ha privately-owned Naseby Forest is a working forest with a recreation area that is the ultimate playground for mountain bikers – whether you’d prefer an easy ride or a good work out, the choices are there. The great thing about these Central Otago cycle trails - access is free!
This exotic forest of Douglas fir, Larch, and Corsican pine was once home to Naseby’s goldfield and is in fact only a stone’s throw away from the charming township of Naseby. Enjoy the experience of cycling under a rich canopy of green, on trails that weave through this open forest floor. Mostly flat and undulating, these trails follow the natural contours making for hours of exploration. Do beware there are some blind corners, so do look out for those walkers and joggers.
Before you get going, check to see if the forest is open. If there’s logging or the risk of fire is high, the forest will be closed. The best thing to do would be to ask at the information centre first (Naseby, Ranfurly, Alexandra, etc.) or one of the local pubs and while you are there pick up a trail map. If it’s good to go, pack your camera (you won’t regret it) and some goodies and enjoy this adventure. Just remember, you’re on private property so respect all signage and follow all instructions.
To get started head up to the swimming dam just above Naseby township. For a nice easy ride and ideal for the family, follow the Mount Ida water race that winds its way along the stunning Hawkdun Range. This has the best surface and is always great no matter what the weather. Built back in 1873, this wonderful engineering feat was used sluicing gold and now provides much needed irrigation for local farmers.
For the more experienced, have a play on single track trails that weave though the sluiced out areas and expect to be wowed by spectacular vistas over the forestry canopy towards Mt Ida – truly magical.
On your return, treat yourself to a well-deserved coffee or even something more at the Black Forest Café or linger a while in this charming historic township of Naseby. And of course make sure you have a go at curling at the indoor Maniototo Curling Rink – it’s great fun and open all year round.
Distance: 50 km
Fitness: Beginners to Advanced