The final stretch of the Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride network has been completed and is ready for use, linking Craggy Range Winery and Red Bridge Café to the rest of the trail with a safe route.
The last section of the trail on Waimarama Rd was officially opened on Tuesday, with the region's councillors getting a head start and testing the new limestone track by mountain bike, e-bike and on foot.
Project manager Graeme Hansen said it was nice to see the last part of the Landscape Ride come to fruition.
"I was the project manager 15 years ago when we built Hawke's Bay trails and this was one part of the trail we could never find an adequate solution to," he said.
"It's the final piece of the puzzle on one of our most iconic rides."
Work began with Dodge Contracting in late January to build the section on the offroad cycle trail on Waimārama Rd between Te Mata Rd and Craggy Range winery.
Hansen said the project was first and foremost a safety project to protect both cyclists and motorists.
The project came about after New Zealand Cycle Trail deemed the current 3km section of on-road trail a "safety risk" - an open-road in an 80km/h speed limit area.
The final 3km is part of the wider 200km Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride network – one of Aotearoa's 22 Great Rides.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst was the first to officially ride on the trail with her electric blue e-bike.
She said the Landscape Ride is about the community being able to enjoy getting outside and exploring the region out of harm's way.
"There are a lot of people and tourists coming from all over to New Zealand to Hawke's Bay and this is what we are offering, this amazing infrastructure," she said.
"We are all about getting out into our beautiful landscapes and showcasing them and for people to be able to enjoy them on bikes and walking, instead of in vehicles."
Red Bridge Café owner Melissa Campbell said she's looking forward to the trail bringing more cyclists and other people in for a coffee.
"It's going to connect more of Hawke's Bay together, we've been hanging out for the signs to go back up and the 'Mad Mile' to be safer."
"The next step is to look at the bridge and how to make that part safer," she added.