Fringed Hill Road
Fringed Hill Road is a public forestry road that gives access to the summit of Fringed Hill (793 m) and several challenging MTB tracks, like Black Diamond Ridge, FDH and Te Ara Koa. The 5.5 km climb through pine forest to the summit is grueling, but well worth it for the views and downhill fun on offer.
|Length: 7.2 km from car park; 5.5 km from Tantragee Saddle||Time Required: 45 min – 1 hr 15 min going up from car park|
|Trail Type: 4WD road||Physical Difficulty: Hard|
|Uses: Walking, running and MTB||Primary Direction: Either|
|Start Elevation: 50 m (car park) or 180 m (Tantragee Saddle)||Finish Elevation: 793 m|
|Links to: Tantragee Saddle Road, FDH, Fringed Hill Classic, Te Ara Koa, Black Diamond Ridge, Sunrise Ridge, Dun Mountain Trail|
Access and Trail Description
You can access Fringed Hill Road from Tantragee car park, which is located on Brook Street immediately after it crosses The Brook. Follow Tantragee Saddle Road from the car park to Tantragee Saddle and at the top turn right onto Fringed Hill Road, which continues uphill (you will see Nelson City Council signposts directing you).
The average gradient of the road between Tantragee Saddle and Fringed Hill summit is 11%. The road climbs in and out of Groom Creek gully, and then around the northern aspect of Fringed Hill, before switching back westward for the final climb. The hillside is covered in young pine trees which are low enough to allow amazing views north and west across Tasman Bay. The road rounds the upper slopes of Groom Creek gully again, before reaching the top of the unnamed spur that forms the western side of the gully. The road forks here.
To access the summit, turn left at the fork, (it is signposted) and continue up a couple more zig-zags. The summit hosts transmission masts and associated buildings. There is a trig and a couple of wooden benches to relax on after your climb. Beech forest begins immediately behind the buildings, and a signs indicate the beginning of Black Diamond Ridge and Te Ara Koa.
Heading straight at the fork will shortly take you to a clearing where Fringed Downhill (expert difficulty) descends down Bullock Spur into Brook Valley. Continue straight to head onto Fringed Hill Classic, which descends Cummins Spur and intersects Dun Mountain Trail before reaching the floor of Brook Valley.