From the Fence Line Track, the Cascade Track descends from the west side of the spur to skirt around the small valley and cross Cascade Stream. From there, the track ascends through large kauri to Upper Kauri Track. Some steep and slippery sections. 1km 30 minutes (Source)
Although there is a “For experienced Trampers only” sign at the entrance of the Cascade Track, my very first trail run, the very first time I ever set foot in a forest, included this track. I attended a trail running for beginners meet up and we were being led by someone who had run in the area previously. As such, I didn’t take too much notice of any of the signs we passed along the way I just followed along (at the back), in fact, I spent most of that day complaining about the wet and slippery boardwalks (even now, they are still something I hate with a passion).
I may have been slightly worried if I had seen the sign, but thankfully, I didn’t have anything to worry about (well apart from that one REALLY steep section) …
Speaking of that steep section. That first day we entered the Cascade Track from the Upper Kauri Track end, so the steep section was an ascent (which is probably why I’ve remembered it so vividly), for this blog post I entered the track from the Fence Line Track end which in my opinion is much easier (although perhaps no quicker as the steep descent is still tricky as it tends to be quite slippery underfoot).
The entire time I was on the track I couldn’t quite work out why this was deemed for experienced trampers only. My best guess is that the sign is to deter people who are new to the area as the Cascade track is so easily accessed from what would be two of the more “popular” and well formed tracks in the Ranges and if you don’t count the 10 billion stairs this track is very undeveloped and it can be relatively easy to lose your way (or in my case think I’ve lost my way until I spy a little orange triangle up high in a tree ahead).
The whole thing is a little confusing to me as the Anderson Track is a much harder track to navigate than this one and it branches directly off the Auckland City Walk (perhaps one of the most popular walks for tourists and family groups), yet they don’t have a “for experienced trampers only” sign at the entrance.
Anyway I digress ..
The Cascade Track – it’s overgrown, rutted, root strewn and after the first descent from the Fence Line Track end, it tends to be cold and damp. There are also stairs, lots of stairs, all of which tend to be wet and slippery (because you know, it’s cold and damp).
This is not a track I choose to frequent often and I’m not in a hurry to go back, but on a more positive note, it does link the Fence Line & Upper Kauri tracks therefore it’s useful if you want to make a short 4k loop and Dave (whose blog I often refer too, even though he has now passed away) concluded that it was a nice walk. He was far more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am ..
A very pleasant if at times somewhat demanding walk. Lovely bush and exquisite birdsong. Some steep and slippery sections. Boots and sticks advised, and a reasonable level of fitness. (Source)
For more photos check out the photo albums
Till next time