“This is a challenging loop trail that winds around Dunn Mountain outside of Nelson.”
— Richard Croad
Can get a little wet after heavy rain, but the gravel surface is generally OK.
This classic trail completes a loop of Nelson's stunning lush forests and mineral belt, including a fun and flowing descent of 850m. The first half follows the route of the historic Dun Mountain Railway, which was completed in 1862 bringing chromite from the Duppa Lode near Coppermine
Saddle until the ore ran out in1866. There are several information panels along the trail documenting its history. This trail makes for an excellent recreational ride, but it's still a challenge.
From Brook St the ride begins up the Old Codgers Trail then above the water treatment plant the Dun Mountain Trail begins its gradual climb up to the Coppermine
Saddle. 5km of easy riding gets you to the Four Corners Junction from where it continues straight ahead taking you to Third House on a 5km section of easy graded track through the stunning native bush.
A clearing in the forest canopy is the first sign you have reached the historic Third House point. From here, it's straight on to Junction Saddle and the 15km mark. At this point, the Black Diamond Ridge track joins the trail which continues on the mostly easy grade through native beech forest, eventually entering the stark and beautiful mineral belt section just before Windy Point. The track smoothes out past Windy Point and the original chromite mine shaft on the way to Coppermine
Saddle. This is the halfway mark at 20km.
From here, the fun really starts as its mostly downhill to the finish. This descent has had a full remake in recent years and with some very skilled work by the teams at Bikeworks and Nelmac is now one of most flowing pieces of singletrack in New Zealand. Everyone will love this section as it caters to all abilities and is a lot of fun to ride.
The landscape is amazing and the scenery breathtaking. The lower section remains fast as you descend through the native forest over the new bridge and out to the Maitai Dam from where the trail follows the original water supply pipeline for Nelson. The pipeline section ends on the Maitai Road where you still have 3km of road to ride to complete the route.