NELSON TRAILS

Black Diamond Ridge

Maitai Water Reserve

Black Diamond Ridge runs from Fringed Hill to Junction Saddle on Dun Mountain Trail, southeast of central Nelson. The ridge is covered in beautiful beech forest, and the track that traverses it is commonly combined with Sunrise Ridge or Dun Mountain Trail to create a technical MTB or trail running circuit within short distance of the city centre.

Details
Length2.5 km
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyExpert   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither for walkers and runners, Fringed Hill start for MTB
Start Elevation793 m (Fringed Hill) or 682 m (Junction Saddle)
Finish Elevation839 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve


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Access

  1 hr from Nelson

 

Black Diamond Ridge is best ridden west to east, though if you’re on foot it doesn’t matter which direction you do it. The western end of Black Diamond Ridge begins at the summit of Fringed Hill, which is most easily accessed by climbing the Fringed Hill Road from Tantragee Saddle. The beginning of the track is signposted as it enters the beech forest immediately behind the trig and wooden seat.

 

Alternatively you can join the eastern end at Junction Saddle via Dun Mountain Trail.

 

Use the public car park next to Maitai Motor Camp as a start/finish point for circuits

Description

From Fringed Hill, the track climbs along the ridge to 839 m elevation, then descends to the lowest point on the ridge at 713 m elevation. The ridge is quite narrow, and slippery roots, inconveniently located tree stumps, steep undulations and rocky drops give the track a Black Diamond (expert) technical rating (and probably its name too). You will have to walk your bike through some sections. Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary lies in the valley immediately southwest, and has a ‘halo’ effect in regard to the presence of native birdlife. Species like South Island robin, tui and kerurū fly beyond the sanctuary fence and may be seen amid the beech trees along the ridge.

 

The track climbs again to reach a four-way intersection atop a knob (elevation point 812 m on the topo map) after 1.8 km. At this point you can turn left and head north along Sunrise Ridge to Maitai Dam via Peaking Ridge or Big Hill Track, or into Maitai Valley via 629 downhill track. After the intersection the track descends toward Junction Saddle where it connects with Dun Mountain Trail.

Black Diamond Ridge
Maitai Water Reserve

Black Diamond Ridge runs from Fringed Hill to Junction Saddle on Dun Mountain Trail, southeast of central Nelson. The ridge is covered in beautiful beech forest, and the track that traverses it is commonly combined with Sunrise Ridge or Dun Mountain Trail to create a technical MTB or trail running circuit within short distance of the city centre.

Trail Details
Length2.5 km
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
Technical DifficultyExpert   
UsesWalking, trail running and MTB
DirectionEither
Start Elevation793 m (Fringed Hill) or 682 m (Junction Saddle)
Finish Elevation839 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve


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

 

Access

  1 hr from Nelson

 

Black Diamond Ridge is best ridden west to east, though if you’re on foot it doesn’t matter which direction you do it. The western end of Black Diamond Ridge begins at the summit of Fringed Hill, which is most easily accessed by climbing the Fringed Hill Road from Tantragee Saddle. The beginning of the track is signposted as it enters the beech forest immediately behind the trig and wooden seat.

 

Alternatively you can join the eastern end at Junction Saddle via Dun Mountain Trail.

 

Use the public car park next to Maitai Motor Camp as a start/finish point for circuits

Description

From Fringed Hill, the track climbs along the ridge to 839 m elevation, then descends to the lowest point on the ridge at 713 m elevation. The ridge is quite narrow, and slippery roots, inconveniently located tree stumps, steep undulations and rocky drops give the track a Black Diamond (expert) technical rating (and probably its name too). You will have to walk your bike through some sections. Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary lies in the valley immediately southwest, and has a ‘halo’ effect in regard to the presence of native birdlife. Species like South Island robin, tui and kerurū fly beyond the sanctuary fence and may be seen amid the beech trees along the ridge.

 

The track climbs again to reach a four-way intersection atop a knob (elevation point 812 m on the topo map) after 1.8 km. At this point you can turn left and head north along Sunrise Ridge to Maitai Dam via Peaking Ridge or Big Hill Track, or into Maitai Valley via 629 downhill track. After the intersection the track descends toward Junction Saddle where it connects with Dun Mountain Trail.

Updated 20 February 2019