Tōtara Reserve walking tracks receive upgrade

Walking tracks in the popular Tōtara Reserve, our only regional park, will be officially opened today at 1.30pm.

Horizons Regional Council Bill Martyn says it’s pleasing to have the track upgrades of Fern Walk completed in less than a year.

“The tender process was completed in November 2015, and the last lot of stairs were installed in October this year,” says Mr Martyn.

Upgrades to the track have included;

  • 700 metres of new track being created, bringing the track inside the bush boundary and away from the gravel vehicle track shared with the neighbouring farm.
  • Re-routing of several sections of the track to avoid wet areas or to protect the roots of significant trees.
  • Replacing the old steps climbing up to the high terrace.
  • Installation of steps at several steep points on the downhill stretch.
  • The installation of a pedestrian bridge (bridge one), next to the road bridge, which provides a safe passage for walkers by keeping them off the road.
  • The installation of another pedestrian bridge, (bridge two), which provides a safer route across a steep, slippery gully.
  • The installation of seven new boardwalks over wet areas and the addition of a hand rail on one of the existing boardwalks.
Cr Gordon McKellar, and chair of the Tōtara Reserve Advisory Group, is pleased to see such positive progress in the rejuvenation of the park.

“It’s great that the track upgrades and bridges have been completed in time for the summer season. There will also be many people going through this track during the Manawatū Walking Festival in March next year, which will be an excellent way to showcase the native fauna and flora the Fern Walk has,” says Cr McKellar.

“We’re grateful to Manawatū District Council for allowing pedestrian bridge one to be located immediately upstream of the existing road bridge and within the road reserve. Unfortunately, the desired location for the pedestrian bridge was unsuitable due to the high potential for erosion of the stream banks.”

Now that the Fern Walk has been completed Horizons is looking to create a link between all the tracks at Tōtara Reserve. This would allow people to spend the best part of a day doing a full circuit.

Public are welcome to attend the official opening, which will start at the Tōtara Reserve carpark at 1.30pm immediately following the Tōtara Reserve Advisory Board meeting.