Involution is a intermediate-difficulty single track that descends from the top of Barnicoat Range into Marsden Valley, behind Stoke. Opened in 2010, its construction was a collaborative effort between DOC, Nelson City Council, Nelson Mountain Bike Club and the Department of Corrections. Involution passes through beautiful native bush the whole way down, and is the second-longest continuously descending singletrack within close range of any city in New Zealand (nearby Te Ara Koa is the longest).

 Trail Details

Length:  4.3 km Trail Type:  Singletrack
Physical Difficulty:  Easy (down), Moderate (up) Technical Difficulty:  Moderate
Uses:  Walking, running and MTB Primary Direction:  Downhill for MTB, either for walkers and runners
Start Elevation:  715 m Finish Elevation:  195 m
Dog Access:  Dogs are prohibited in Marsden Valley Conservation Reserve Links to:   Widdershins, Jenkins Hill Road, Scout Track, Glider Road

 Access and Trail Description

All Barnicoat Range and Marsden Valley trails can be accessed off the end of Marsden Valley Road, 5 min from Stoke. At the end of Marsden Valley Road, just before the quarry, there is a small car park on the right. Here you will find an information panel with a map and details on trail times and distances. There is also plenty of room to park alongside the road.

The uphill end of Involution starts off Jenkins Hill Road, at 715 m elevation. The most straight-forward way to reach the start of Involution is via the Glider Road and Widdershins. Combining the latter two trails with Involution provides a solid 11.5 km loop route from Marsden Valley. The start of Involution is signposted.

Involution has a technical rating of moderate, though aside from negotiating a few rocks and roots and some tight turns, the track shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge for less-experienced riders. The track descends gently through beech forest off the top of the range. Further down there are a series of tight zig-zags and the surrounding bush becomes more of a broadleaf mix. The track rounds the heads of a couple of lush gullies, crossing small streams in each. The track again descends through a series of sweeping zig-zags, and the surrounding bush again transitions to kānuka. The bottom of Involution links up with the Old Weir Track; follow this for 500 m back to Marsden Valley Road.

Whilst it is predominantly used for mountain biking in the downhill direction, it can also be completed in either direction on foot. For those enduring the uphill grind, the native bush and winding track provide more interesting surrounds and a gentler gradient than nearby Glider Road (just be cautious of mountain bikers coming down).


Return circuit to Marsden Valley via Involution and… Distance
Barnicoat Walkway and Widdershins 9 km
Glider and Widdershins 11.5 km


 Trail Images


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