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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 53 mi (85.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +10,247/9 ft
Total: 13 riders
 

Mountain Biking The Timber Trail

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#3 of 381 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#761 in the world

The Timber Trial is a two day, 84km back-country mountain bike adventure trail that winds its way through remote forest. It's isolated - not a café or shop for miles, not even at the start in Pureora or at the end in Ongarue. Pureora is in the middle of the North Island about 130km west of Taupo.

The trail goes through a rugged sub-alpine landscape, but thanks to some amazing engineering both on the new sections and on the historic logging tramways and hauler tracks, it's an easy ride. It does have some muddy patches after rain but it's a wide, non-technical trail. You do need to be fit though - it's a long, steady haul up towards the summit of Mount Pureora on the first day.

You'll cross deep gorges on the longest mountain bike swing bridges on the planet, traverse magnificent native forest right out of "The Lord of the Rings", and circle through a tramway spiral that includes a tunnel.

One problem with the trail is the lack convenient accommodation mid-way through at Piropiro. But if you google "The Timber Trail" you'll find plenty of commercial operators who offer various accommodation options involving shuttles or assisted camping. There are also bike hire options and shuttles to pick you up at Taupo and take you back after.

Before you go
  • Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • Restrooms 
Getting there
From North: Turn off State Highway 30 at Maraeroa Road. Continue on to just past the Harakeke Centre and turn left onto Barryville Road. Continue on 2 km to the trail head. From South: Turn off SH4 onto Ongarue-Waimiha Road. Turn right and cross the river at Tuhua Road. Turn left onto Ngakonui-Ongarue Road and continue 7 km to the trail head. The trail is best ridden from north to south.
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The Timber Trail Trail map

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Jonny Martin (on Aug 9, 2019)
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(on Dec 1, 2014)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Taupo, New Zealand

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Beginner | 28 mi
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Intermediate | 17 mi

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  • Desperado
    *****

    This in New Zealand's premier two day, intermediate, back-country adventure ride. It has surreal hobbit forest, the longest swing bridges dedicated to mountain biking on the planet, fascinating railway and forestry heritage, and offers a wonderful sense of achievement and satisfaction to intermediate riders. Go with friends for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

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  • mitch_collins
    ****

    The Timber trail is a stretch of ancient bush in the Pureora National Park. The Department of Conservation has invested millions into building swing bridges that span the gullies. You ca do the entire track in a day if keen. There and back if mad. Many families will split it over two - there is a hut in the middle.

    Can get a bit boggy over the first half with steep technical sections (only up to grade 3), even over summer.

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  • Jim Cummings
    *****

    It's a wide trail with no steep hills but you do need perseverance and fitness as well as some riding skill to cope with the odd muddy patch and a sustained climb on the northern section.

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  • Jim Cummings
    *****

    It's a great back-country adventure ride with amazing swing bridges and interesting logging tram heritage including the world's only mountain bike spiral!...
    So what's a "spiral"? It's a railway term describing a track that rises on a steady curve until it has completed a loop, passing over itself as it gains height, allowing the railway to gain vertical elevation in a relatively short horizontal distance.

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