Manawatū’s premier mountain bike park, Arapuke is home to a growing network of tracks and trails, from Grade 2 through to Grade 6.
Arapuke is a must visit for all riders, and features some of the best single track in the lower North Island. The park is easily accessed from Palmerston North. A shuttle service (Kahuts Shuttles) operates on most weekends and selected other times - for more info see facebook.com/kahutsshuttles.
If you are heading into the park for the first time from the Kahuterawa Road end, gain altitude by ascending either Pupu Rahi or Back Track. These trails will get you into the heart of the action.
Icebreaker (Grade 2) is a great option for beginners and families from the top car park. It is mostly flat as it weaves its way through growing Douglas Fir trees. Icebreaker starts just past the gate of the Scotts Road entrance. At the end of the trail, follow Swamp Monster to complete a loop back to the car park.
Mr Twister (Grade 3) is one of park's signature trail. It is a flowing descent with plenty of berms to keep you on course and riding high.
About Time (Grade 3) swoops and swerves around corners as it heads downhill. The start of this trail can be accessed from the shuttle drop-off at the top of the park. To ride there, head up Jack and the Beanstalk.
Many of the other trails are reasonably technical and require a good skill/confidence level to be able to cope with the many obstacles. For the more adventurous, Ripper (Grade 4) will provide big tabletops paired with Flowey decent and Chewbacca (Grade 5) will give you technical roots, off camber sections and challenging obstacles.
Access from bottom:
Head to the end of Kahuterawa Road, where you will find a car park, toilets and a trail map. From here, jump on your bike and head across Blacks Bridge. A variety of trails head up into the park from the bridge.
Access from top:
Head out of Palmerston North on State Highway 57, and turn left onto Scotts Road (between Linton and Tokomaru). Scotts Road soon turns into a steep and winding gravel road. Follow it to the end, where you can park your car and start riding! There are toilets and a shelter at the car park along with a trail map.
Mountain Bikers have been riding at K-Loop since the late 1980s, with a network of trails created on an ad hoc basis in what was then called Woodpecker Forest. Runners, walkers and mountain bikers used to compete with motorbikes and 4WD vehicles for access.
In 2007, Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) purchased the land and after consultation the Kahuterawa Outdoor Recreational Area was created as an outdoor activity area close to Palmerston North City. A gate to keep out vehicles was placed at the end of Scotts Road and the Manawatū Mountain Bike Club became active in forming a network of trails. The area became formally know at Arapuke Forest Park in 2012.
By 2009, it had become obvious that the old forest was becoming unstable in strong winds and many trails had to be abandoned due to windfall trees. PNCC decide that logging and replanting with log cycle time species such as Redwood, Gum and Kahikatea was the only option that ensured safety and meet the long term recreational goals.
After the first harvest in 2011, a plan for mountain bike and walking trail development was developed and the first trails were cut by a digger in December 2011. Jumping Jack was born - a trail with swooping berms and table top jumps descending from the top of ZigZag Road for 700m.
Stick to the trail and respect the environment by making sure the only thing you leave behind are footprints.
The clothing can change in an instant. Make sure you plan ahead, take the right clothing and adequate food, water and supplies.