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Level: Intermediate
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +604/585 ft
Total: 9 riders

Mountain Biking Involution

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#24 of 381 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#2805 in the world

The Involution Trail is a unique down-slope ride through native beech forest. Sometimes its rocky, sometimes rooty, sometimes narrow, sometimes exposed, always down... ---

There are dozens of hairpin bends, usually tight, sometimes bermed. This trail is never boring; it keeps you focused all the way. It's a real blast! ---

But first you have to ride to the top of the hill! Don't attempt to ride up Involution; take the gravel road and the Widdershins Trail which is a connecting trail that takes you up the last kilometre. ---

You'll gain about 700 metres (2300 feet) and it's an unrelenting climb so you won't enjoy it if you're not fit. You'll find the gravel road across the bridge to the right of the quarry gates at the top of Marsden Valley Road. In about 100 metres ignore the Involution sign and take the right fork across another bridge. From there on it's all up hill till you reach the top and the fun starts.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
From Stoke - just south of Nelson - turn off Main Road at Marsden Road and carry on up to the end of Marsden Valley Road. There is a car park there and some walking tracks. Park there but don't take the walking tracks. Ride right up to the quarry gates and cross the bridge on your right. Another 100 metres on the road forks. Take the right fork. The sign says Involution is straight ahead but that's where you come down.
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Involution Trail map

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Trail checkins

Mic Heynekamp (on Mar 28, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Aug 11, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Nelson, New Zealand

Beginner | 108 mi
Advanced | 3 mi
Advanced | 10 mi
Intermediate | 26 mi

Rider questions

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  • Jaredrides

    Awesome climb, pays to be fit! Beautiful views. Fun down hill with lots of roots and rocks

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  • Mic Heynekamp

    Involution reminds me of one of the SilverCreek section of the Monarch Crest Trail in Colorado. It is a fast paced downhill blast of rockgardens, exposed cliffs, massive roots, and killer scenery including ferns, beech trees, oceanviews, waterfalls. Just fun! Instead of riding the long barnicoate road up ride up the Escalator trail leaving Easby park in Richmond, take Oliver road to the hang gliding launch area where you continue your climb on the single track Widdershins route. As a loop this is 27km!

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  • Jim Cummings

    It's a good training ride to the top, then a great ride back down through beech forest.

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