Te Miro MTB Park
Waikato, New Zealand
The Te Miro MTB Park has quite a history yet is still somewhat unknown to the MTB community of the wider area (Waikato & Auckland).
This is especially surprising when you consider that CNZ test rider Elvis Z gave Te Miro a 10 out of 10 after a recent visit!!
A diamond in the rough?
When the prospect of riding in Te Miro was presented to me I have to say I wasn't overly excited about it. Sure it's nice to get out and ride new places, but I am from Papamoa and within 1 hours drive of the mountain biking mecca that is The Whakarewarewa redwoods. Arguably the best mountain biking area in the country, with well over 100kms of well maintained trails that have had years of experience put into their construction to make them what they are today.
Exstream - as you whiz along the trails, be sure to take time out to enjoy some of the sights along the way.
So my expectations of the riding available in the sleepy, rural area of Te Miro weren't high. The scale on the trail map had me thinking that we would have covered all the trails within about an hour or so, and I was prepared for some bush bashing! I mean how much traffic and maintenance can trails in Te Miro get?
Was I in for a surprise!
After parking at the carpark overlooking the lake and kitting up we headed into the trails by way of “PDTrack”. Not sure who built this ;) but they did a great job. A well bermed trail with great flow. Optional jumps make this a track for the novice through to the experienced. Needless to say there was plenty of whooping and hollering going on. The trails are built on clay but have a well packed bed of pine needles on top, traction was good but you did have to watch the front wheel.
We then ambled up the “Track Access Road” to the entry of “Gobblers Knob”. The welcoming sign brought an instant smile to our faces after the climb. “4 Kms of single track, Follow me!!” Who could refuse?
A brilliant track with more pitch than “PDTrack” but the same well built style with large swooping berms and plenty of optional jumps and rollers. You can cruise this track or if you are prepared to pedal you can turn it into a right little ripper! When we were finally spat out into the “Clearing” the group was buzzing and instantly started to recall certain corners or jumps that tested or thrilled them on the way down. Everyone was hyped. The call was made “let's ride up and do it again!”
We chose the more direct route to the top “The Incline”. This is no misnomer! No-one in the group managed to clear the sometimes very steep and therefore technical clay based hill. (Aside from the incline all of the uphills in this area have been well built with switchbacks that really take the “push” out of the uphills)
By the time we had made it to the exit of the incline we had decide that this place just might be worth some investigation so the second lap of “Gobblers Knob” was forgone in order to check out “44 Eleven' and the “Kaimai Kurla'. More great single track with some technical sections thrown in to keep things interesting.
Once we made it back to the junction of “44 Eleven” and “The Incline” we once again declined the fun and fast “Gobblers Knob” in favour of “Native”. What a great decision! This track was a complete change of pace and style. As we quickly entered into some real central north island native bush with massive cabbage trees, pongas, rimu, supplejack and all. It was stunning, and picking its way through the trees and roots was a well constructed technical single track . Sublime!
The roots really kept you on your toes but the reward when clearing a tricky section was great. This trail traversed the northern side of the lake all the way out to the farm land on the eastern border of the forest. The view over the Hauraki plains to the mighty Kaimai ranges was spectacular.
At this point our map ran out of lines and names. But with a bit of thought and the use of the lake as a land mark we were able to find our way back to the lakes spillway and we could see the vehicles. We quickly slotted into “2 Timer” riding it back to front right up to “2 Way” and then “Ready or Not” back to the car park. By now we had been riding for 3 hours, but there was still a nagging call to go back and re-visit “Gobblers Knob” so after taking on some energy and ditching the packs we headed back in via “PD Track” this time however we took a left instead of a right and found another unmarked trail that traversed out to the left/western side of “PD Track” and then cut down the slope to meet up at the creek crossing by the entry to “Kaimeleon”
This time we thought we might try a third way to get to the top of “Gobblers Knob” a dotted line with yellow highlighter. We are not quite sure what happened here but somewhere along the way we made a left instead of a right and quickly descended via a very steep clay rut, that was a real white knuckle test of survival, to the point where we began??? Hmmmm.
By now the day was fading and the decision was made to ride “Joiner Link” and “Kaimeleon” back to the carpark.
Almost 4 hours of solid riding on beautifully built and well maintained tracks ranging from smooth sweeping berms through to technical native singly track with plenty of options to keep the adrenaline junkies happy.
Even though it is an extra 30 minutes of driving compared to going to “The Redwoods” I will definitely be coming back to ride here again. Soon!
A diamond in the rough? Definitely!