This track allows you to see native birds, pristine native bush and a view of a waterfall. Part way in is a short non-exit detour to the cliff edge, which gives a birds-eye view of the Iron Gates Gorge itself. The Iron Gates Gorge is a narrow chasm where the Ōroua River squeezes between the walls of sheer-sided cliffs as it leaves behind its remote backcountry headwaters and spills into farmland on its way to the sea.
It is a great tramping track, however a few logs and roots still exist on the track, so take care. About 5 minutes into the track, you will cross over the Umutoi Stream via a wooden-arched bridge, then continue up hill again. When this track levels out, the entrance to the Iron Gates Gorge - Stoats Trap Track is signposted on the left (Note: the Rifle Range is just past this entrance and occasionally hunters sight in their rifles, so do not be alarmed if shots are heard). Please return via this track or by walking up stream to the camp ground as access across the farmland to car park from the Gorge is not permitted.
Getting here: Travel up Table Flat Road north of Āpiti, which changes to a metal road. Veer left up Petersons Road and continue to the car park. Park your vehicle, enjoy the view and head for the new Iron Gates entrance (symbolic of the Iron Gates Gorge) and make your way down the marked track until you reach a wooden gate at the start of the Ruahine State Forest to the Alice Nash Heritage Lodge.
Stick to the trail and respect the environment by making sure the only thing you leave behind are footprints.
The weather can change in an instant. Make sure you plan ahead, take the right clothing and adequate food, water and supplies. Check out these gear lists for walks and hikes.