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Heaphy Track: Saxon Hut - James Mackay Hut

Intermediate
 5.0 (1)

A trail with stunning scenery, alternating between tussock fields and shrub fringed beech forest.


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Map Key

7.2

Miles

11.6

KM

Singletrack

2,653' 809 m

High

2,195' 669 m

Low

813' 248 m

Up

836' 255 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Open for mountain bikes May 1st to September 30th only. No night riding. Maximum group size six. Hut bookings required in advance throughdoc.govt.nz/heaphytrack

Description

From Saxon Hut the track drops slightly to grassy flats beside the Saxon River and then climbs gently up to a broad ridge, which joins Gouland Downs to Mackay Downs.

The track now skirts the edge of Mackay Downs to James Mackay Hut, winding in and out of several small streams, just before they tumble off the downs and fall to the Heaphy River on the left. The vegetation is alternately tussock field and shrub-fringed patches of beech forest. Small creeks dissect the landscape and the pink granite sparkles and crunches beneath your tires.

This section of track has been repaired by the Department of Conservation, who have done a great job of fixing boggy sections which has made riding a lot more enjoyable.

11.8 km from Saxon Hut, James Mackay Hut is situated just above the track on an open terrace. James MacKay Hut was built in 2014 and is the newest hut on the Heaphy Track. It has double-glazed windows, solar lighting, wood stove, gas-cooking facilities, toilets, and fresh water and is clean, tidy, cosy and comfortable. On a clear day the Tasman Sea and Heaphy River mouth can be seen from here, 15 km to the west and 750 m below.

Contacts

Local Club: MTB Trails Trust

Land Manager: Department of Conservation

Shared By:

Alan Eskrick

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2

in South Island

#3585

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#2

in South Island

#46

in New Zealand

#3,585

Overall
1 Views Last Month
63 Since Aug 28, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Boardwalks help keep your tires clean
Aug 6, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Dracophyllum and manuka shrubs border the colourful red tussock filled wetlands of Mackay Downs, half way between Saxon and James Mackay huts. The white speckled granite provides a great riding surface.
Sep 26, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Riding through tussock clearings between Saxon and Mackay Huts
Aug 6, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Trampers (what Kiwis call hikers) and mountainbikers stop for lunch at Saxon Hut.
Sep 26, 2015 near Takaka, NZ

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