NELSON TRAILS

Barnicoat Walkway

Marsden Valley and Barnicoat Range

Barnicoat Walkway provides a challenging climb to the top of Barnicoat Range. Beginning near the head of Marsden Valley in Stoke, the popular walkway is usually combined with Glider Road or Involution to form a 1-2 hr long loop. Barnicoat Range Walkway also provides the option to traverse the range all the way to Richmond. The walkway offers excellent views over the city and Tasman Bay.

Details
Length 2.1 km car park to skid site; 7 km return circuit to car park via Glider Road; 9 km return circuit to car park via Widdershins and Involution; 14 km Marsden Valley Rd to Easby Park (Richmond)
Time Required 1 hr car park to skid site; 4-5 hr Marsden Valley to Easby Park
Trail Type 4WD road/Walking track
Physical Difficulty Moderate   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Start Elevation 150 m (car park)
Finish Elevation 580 m (skid site)

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Elevation profile: Marsden Valley Rd to skid site (start of Widdershins)

This elevation profile should be considered approximate. Its accuracy is determined by the quality of data available.

 

Access

  5 min from Stoke

 

Barnicoat Walkway is a 5 minute drive from Stoke up Marsden Valley Rd. At the end of Marsden Valley Rd there is a car park on the right, just before the quarry. Here you will find an information panel with a map and details on trail times and distances.

 

Logging and high fire risk will close access.

 

 
 

 

Description

From the car park, cross the footbridge over Poorman Stream and follow the walkway as it connects to Glider Road. You can also take Piwakawaka Track for a slightly gentler gradient. Follow Glider Road for 800 m to the signpost indicating the start of Barnicoat Walkway, which climbs steeply from the left side of the road. The track climbs through pine forest for 300 m before emerging onto a firebreak on a spur, which has been cleared of forest, allowing open views of upper Marsden Valley and Jenkins Hill. The track follows the firebreak directly up the spur to a skid site near the top of the range, at 580 m elevation. Enjoy the views north over the city and out to Tasman Bay. The gradient is nearly twice as steep as Glider Road, so it’s more challenging and not really suited to MTB.

 

To return to the car park you can turn right at the skid site and follow Glider Road to the paragliding area and back down the range (creating a 7 km loop). Otherwise, follow the signpost at the skid site indicating the start of Widdershins. Widdershins climbs around the upper edge of Marsden Valley and connects with Involution and Scout Track, creating a 9 km loop back to the car park.

 

From the skid site you can also continue all the way to Richmond via the top of Barnicoat Range. To do this, follow the road marked by plastic poles, that continues straight up from the skid site and reaches the crest of the range via a block of douglas fir. Turn right and follow the road and plastic poles all the way to Richmond Hill, where you’ll have several options for descending to Richmond. The total distance for this trip is about 14 km and will take you 3-4 hours if you’re walking.

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Barnicoat Walkway
Marsden Valley and Barnicoat Range

Barnicoat Walkway provides a challenging climb to the top of Barnicoat Range. Beginning near the head of Marsden Valley in Stoke, the popular walkway is usually combined with Glider Road or Involution to form a 1-2 hr long loop. Barnicoat Range Walkway also provides the option to traverse the range all the way to Richmond. The walkway offers excellent views over the city and Tasman Bay.

Details
Length 2.1 km car park to skid site; 7 km return circuit to car park via Glider Road; 9 km return circuit to car park via Widdershins and Involution; 14 km Marsden Valley Rd to Easby Park (Richmond)
Time Required 1 hr car park to skid site; 4-5 hr Marsden Valley to Easby Park
Trail Type 4WD road/Walking track
Physical Difficulty Moderate   
Uses Walking and trail running
Direction Either
Start Elevation 150 m (car park)
Finish Elevation 580 m (skid site)


If any layers fail to load, try clearing your cache and refreshing the page.

 

Elevation profile: Marsden Valley Rd to skid site (start of Widdershins)

This elevation profile should be considered approximate. Its accuracy is determined by the quality of data available.

 

 

 

 

Access

  5 min from Stoke

 

Barnicoat Walkway is a 5 minute drive from Stoke up Marsden Valley Rd. At the end of Marsden Valley Rd there is a car park on the right, just before the quarry. Here you will find an information panel with a map and details on trail times and distances.

 

Logging and high fire risk will close access.

 

 

 

Description

From the car park, cross the footbridge over Poorman Stream and follow the walkway as it connects to Glider Road. You can also take Piwakawaka Track for a slightly gentler gradient. Follow Glider Road for 800 m to the signpost indicating the start of Barnicoat Walkway, which climbs steeply from the left side of the road. The track climbs through pine forest for 300 m before emerging onto a firebreak on a spur, which has been cleared of forest, allowing open views of upper Marsden Valley and Jenkins Hill. The track follows the firebreak directly up the spur to a skid site near the top of the range, at 580 m elevation. Enjoy the views north over the city and out to Tasman Bay. The gradient is nearly twice as steep as Glider Road, so it’s more challenging and not really suited to MTB.

 

To return to the car park you can turn right at the skid site and follow Glider Road to the paragliding area and back down the range (creating a 7 km loop). Otherwise, follow the signpost at the skid site indicating the start of Widdershins. Widdershins climbs around the upper edge of Marsden Valley and connects with Involution and Scout Track, creating a 9 km loop back to the car park.

 

From the skid site you can also continue all the way to Richmond via the top of Barnicoat Range. To do this, follow the road marked by plastic poles, that continues straight up from the skid site and reaches the crest of the range via a block of douglas fir. Turn right and follow the road and plastic poles all the way to Richmond Hill, where you’ll have several options for descending to Richmond. The total distance for this trip is about 14 km and will take you 3-4 hours if you’re walking.

Updated 14 April 2021