Starting off as a nice, easy walk ideal for children and families, the Sledge Track offers a great escape into the wild without travelling too far. Walking the track you will see waterfalls and swimming holes, as well as stunning rock formations in the river and scenic picnic spots. After the first 30 minutes or so, just past Argyle Rocks, the track gradually steepens and is better suited to experienced walkers. For competent trampers, heading right up to the Elevation (1.5 hours in) and onto the Platinum Mines (3 hours in) past a number of old mineshafts makes for a satisfying trek into some of the regions most spectacular scenery.
A new 22m swing bridge, added in 2017, has created a loop track. Found approximately 2.5km into the walk, the swing bridge takes you over the gully and into Arapuke Park, a Mountain Bike Park. From here, you can return via Checkpoint Charlie Track and Pupurahi, or via the longer 7km route of Arapuke Road and Back Track. Both of these are shared tracks, so please be mindful and giveaway to mountain bikers who can travel at speed.
Location: The track is accessed from the car park at the end of Kahuterawa Road (gravel road), which runs off Old West Road in Palmerston North. From the car park, take the left hand side; the right hand side (over the river) leads to Back Track, part of Te Araroa Trail, with options to branch off into Arapuke Forest Park via Zig Zag Road, Pupurahi shared trail (mountain bike uphill only) or right at the top into the Scotts Road car park.
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.