NELSON TRAILS

Maitland Ridge Circuit

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Maitland Ridge Track connects Beeby’s Knob with Red Hills Hut, creating a 25 km circuit that can be completed from Tophouse. The expert-grade trail was developed by the MTB Trails Trust and now doubles as Te Araroa Trail.

Details
Length Maitland Ridge alone is 7.9 km; full circuit incl. Wots Up Doc and Red Hills Track is 24.5 km
Time Required 3-4 hr (full circuit, MTB)
Trail Type Shared track/Tramping track/4WD road
Physical Difficulty Moderate   
Technical Difficulty Expert   
Uses Walking, trail running and MTB
Direction Either
Start Elevation 710 m
Max Elevation 1330 m
Dog Access Permit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see local DOC office
Seasonal Vehicle Access 1 December – 30 April

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Access

  1 hr 5 min from Nelson

 

Maitland Ridge Circuit begins on Beeby’s Knob 4WD Road, which starts at the Wairau Valley end of Tophouse Road, 69 km south of Nelson. Allow 1 hr 5 min to get to the track start from Nelson. You can park on Tophouse Rd, however, a good idea is to park at Six Mile car park (at bottom of Red Hills Track). This way you’ll get the necessary ride along State Highway 63 out of the way first. There is a locked gate at the start of the road, though there is seasonal vehicle access (1 December – 30 April) and you can obtain a permit and gate key from Nelson Lakes DOC Centre.

Description

From Tophouse Rd, head up Beeby’s Knob 4WD road. After 900 m Wots up Doc singletrack branches off to the right; the latter takes a gentler gradient up the slope (9%, as opposed to the 15% gradient of the 4WD road). Wots Up Doc sweeps back and forth across the 4WD road, which takes a more direct route upwards. Near the top of the range the singletrack deviates from the 4WD road and heads through a section of dense beech forest with mossy undergrowth. After 6.7 km you will reach the turnoff to Maitland Ridge Track at the treeline below the tussock tops of Beeby’s Knob. The summit of Beeby’s Knob (1442 m) is a 3 km (return) deviation from here.

 

Maitland Ridge Track descends nearly non-stop through stunted mountain beech to a saddle at 1020 m elevation, then climbs gradually through a series of zig-zags toward point 1202 m, passing clearings that allow impressive views across Wairau Valley to Raglan Range. After point 1202 m the track goes through a slightly-technical descent, before crossing another saddle and climbing again to the top of the final descent down a rough 4WD track down to Red Hills Hut.

 

Red Hills Hut
Hut Type Standard Hut
Capacity 6 bunks
Bookings Not required; first in, first served
Fee 1 Standard Hut Ticket
Facilities Mattresses only (no heating)
Altitude 910 m

 

From Red Hills Hut, descend down Red Hills Track (a 4WD road). After 5 km the 4WD road becomes a singletrack, which heads through beech forest for 2 km to Six Mile car park. To get back to where you started, you will need to ride along SH63 and turn right onto Tophouse Rd.

 

Maitland Ridge Track (and Beebys Knob 4WD Road) now double as the Te Araroa Trail; this is a safety improvement, as trampers previously had to walk along State Highway 63 when they got to the bottom of Red Hills Track. MTB Trails Trust has plans for further development of trails; eventually you will be able to return to the bottom of Beeby’s Knob 4WD Road via a new track being constructed from Six Mile car park.

Maitland Ridge Circuit
Mt Richmond Forest Park

Maitland Ridge Track connects Beeby’s Knob with Red Hills Hut, creating a 25 km circuit that can be completed from Tophouse. The expert-grade trail was developed by the MTB Trails Trust and now doubles as Te Araroa Trail.

Details
Length Maitland Ridge alone is 7.9 km; full circuit incl. Wots Up Doc and Red Hills Track is 24.5 km
Time Required 3-4 hr (full circuit, MTB)
Trail Type Shared track/Tramping track/4WD road
Physical Difficulty Moderate   
Technical Difficulty Expert   
Uses Walking, trail running and MTB
Direction Either
Start Elevation 710 m
Max Elevation 1330 m
Dog Access Permit required for Mt Richmond Forest Park; see local DOC office
Seasonal Vehicle Access 1 December – 30 April

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

 

Access

  1 hr 5 min from Nelson

 

Maitland Ridge Circuit begins on Beeby’s Knob 4WD Road, which starts at the Wairau Valley end of Tophouse Road, 69 km south of Nelson. Allow 1 hr 5 min to get to the track start from Nelson. You can park on Tophouse Rd, however, a good idea is to park at Six Mile car park (at bottom of Red Hills Track). This way you’ll get the necessary ride along State Highway 63 out of the way first. There is a locked gate at the start of the road, though there is seasonal vehicle access (1 December – 30 April) and you can obtain a permit and gate key from Nelson Lakes DOC Centre.

Description

From Tophouse Rd, head up Beeby’s Knob 4WD road. After 900 m Wots up Doc singletrack branches off to the right; the latter takes a gentler gradient up the slope (9%, as opposed to the 15% gradient of the 4WD road). Wots Up Doc sweeps back and forth across the 4WD road, which takes a more direct route upwards. Near the top of the range the singletrack deviates from the 4WD road and heads through a section of dense beech forest with mossy undergrowth. After 6.7 km you will reach the turnoff to Maitland Ridge Track at the treeline below the tussock tops of Beeby’s Knob. The summit of Beeby’s Knob (1442 m) is a 3 km (return) deviation from here.

 

Maitland Ridge Track descends nearly non-stop through stunted mountain beech to a saddle at 1020 m elevation, then climbs gradually through a series of zig-zags toward point 1202 m, passing clearings that allow impressive views across Wairau Valley to Raglan Range. After point 1202 m the track goes through a slightly-technical descent, before crossing another saddle and climbing again to the top of the final descent down a rough 4WD track down to Red Hills Hut.

 

Red Hills Hut
Hut Type Standard Hut
Capacity 6 bunks
Bookings Not required; first in, first served
Fee 1 Standard Hut Ticket
Facilities Mattresses only (no heating)
Altitude 910 m

 

From Red Hills Hut, descend down Red Hills Track (a 4WD road). After 5 km the 4WD road becomes a singletrack, which heads through beech forest for 2 km to Six Mile car park. To get back to where you started, you will need to ride along SH63 and turn right onto Tophouse Rd.

 

Maitland Ridge Track (and Beebys Knob 4WD Road) now double as the Te Araroa Trail; this is a safety improvement, as trampers previously had to walk along State Highway 63 when they got to the bottom of Red Hills Track. MTB Trails Trust has plans for further development of trails; eventually you will be able to return to the bottom of Beeby’s Knob 4WD Road via a new track being constructed from Six Mile car park.

Updated 18 February 2019