LAND OWNER: NELSON CITY COUNCIL
FOREST MANAGER: NCC
TRAIL MANAGER: NCC
The 43km Dun Mountain Trail is one of New Zealand’s Great Rides, and one of the most accessible back country alpine cycle trails in the country. It is also known by locals as “The Coppermine”.
Starting from the Nelson suburbs the route winds its way through the Codgers Mountain Bike Park along the route of New Zealand’s first railway (1862). Early sections give glimpses of the Waimea plains to the south and west. The track continues up through pine forest, then thick native bush, over streams and past historical monuments before emerging into the alpine mineral belt near the summit of Dun Mountain. From Coppermine Saddle you can look down the south fork of the Maitai River and across towards the Maungatapu Track into Marlborough District – it’s a truly stunning view offering a real reward for all who make it to this high point of the ride.
From the top you are faced with a professionally built, bermed single-track descent that drops for over 10km sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face, emerging at the Maitai Dam. The last 10km of the ride follows the Maitai river on single-track cycle trail right back into the heart of Nelson where you can relax with a beer, wine or cool glass of juice deciding whether to head to the beach in the afternoon or get some retail therapy.
The Dun Mountain Trail is very well signposted and easy to follow. It requires a moderate to good fitness level and all riders should be competent mountain bikers. You will be a long way from assistance, and mobile phone reception is patchy, so please ensure you have sufficient food, drink, spare tubes and wet weather gear to handle any problems you might encounter. The descent is flowing and fast and suits both hardtail mountain bikes and full suspension.
There are also more technical options if you head up Fringed Hill and come down the west side on either Fringed Down Hill or Te Ara Koa