This dual walking and cycling trail is suitable for the whole family. The trail takes you along the true right bank of the powerful Clutha Mata-au River between Alexandra and Clyde.
Distance: 12 km one way
Expect to see walkers and joggers out for their daily constitutional. The trail is suitable for wheelchair and pushchair access in parts. Do be aware of the blind corners, and please give way to walkers.
Mainly flat with one or two boardwalks and bridges nearer Alexandra, this well surfaced trail is special no matter the season but especially good in the height of summer when the dappled shade from the willow trees is appreciated.
From the Alexandra end, start at the car park on Poplar Crescent, signposted 300 metres along Earnscleugh Road from SH8. Alternatively, you can start from the Alexandra Bridge if that is more convenient.
The trail follows the river upstream through the historic Earnscleugh Tailings. This area was extensively dredged in the early 1900’s and yielded tons of gold. It was hard, noisy work compared to the peaceful place it is today. You might notice the marked changes in the gravel heaps reflecting the improvements in dredge technology and you also might notice scattered through this wilderness some remaining artefacts. This area is special and regarded as an ‘outside museum’ so please admire but do not touch. The Tailings are protected and are on conservation land.
Linger for a while in the delightful historic township of Clyde – it is well worth a visit. Take time to browse the local shops, stop for an ice cream or a coffee from a local cafe before commencing your journey back to Alexandra, either back along the river track, or you can link to the Otago Central Rail Trail.
The rail trail is a shorter, more direct route (only 9km) taking you past orchards, vineyards and farmland. Orchard Gardens and Hintons Estate Cellar Door offer a leisurely break enroute or just take time to admire the stunning views of the Old Man Range.