Six new mountain bike trails have been approved for Rotorua, giving locals the chance to explore new forest areas and test their skills.

The Rotorua Trails Trust said the new trails, scattered throughout Whakarewarewa Forest, would be Grade 2 or higher.

The Forest Recreation Management Group, made up of the Rotorua Lakes Council, Timberlands Ltd, CNI Holdings and the landowners, approved them.

Rotorua Trails Trust trustee and trails manager Rob Smail said although they had been approved, they were not funded.

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He said the trust was applying for funding.

The trust may consider setting up a Givealittle page.

Mr Smail said Whakarewarewa Forest was a working forest, so they were speaking with Timberlands Ltd to ensure the trails were built away from working areas.

He said the popularity of mountain biking had grown, so there needed to be more trails to accommodate increasing numbers.

"There would be 10 times more people out there than there used to be."

There also used be a lot of easy trails and to keep people interested in the sport there needed to be a wide range of difficulty, he said.

The new trails will primarily be for mountain bikers, with exceptions for running events.

He said the trust was in consultation to apply for a new walking and running track but could not elaborate on the details.

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Mr Smail said feedback from the public had mostly been positive and believed the response reflected the trust's boost in membership.

"These new trails are opening a whole lot of new areas in the forest."

He said the building of some of the trails would begin next month and hoped all would be completed by December.

Rotorua Trails Trust chairman Gregg Brown said they had to take into account what they were building and the costs, as well as Timberlands Ltd's cutting plan.

It costs $5 to join the trust and donations are much appreciated.

For more information visit the Rotorua Trails Trust Facebook page or www.rotoruatrailstrust.co.nz.

Six new trails approved:
- Trail 1: Grade 3 trail to run parallel to As You Do
- Trail 2: Grade 4/5 trail to run north from the entrance of Hot X Buns
- Trail 3: Grade 2, parallel to Windy Rd and part of a perimeter trail of Whakarewarewa forest
- Trail 4: Grade 4, sits in a narrow strip of reserve and continues through a block that was planted in 2011
-Trail 5: Grade 4, this outback trail would be the longest in the forest and a real showcase in the network
Trail 6: Grade 2, from the intersection of Tikitapu Rd and Lake Front Rd