Jenkins Hill

Jenkins Hill


Jenkins Hill is a prominent hill on the Barnicoat Range, rising to 776 m elevation. The summit can be reached from Marsden Valley via Jenkins Hill Road, which runs along the top of the range. At the summit there is a track junction that gives access to Brook Valley and Dun Mountain Trail.

Jenkins Hill is named after Alfred George Jenkins, who opened a coal mine called Enner Glynn at the base on the hill in 1858.

 Trail Details

Length:   7.8 km Marsden Valley to Jenkins Hill (via Glider Rd);  4.3 km Jenkins Hill to Third House;  3.7 km Jenkins Hill to Brook Valley
Physical Difficulty:   Hard Trail Type:   4WD road
Uses:   Walking, running and MTB Max Elevation:   830 m (junction near summit) or 873 m (between Jenkins Hill and Third House)
Dog Access:  Dogs are prohibited; Jenkins Hill Road and the Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary fence line road are located within Marsden Valley Conservation Reserve, Roding Water Reserve and Brook Conservation Reserve, all three of which prohibit dogs
Links to:   Glider Road, Involution, Widdershins, Scout Track, Barnicoat Walkway, Dun Mountain Trail, Barnicoat Range Road


The most straight-forward way to ascend Jenkins Hill is via Marsden Valley. All Barnicoat Range and Masrden Valley tracks begin at the end of Marsden Valley Road, which is only a 5 min drive from Stoke. At the end of Marsden Valley Road there is a small car park on the right, just before the quarry. Here you will find an informational panel with a map and details on trail times and distances. There is also plenty of room to park alongside the road. Jenkins Hill Road can be reached via Glider Road, Barnicoat Walkway, Involution, or Scout Track. Jenkins Hill is ideal for combining as part of a longer route, such as Marsden Valley to Brook Valley via Third House.


 Trail Description

Jenkins Hill Road begins near the paragliding area at the top of Glider Road and follows the ridge northeast (the road is sign-posted). The gravel road begins as a wide firebreak and soon narrows as the forest transitions from pine to beech. After 1.9 km, Widdershins and Involution begin on the left (via which the Scout Track can also be reached).

The road goes up a series of short, steep climbs as it heads along the ridge. In some places the road surface is rutted and covered in loose rock. At 830 m elevation a three-way junction is reached as Jenkins Hill Road meets the 4WD road that follows the Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary fence. The pest-proof fence traces the ridge around the top of the Brook Stream catchment, and the road alongside it allows easy travelling northwest into Brook Valley and east to Third House. This is the highest point on the track, though unfortunately there are no great views to be had given that the hill crest is relatively flat and covered in beech forest. You will notice that large patches of the beech forest are still regenerating from a strong wind event in 2008 that caused significant treefall.


 Jenkins Hill to Third House (4.3 km)

To reach Third House and Dun Mountain Trail, head right at the junction and follow the fence road eastward along the ridge. The open fence corridor allows great views east toward Wooded Peak and you can catch glimpses through the trees of the Richmond Ranges further afield. The road along the fence has essentially replaced the tramping track that originally traversed the ridge. The trail undulates steeply, though is overall descending. There are some extremely steep parts where the road deviates from the fence line; it would be wise to follow the road rather than the fence in these sections, as the loose rock on the fence line track can make for genuinely dangerous descents. At Third House you can follow Dun Mountain Trail back to Brook Valley.

Marsden Valley to Third House via Jenkins Hill
Length: 12.1 km via Glider Road; 9.7 km via Barnicoat Walkway
Time Required: MTB and runners; 1 hr 30 min – 3 hr; walkers 3-5 hr


 Jenkins Hill to Brook Valley (3.7 km)

To reach Brook Valley turn left at the junction and follow the fence road northwest. This will take you past the true summit of Jenkins Hill, which is along the ridge to the northwest (and 55 m lower in elevation than the junction) and down a long spur. Note that the road down the spur is extremely steep in places and loose pebbles on the surface make it slippery and genuinely dangerous. The steepness of the spur does allow fantastic views north toward central Nelson. The fence road reaches the valley floor next to the Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary Visitor Centre.

Marsden Valley to Brook Valley via Jenkins Hill
Length: 11.5 km via Glider Road; 9.1 km via Barnicoat Walkway
Time Required: MTB and runners; 1 hr 30 min – 3 hr; walkers 3-4 hr


 Trail Images


 Further Reading

History of the Brook-Waimarama Sanctuary

M.R. Johnston, Historic coal mining on Jenkins Hill, Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Vol 1, Issue 5, October 1985

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