Centennial Park (the Scenic)
Timaru’s main mountain biking area is Centennial Park (widely known amongst locals as ‘The Scenic’), which forms the western (ish) town boundary. The area is popular with walkers, mountain bikers, and from time to time the odd pony. It is a lovely park in a small valley, with a mixture of native bush, pines, gums, oaks, and other exotic trees. A small lake and carpark lies at its heart, and a stream runs through the middle. It was quarried for rocks for harbour works in both the 19th and 20th centuries.
The SCMTBC has built and maintains a number of trails that can be stitched together in a variety of different ways to make a fun ride. Some of the tracks must be linked up by using the walking tracks (shared use) that also run through the park. When riding on the walking tracks, remember to ride carefully and give way to pedestrians.
Mountain Bike access to Centennial Park is at the grace of the council. We must respect the rules and the MTB Code if we want to keep riding here! Do not ruin it for everyone else by being a turkey.
How to get there:
Centennial Park has 3 points of entry, Quarry Road off Otipua Road, Quarry Road off Claremont Road, and the stone gate on Otipua Road at the intersection with Church Street. Quarry Road runs through the middle of the park with several parking sites. Park anywhere, find some track, and start riding! There is a jump park and small carpark at the SE end.
Maps of the park are located near each end of the park, though the MTB tracks are not necessarily up to date, and only show some of the major routes.
People generally ride around the scenic in an anti-clockwise direction, but all the tracks are bi-directional so be prepared to meet someone coming the other way! Head NW on the north side of the stream. Cross the stream and the road at the Claremont end of the park and head up into the gum trees. Do a few circuits on the little loops in the gum trees. There are some challenging bits to test yourself on here, including a few drops and chutes.
Drop back down to the road and cross over it, and head down towards the creek to find the Bottom Creek track and head SE. This is a cool piece of track with some nice berms which spits you back out near the lake.
Climb back up to the road, and then up the road to a plateau with carpark looking over the lake below. Turn SE again and past a steel gate, then keep the high line over the wooden bridge, along the fence and then drop down again. On your left is the Black Hole track through some connifers – so called because it is very dark under the trees. Pick any of the tracks that head in a SE ish direction. My favourite is the Roller Coaster. Follow your nose all they way down to the SE end of the park, and dive underneath the bridge.
This description to be completed…
Google Map under development – it takes a lot of time! You can download the Google Earth file here: Mountain Bike Trails.kmz
Young Jack playing in the Scenic…