Rangemore Track, Arataki Visitor Centre
Walking Track, From the small parking area on Scenic Drive, the west end of Rangemore Track climbs easy grade to knoll with grove of kauri (15 minutes), then descends gradually to rejoin Scenic Drive approximately 1km the from parking area. 1.8km 1.0 hour. (Source).
As often happens in the world of Julia, turning up at the entrance of the Rangemore Track was a complete spur of the moment decision.
You see, I’d needed a “short run” for quite some time. I’d been clocking up the mileage throughout the month of January and my body (and mind) was beginning to feel it, yet every time (and I mean every single time) I would decide that I’d just do a nice quick out and back trail so that I could stretch out the legs – I’d end up completing the entire loop – It just seemed so wrong to only run a singular section.
Since I obviously can’t be trusted, my only option for those “I need a short run days” is to find relatively short tracks that don’t link to anything else – then I don’t have any other option but to run the length of the trail, turn around and run back (unless I decide to run back and forth repeatedly and I’d find that a highly unlikely scenario). Although this would seem a relatively easy task it’s actually harder than it sounds especially as I didn’t want the trail to be any less than 1.5km in length (even then, 3.0 km is a very short run, it would probably take me longer to drive to the trail than to run along it) well unless it has a big arse hill in the middle of it ..
Anyway I’d spent a day researching shorter tracks that wouldn’t easily link to anything else and Rangemore was once such track. After reading the info on the ARC site, I did a quick google search and found a really old blog post from Dave at Fathmandu. I love reading Dave’s blog posts and I’m thankful that even after he passed away in 2012 his family have kept the site alive.
On this particular day I had originally planned on running from the Arataki Visitor Centre (which would invariably mean I’d run the Pipeline Loop) but at the very last second (and I mean as I was about to turn into the driveway) I thought .. f**k it – let’s go check out this Rangemore Track.
From Dave’s blog post I knew that the parking area was approximately 2.0km past Arataki and I’d checked Google Maps to see what the carpark would look like. This is apparently known as Greenwoods Corner.
One thing I will point out for those of you who are as geographically challenged as I, the gate at the car parking area is not the start of the track (which I assumed it would be). Rangemore Track is located on the other side of the road (refer to large white arrow above). You can’t see the entrance of the track from the road side but the sign is quite easy to spot if you know where to look.
From the road the track drops quite sharply below street level (to the shoe cleaning station), climbs up a short way then flattens out for a decent distance before climbing steadily towards the Kauri Grove. Back in 2006 Dave got a great view across the Ranges from the Grove, but alas, shit’s grown up since then (and I’m not particularly tall) so all I got was a glimpses through the canopy. It was still pretty cool to be among the Kauri tree’s – they aren’t giant’s (yet) but they are numerous. From the grove the trail descends easily for a few minutes to end 1km further down Scenic Drive. Note – the car parking area at this end of the trail is a further 100m’s up the road (turn right onto Scenic Drive and the car park will be up ahead on your left).
I thought it was a lovely trail to run along (and very pretty). It’s technical enough that you have to keep your wit’s about you but it’s not so technical that you can’t run the entire length of it. The main obstacles are that vast portions of the trail are heavily littered with Nikau fronds and there are sections that are extremely narrow and rutted)
It’s definitely a great track for those days were you just want a short trail run, the only downside is that it’s perhaps just a little too short.
The other stuff;
Parking – At both ends of the track.
Toilets – There is one down the drive at the gate (where you park) it’s pretty bare bones the next closest would be at Arataki Visitor Centre .
Kid Friendly – Yep
Time – ARC time said 1 hour, I did a return trip in 40 mins.
Till next time