Levin Mountain Bike Club receives grant to improve trails

Cycle Tourism gets boost in Horowhenua
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Working in partnership with Levin Mountain Bike Club, Horowhenua District Council are helping fund a new and improved network of mountain bike tracks at Levin’s Kohitere Trig.

Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’. Boasting some of the best panoramic views of Horowhenua, Kohitere Trig is home to a mountain biking track on which the National Secondary School Downhill Mountain Biking Championships were formally held. However, the track was damaged during storms several years ago and requires extensive maintenance works to bring it back to its former glory.

The Council-community collaboration will see a machine-built extension to the top ridgeline track from the corner of Trig Road and Grey Bush Road to Stag Road, hand-built tracks from the new ridgeline track to the eastern side of the ridge and improvements made to existing tracks on the western side of the hill. The improvements will double the rideable area at Kohitere Trig and make it suitable to hold national events, catering from beginner through to advanced riders.

The Trig Mountain Bike Track Improvements project will be made possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from Horowhenua District Council’s Better Off Funding.

Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden said, “In order to qualify for funding, projects had to meet certain criteria such as improving community wellbeing, enabling growth and enhancing the environment.”

“We saw this as a great opportunity to bring some projects forward and undertake others which we would have otherwise been unable to do without the Better Off Funding package. The Trig Mountain Bike Track Improvements being one.”

“A new and improved riding area will have district-wide benefit, attracting visitors from afar whose spending will contribute to our economy.” He said.

Recreational destinations such as Kohitere Trig rely heavily on expert volunteer labour, donations and grants to build and maintain safe riding tracks.

The Levin Mountain Bike Club are a trusted and skilled volunteer organisation that carry out countless hours of volunteer work for the love of cycling and mountain biking in Horowhenua. The full $100,000 allocation was awarded to the Club to carry out the Trig Mountain Bike Track Improvement works.

“The Club has extensive experience building mountain bike tracks at the Trig and we are confident that they have the expertise and capacity to deliver the project.” Mayor Bernie Wanden said.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deliver on the project has recently been agreed upon and signed by the Council and Club to allow the project to begin.  Kohitere Trig is owned by Norsewood Estate Limited and managed by Forest Enterprises. Both the owner and manager support the use of Kohitere Trig as a mountain bike venue and the planned upgrades to the track. The Levin Mountain Bike Club will work closely with management to ensure safe access outside of harvesting hours to carry out the improvement works.

Levin Mountain Bike Club President Rob Farmer says mountain biking is booming.

“It’s one of the fastest growing recreational activities in New Zealand, and the Trig is a great destination for local and visiting riders. We’re thankful that Council and Forest owners support our vision for the tracks, which could be used to host national events in the future.”

“Mountain biking offers plenty of health and wellbeing benefits, and I encourage anyone to get on the saddle and explore our incredible backyard by bike.” Farmer adds.

The Trig Mountain Bike Track Improvements is a two-year project that is due to be completed by April 2025. The Club is required to regularly report its progress to the Council.

Better Off Funding Package

Central Government is reforming how Three Waters is managed throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. In July 2021 Central Government announced a comprehensive three waters support package, with an initial tranche of $500M made available for councils to apply to. Local Government could use this funding to invest in community wellbeing initiatives that would contribute to their communities and enhance the environment.

In December 2022, Council were notified that their Better Off Funding Application of $4.99M was successful, and a funding agreement was signed in early 2023 for eleven Council projects that fit the criteria.

Kohitere Trig

This popular spot is situated on private land and features walking and mountain biking tracks, and access to Tararua Forest Park. It links to the first stage of the Te Araroa walkway which runs the length of Aotearoa New Zealand. From the Denton Road carpark, you can walk approximately 45 minutes up to the top ridge trig which offers outstanding views on a clear day with a panorama including the South Island, Kāpiti Island, Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu.

Kohitere Trig is temporarily closed to the general public.