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 downhill tracks, like Black Diamond Ridge, FDH and Te Ara Koa. The 5.5 km climb through pine forest plantation is gruelling, but well worth it for the views and downhill fun on offer.
Access and Trail Description
You can access Fringed Hill Road via Tantragee car park (off Brook Street) and Tantragee Saddle Road. Follow Tantragee Road to the saddle and turn right onto Fringed Hill Road, which continues uphill (you will see Nelson City Council signposts directing you).
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 reach the summit, continue left up the left road at the fork, (it is signposted); the summit is reached after a couple more zig-zags. The summit hosts transmission masts and associated buildings. There is a trig point and a couple of wooden benches to relax on after your climb. Beech forest begins immediately behind the buildings, and a sign indicates the beginning of Black Diamond Ridge Track, which heads southeastward into the forest.
Heading straight at the fork will shortly take you to a clearing where Fringed Downhill (Black Diamond 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.