A new mountain bike trail with rich history and stunning views has been opened and is ready for bikers to enjoy all it has to offer.
The new Te Kōtukutuku trail is at Lake Rotokakahi – Green Lake.
The trail name comes from Te Kōtukutuku Point along Lake Rotokakahi. It is also the native tree fuchsia that grows in the area.
It was named and blessed by Tūhourangi spokesman Rangitihi Pene. He also shared some of the history of the area.
Rotorua Trails Trust trails manager Damian Clarke says this trail has been years in the planning.
To proceed they had to get the funds and the trail builders, as well as approval and support from Timberlands and the council, but most importantly from local landowners, Tūhourangi.
"We can't thank them enough for allowing us access to build this trail in the most tranquil and beautiful part of the Whakarewarewa Forest."
Damian says it was a huge milestone to complete the trail after 17 weeks of winter trail building, and it felt great to see people of all ages and mountain biking abilities enjoying it after the official opening.
"It's been fantastic to read the positive feedback on Facebook as well."
He says it is a 2.8km beginner grade, mostly downhill, mountain bike trail.
It is wide with no steep down or uphill sections.
"It has incredible views over the lake and forest, and we've put in some rest areas where you can take in the best of the natural environment."
Damien says the trail is a key segment in the new Round the Forest Loop trail being constructed as part of Rotorua Lakes Council's Big Moves – Forest upgrades.
"These trails will not only be accessible to riders of all ages and abilities, but will take in key natural, historical and cultural sites and stories along the way, allowing us to showcase what makes Rotorua special for visitors and locals alike."
Deputy mayor Dave Donaldson says a great thing about this new section is that it opens up to Lake Rotokakahi, as well as having the opportunity for interpretive panels which explain to locals and visitors the rich history of the area.
"There are really interesting stories and history, and beautiful views."
He says him and Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick had a ride on the trail on his tandem bike.
"It's a beautifully constructed trail. It's a fun ride - if you are keen on fresh air and exercise, well, what better way?"