LAND OWNER: NGATI KOATA / DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
FOREST MANAGER: TASMAN PINE
TRAIL MANAGER: NMTBC
The Hira forest, which is also known as the Sharland’s trail network, is situated 10 minutes ride from Nelson. It is easily accessed off Maitai Valley Road.
The area is owned by Ngati Koata and managed by Tasman Pine Forests Ltd, so a permit is necessary to enter. Temporary Permits can be purchased here for $20 and are valid for two weeks, annual permits are included with NMTBC membership.
Running the length of the valley is an easy gravel road (Sharlands Rd) that links several fantastic downhill trails. From the top there is a continuous single track route that runs for over 9km incorporating Wiggles, Waggles, Waterloo, What the Doctor ordered, and Willow Lane back to the forest entrance. The trails get gradually easier as you move down the hill, with Wiggles being grade 4 and finishing with the grade 2 Willow Lane.
Off the main route are three of Nelson’s finest technical trails – SuppleJack, Matai and Rimu, which link back onto the main trail network. Also in the area is Ching’s Highway, a downhill grade 3 that drops 400m.
A newly created trail, Aorere starts at the top of Isolation Trig Rd. The turn off is around 8km up Sharlands Rd. Aorere is a long grade 5 decent that brings you all the way back to the start of Sharlands.
There are also three downhill specific trails in this area, Maitai Face, Kaka and Broken Axe. All are grade 5.