The first trails of what will become a national-standard mountain bike park in Porirua were officially opened in late November [22 Nov].

Three trails – two easy dual-use trails and a downhill intermediate grade trail (with an advanced section at the top) – form a lower loop on the 468 metre high Rangituhi-Colonial Knob on the seaward side of Porirua and Tawa.

The yet-to-be named trail park will have nearly 40 kilometres of trails for all ages and abilities, including a down-hill trail capable of hosting national events.

More trail construction is expected to get underway in the New Year.

Around 550 hectares is available for trail park development including in native and exotic forests and grasslands.

The park is the brainchild of the Mana Cycle Group (MCG), a group of local volunteers with a dream of creating a national-standard trail park in their backyard.

The group has partnered with the landowners – Porirua City Council and the Department of Conservation – and local Iwi, Ngati Toa.

The council has earmarked $600,000 of capital expenditure, and $150,000 in operational costs, for the construction, ongoing maintenance and project management of mountain bike trails and walkways on Rangituhi-Colonial Knob.

More than two years has been spent developing and trialling a rigorous trail approval and construction process, including ecological assessments.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said MCG had “identified part of the city that needed to be opened up and we will see opportunities flow out of this.  Passionate bikers now have somewhere to go; and there will be economic and lifestyle opportunities too.”

MCG President Mark Harris said the opening of the new trails had been a long-term vision and many people had been working for a long time towards it. He thanked the partners and supporters who had made it possible.

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