In­clined to be in­ter­est­ing

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

Out­door ex­er­cise and learn­ing a lit­tle lo­cal his­tory at the same same time, what could be bet­ter? The Rimu­taka In­cline bike ride of­fers this and more.

This off-road ride starts at a Kaitoke car park off State High­way 2 and fol­lows the old steam en­gine route be­tween Up­per Hutt and Cross Creek, near Feather­ston.

Up, over and back with a more de­mand­ing re­turn climb amounts to a 36 kilo­me­tre in­ter­me­di­ate graded ride.

It’s worth do­ing, of course, but for more recre­ational rid­ers and young ones es­pe­cially, the 18km trip to the sum­mit and back is the way to go.

As might be ex­pected from an old rail­way line, the track is evenly graded with gen­tle curves.

There are re­stored rail­way bridges and, on the Up­per Hutt side of the sum­mit, one short tun­nel (where a torch might be fun but is not nec­es­sary).

This a great lit­tle ride and one where it is also worth putting a foot down ev­ery so of­ten to look and lis­ten out for birdlife.

There are spots for swimming, pic­nick­ing and walk­ing in the Paku­ratahi For­est.

The sum­mit, where land­scap­ing and plant­ing has been car­ried out in re­cent years, is a log­i­cal half­way pic­nic spot.

NEED TOKNOW

Get­ting there: Turn off SH2, 9 km north of Up­per Hutt, the turn off is sign posted and the carpark is a 1km along the road.

Be safe: Wear a hel­met, take a wa­ter bot­tle and be seen.

Watch the weather: This can change quickly with winds com­ing up so take­warm­cloth­ing and be pre­pared.

This is a shared cy­cling and walk­ing path, so look out for walk­ers

There are flush toi­lets at the Sum­mit and a pit toi­let at the La­dle Bend camp­ing area

This area housed work­ers’ cot­tages, a sig­nal box, wa­ter tank and an en­gine turn­around. In­for­ma­tion boards here, along the ride, tell the story. Part of the Rimu­taka Rail Trail, the In­cline sec­tion gets its name from the rail­way that op­er­ated for more than 75 years from 1878. Spe­cial Fell steam en­gines, took freight and pas­sen­gers to and from Cross Creek.

Over­seas vis­i­tors David Dun­can and Re­becca Colvin, from Amer­ica and Eng­land re­spec­tively, at the start of their Rimu­taka In­cline ride to Cross Creek.

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