City, sea and mountain views2018 02 25 marsden valley 1

Marsden Valley circuit – Sunday 25 February 2018

Marsden Valley is one of Stoke's treasures. Leaving the carpark at 9am, we climbed the gentle Involution Trail zig-zagging through manuka then red beech to the Barnicoat Ridge Road. Here we stopped for elevenses and a chat with three trampers who'd climbed the steeper Scout Track. Any members of our party who had secretly wanted to come that way (as originally advertised) bravely hid their disappointment. Anna led us along "Widdershins Trail", a new bike track which traverses the top of the valley just below Ridge Road. With stops to chat and admire the views, we took nearly an hour to reach the beehives at the skid site. From here we followed Glider Road through pine and Douglas fir to the cleared area where parapanters take off. With city, sea and mountain views, plus picnic tables and a toilet, this made a great lunch spot. Donell showed us a photo of a newly-arrived giant cruise ship - which we then spied. Val decided to visit it on the way home. Julian took us the final steps to the top and views into the Roding/Hacket watersheds. On the way down Glider Road we met Lesley bounding up. Just before the carpark we detoured see to the tunnel that pipes water from the Roding to Nelson and complete a very pleasant day.

The nine keen trampers were Colin (scribe), Anna, Donell, Jeni, Julian, Ken, Marie, Val and Anne (visitor).