Black Birch Stream & Blairich Ridge
Car park is on the northern side of the Awatere Valley Rd (Molesworth road) approximately 18 Km up the valley from the SH1 crossroads.
Walking/MTB access from the carpark to the trail head is via the Marlborough District Council access track to the Awatere Valley domestic water scheme headworks. Approximately 3.5 Km of all weather gravel farm track. SAFETY NOTE – Used as both MDC access and a farm track; some visibility issues on corners, ridges and descents, keep left and travel at an appropriate speed to avoid accidents and injury.
BEWARE OF WALKERS AND OTHER TRACKUSERS
Trail head is at the parking area for the water intake; well sign posted and has the DOC orange arrows for guidance. 1.5 Km to the trail split; steady climbing on a well made and maintained track with some very steep climbing pinches and un-ridable stream crossings. Also some steep drop offs on the Black Birch Stream side of the trail.
Straight ahead takes you to the bottom of the climb up to the Birch Bivvy; steady climbing on a well made and maintained trail; none of the stream crossings are ridable and there are some steep and wet areas that aren’t always ridable.
Turning right at the DOC sign takes you to the newly constructed MTB trail. The track is completely cut but still requires some fine tuning. It is 80 to 90% ridable going up but is a solid slog of a climb. As an up and back track you will see were the danger area’s are for the descent. It is always appreciated if you can remove fallen branches and rocks from the track on the way up so you have a safer trip down. Main hazards are tight corners, narrow sections and low branches. There is also the occasional bit of pig rooting on the track surface and edges that can create additional hazards.