Wharfedale Track

Wharfedale Track upgrade – FINAL STAGE – February 2017
STOKED to be back into the Wharfedale Track for the final stage of trail-loving, re-routing, tree-care and general maintenance. We are on the View Hill side of the Saddle and tackling some of the previously unrideable (or, very tricky to ride) parts…some of it was even too much for the Little Yellow Digger to deal with…will let the photos tell all…

Wharfedale Track upgrade – Stage 5 – April 2016
The trail from Wharfedale Saddle to the Townshend Hut site is now 100& rideable and has exceptional flow. It’s taken a few trips in there to get to this stage but it has all been totally worth it going on the really positive feedback we are receiving from people using the track…we LOVE feedback, keep it coming!

Stage 5 is now complete…go check it out, the riding is flowy, fun and fast! Bogs up to the Saddle are gone, top zig zag has been put back to where it originally was and now your bike stays dry and clean from the last creek to the Saddle. The initial work may appear that we have “dumbed it down”; however, like the rest of the Wharfedale, one still needs to have 100% concentration to keep rubber-side down now that all the bogs and sections that would have interrupted the flow have gone. Give it the Winter and a bit of time and you’ll never know we have been there (apart from the obvious re-routes), the only difference is your bike will be cleaner and you’ll have a bigger smile at the end!

Thanks to the drainage work that Ground Effect did prior to Christmas the drains are holding up well and has had a big impact on the sustainability of the track in this section.

Wharfedale Track upgrade – Stage 4 – November 2015
This stage was definitely the biggie …sorting out the Big Slip! This section has been sketchy, to say the least, for a few years…we are stoked to say that the track has now been re-routed around the Slip and is 100% totally rideable!

Old track re-route
A snap shot of the re-route! This is where the Little Yellow Digger came into its own!

B&A 2


Wharfedale Track upgrade – Stage 3 – May 2015
A pre-Winter two week mission back into the Track was based around the Lees Valley end, more maintenance and re-routing the ugly bit from Townshend Stream to the Wharfedale Hut. Cold temps throughout the second week kept the snow and frost around making for some interesting moments on the track! There is still some work to be done on the re-route…Spring-time for the next trip in there though…

What was an ugly stream crossing is now a rock-bridge with natural drainage
What was an ugly stream crossing is now a rock-bridge with natural drainage
B&A Reinstating Highline
Reinstating Highline
B&A New Townshend Stream Entry Exit
New Townshend Stream Entry/Exit






Wharfedale Track upgrade – Stage 2 – November 2014

In conjunction with TrailFund and the North Canterbury Cycling Club, we returned to the track on the Lees Valley side for some long awaited maintenance. We flew the Little Yellow Digger into site underneath a B3 helicopter – great thing about the Yanmar SV08 is that it is light enough to be flown in one-piece! Check out the video here:

Along with Jim from DoC, we cleared multiple root masses that had taken out the track, re-instated track where we could and re-routed where necessary. We’ve received fantastic feedback on the upgrade and we’re looking forward to this iconic Canterbury trail being around for many years to come. Due to the nature and location of the trail, ongoing maintenance will be required, so keep your ears open for volunteer work parties in the future.


B&A 2

Wharfedale Track Upgrade – Stage 1 – December 2013
After a stormy weather event made it’s way up the country, a path of destruction lay in its wake – mostly uprooted and broken trees. The Wharfedale Track did not escape and needed some serious work to be rideable again. Following a work party which cleared tree branches across the track, we joined Jim from the Department of Conservation for a week to get the first half of the track back to its Wharfedale flavour. We kept the track in place where possible and re-routed a couple of sections that were damaged beyond repair.

The finished product (stage 1) is now riding really well and we have received some fantastic feedback on the work so far. We hope to get back in there with DoC to help out with the rest.

Check out the Wharfedale Track and environs here:

Before and After 5

Before and After 4Before and After 1


We rode it a few weeks ago. We rode to the hut and back out the next day. From the saddle to the hut not worth riding as there are too many tree across the track and/or the track has washed away.  The parts of track that you can ride are outstanding. Can’t wait for some more work to be done. Ezra Arnold

Just f’n awesome. And can’t wait for more improvements. Hut has been improved by whom ever tho more work can be done. Michael Allison

Rode it for the first time today, was brilliant. Passed other riders who said the track has never been in better condition. One fallen tree across the track which looks fresh. Thank you for the good work Jim and Scott. Janey Thomas

I rode the Wharfedale last week. OMG! Best I’ve seen it since late 90s! Seriously good job! I had a smile from beginning to end. Nice touches include the wee stream crossing that was all rocks with a wee rock wall to walk up – now ride-able! And the perfectly bench dodgy corner that lead round to the big wash-out. Awesome! Shame about the tree and root system that has fallen down and blocked the switchback corner to log in the wrong place (take the inside line) to rocky stream crossing in to rock boulder strewn climb! I love that whole section but that’s probably gonna be a man power dig out rather than a wee digger dig out. Anyhoo just wanted to say thanks. Kev Mair

All feedback is unsolicited and published with the permission of the author

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