Bounded by braided rivers, sensational Selwyn District ranges from the Pacific Ocean, across the Canterbury Plains, to the spectacular Southern Alps. Craving adventure? Check out Selwyn’s challenging sub-alpine and mountain rides!
The Selwyn district holds a mixture of mountain biking opportunities from the family friendly riding along the historical Little River Rail Trail to the more challenging sensational single track in the mountains of the Craigieburn Forest Park.
Selwyn Dirt Features
Porters Flow Track
This purpose built trail is situated in stunning alpine scenery around the Porters Lodge and is designed to offer challenge and fun for all riders of all abilities. It is the 1st flow style trail in the Castle Hill area. A short climbing trail around 1km long provides access to a 1.2km descent that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The best way to ride Trig M is from Starvation Gulley just over the west side of Porters Pass. The track is 3.2km of uphill riding, Grade 3, so you need to be reasonably fit to get the most enjoyment out of the track. From the top of the ride you will rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Lake Lyndon and the Canterbury Plains. Riders can choose to return downhill the same way or take the 5.5km Old Coach Road track down to the base of Porters Pass, where you will have to ride up the main highway to your car or arrange a shuttle.
Craigieburn Forest Park
The Craigieburn Forest Park hosts some of the best purpose-built single track in NZ, mostly suitable for the fit intermediate rider. Riders can choose to bike a single trail or link up a few for a full day of challenging riding.
The more experienced rider will love the Cragieburn Valley to Lyndon Saddle ride (The Edge), it’s packed with adrenalin. Ride up the Craigieburn Ski Area access road to the base of the field then head off east along the gnarly, and exposed at times, track along to Lyndon Saddle. From here take the right hand track (The Luge) down to the Broken River road, a seriously fun downhill. You can then return to your car, 17km later, or continue up to Jack’s Pass for more sensational single track.
From Jack’s Pass, on the Broken River Road, the 5.2km Dracophyllum Flat (Drac Flat) track can be accessed. The track starts with an epic downhill before climbing back to the Dracophyllum Flat itself and then up the new re-routed and extended section of beech forest track to Texas Flat on the Mt Cheeseman Road. This then links up to the Hog’s Back track, 7.4km of fantastic cross country trail through to Castle Hill Village.
The completion of the Coal Pit Spur track adds another 4-5km of single track and means there is a connected dual use trail from Castle Hill Village right through to Flock Hill Station via the Hogs Back Track, Dracophyllum Track, Sidle73 Track and the new Coal Pit Spur Track.
Hogs Back Track
Accessed via the Thomas Bush access road at the back of Castle Hill Village, the purpose build single track climbs through beech forest, traverses open tussocks and crosses many streams. Descending to Texas Flat you reach the end of the track on the Mt Cheeseman access road, best way back is the way you came, or a road ride on SH73 will get you back to Castle Hill too.
Grade 3 in places the Poulter Valley can be a grunt at times but eases off once you reach the Arthurs Pass National Park boundary. The ride is 27km in length and takes around 3½ hours one way. There are two good huts along the way giving riders the opportunity for an overnight stay. Access is from the Mt White Road, where the trail follows a 4WD track alongside the Poulter River. Return the same way.
Located in the Thomas Forest past Oxford, the Blowhard Track starts at the end of Maori Reserve Road. The 10.5km track begins as a 4WD track and narrows to a rocky and steep single track climbing nearly to the summit of Mt Richardson. The traverse to the summit is a mixture of rocks and roots and the lower section involves a whole lot of bike carrying on the way up and plenty of nerves on the return down.
The Wharfedale Track, located in the Oxford Forest Conservation Area, is some of the best and longest beech forest clad single track in Canterbury. Littered with roots, fast flowing sections and technical bits it keeps you smiling all day. Ride is a 3-5 hour in-and-out ride. Connecting tracks include Mt Oxford Track & Cookers Creek Track. Another option is a very long day in the saddle, riding a loop through Lees Valley.