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Nichols Creek Switchback Track

Intermediate

Trail

6.4 mile 10.4 kilometer out and back
100% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,089' 332 m
Descent: -1,089' -332 m
High: 1,480' 451 m
Low: 454' 138 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Almonzo Wilder

One of the best tracks in Dunedin - a fun climb to great views and a thrilling descent.

Almonzo Wilder

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This brilliantly constructed trail climbs a shoulder of Swampy Summit from the Leith Valley. Banked switchbacks, roller-coaster ups and downs, fun boardwalks, and great views make this an outstanding intermediate out-and-back.

Need to Know

This is a two-way trail. Watch for oncoming traffic, runners, sheep, etc. The track is nicely shingled and handles water quite well - it should be rideable after any brief spell of dry weather.

Description

From Leith Valley Road look for the beginning of the Nichols Creek Switchback trail just north of the bridge over Nichols Creek (i.e., on the opposite side of the creek from the conspicuously signed track to Nichols Creek Falls and glowworms). The beginning of the trail is a bit obscure from the road, but an information sign tucked in the woods will let you know you're in the right place.

The trail climbs steadily from the outset via well-shingled track that passes through beautiful native forest. After a couple early glimpses of Nichols Creek, the track meanders back and forth enjoyably through the bush. A few very tight switchbacks are aided by roundabouts (one with a tree fern in the center is a favorite!) that show off the great engineering of the trail. Climbing is steady, but never terribly steep and the trail is smooth and non-technical. The route passes through a landslide area and a few clearings near adjacent pasture land that allow for nice views. As the trail climbs the slope steepens and you'll need to use caution in a few spots not to slip off the track. Near the top of the track dips and rolls add some roller-coaster character that is fun both up and down.

At present the track ends near the intersection with the Moon Track at a fine viewpoint near the corner of a fenced paddock. Trail work is continuing with the goal of eventually connecting the Nichols Creek Switchbacks all the way to Swampy Ridge Track. At present, descending the way you came, which is a non-stop blast, makes for the best way to finish off this ride.

Contacts

Local Club: Mountain Biking Otago

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Dunedin

#1132

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Ride Rankings

#1

in Dunedin

#8

in New Zealand

#1,132

Overall
49 Views Last Month
1,611 Since Oct 17, 2014
Intermediate

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Photos

Fantastic views over Dunedin and the harbor from the top of Nichols Creek.
Oct 17, 2014 near Dunedin, NZ
Tree-fern Roundabout
Oct 17, 2014 near Dunedin, NZ

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