A former farm track which has been redeveloped into a 2km path is opening up a new section of rural Napier to the increasing number of walkers and cyclists using the popular Hawke's Bay Trails.
The new section is part of the Water Ride trail from Prebensen Dr near Park Island through to the Ahuriri Estuary.
The Water Ride trail takes in Marine Parade in Napier city, Westshore, Bay View and sections of the Tutaekuri River to Puketapu and the Ngaruroro River.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council reconstructed the stopbank on the old farm track of the new Water Ride section and finished laying lime sand to re-open it in time for the summer holidays.
Since then, numerous cyclists have been taking the opportunity to put it to the test, and among them yesterday were Dave and Gill Mitchell, from Greenmeadows.
"It's a great track that we can use cycling from our home and you can go right out to Bay View if you want," Mr Mitchell said.
"But my favourite track is the one which goes out to Puketapu," he said.
"I just like the scenery and it's something that's out of the way and you can stop at the pub for a break."
Mrs Mitchell said she had noticed many "older people" giving the track a go on their bikes as well.
"I like the river ride out to Bay View but it's a bit of a hard ride going past the airport.
"I have a friend from Aussie who says there's nothing like this in Australia. They have to cycle on the road."
Callum and Kelly Fisher had just completed a circuit of the Water Ride when Hawke's Bay Today met them at the Prebensen Dr /Park Island end of the new section.
The couple, also from Greenmeadows, cycled to EIT Hawke's Bay in Taradale, along the banks of the Tutaekuri River, along Marine Parade to Napier, then on to Ahuriri before using the new section of the River Ride to cross the Ahuriri estuary towards Park Island.
"We started at about 9.30am and it's taken us about two hours and 15 minutes. We did stop for a cup cake in Ahuriri," Mrs Fisher said.
The couple said there were always opportunities to meet "lots of interesting people" using the trails.
"But it's a pity there's not a lot of younger people, teenagers and people in their 20s, using the trails more," Mrs Fisher said.
The Hawke's Bay Trails also include the Landscapes Ride which loop from Havelock North taking in the Tukituki River and the Wineries Ride, and a loop through the western wine growing district near Bridge Pa and Ngatarawa.
Other upgrades to the trails include a new road crossing at State Highway 2, near Bay View, on the Water Ride and a new lime sand pathway which has been finished on the Landscapes Ride in Havelock North between Havelock Rd and Crosses Rd, next to the Karamu Stream.