Current Track Conditions
This page shows the condition of both the Cloud Forests of Leith Track (including Leith Loop), and the Escarpment Track - the information is as current as our last visit - if you have noticed any damage since this date you can email us here with details.
UPDATE: 21 November, 2016
General: There will always be areas of mud and fallen trees to climb over - these add to the experience you get on these tracks and not all will be removed...
Cloud Forests of Leith: The track is generally OK. There is some vegetation along the edges in places (this is normal for this track). A tree has fallen across a section of the track, but is easily stepped over. The OTMC plan to trim back the edges over the next couple of months (more so at the top end).
Leith Loop Lookout: Similar to the Cloud Forests track, the Leith Loop track is in an overall good shape. There is (always has been) a short muddy section on the southern leg of the loop, just before the first lookout point. The big lower look-out rock is slippery, so be careful if climbing on it. There is vegetatation trimming to do, again this is planned for the next couple of months or so.
Escarpment Track: The track is now in the best shape it has been for some years. The section from the powerline to the Sullivans Bridle Track is clear, with the odd patch of mud (the major windfall approximately 3/4 of the way in has been all but cleared (one log now remains). The small creek just before the Sullivans Bridhe Track has been cleared of mud - you can now cross on the solid rock stream bed. The DCC Sullivans Bridle Track is currently impenetrable in either direction following the 2013 snowfall - the OTMC hope to reopen this back towards Dunedin (3 Peaks Track) later).
The section of the Escarpment track between the bridle track and Pigeon Rock is currently being trimmed back - the track itself is open, but you may need to push through ferns and other vegetation (Nov 15 - it is only the middle section here to be cut back - we have made good progress from each end). The section between Pigeon Rock and Pigeon Hill has had some track clearing done as well as being remarked above the small rocky outcrop. The boggy section has had some temporary drainage work done, with more planned next summer. NOTE: we have cut a new route from Pigeon Rock to the tops via the pine forest - as you head up the track, look for an opening in the bush on your right as you leave the rock area for the bush - it is marked from just inside the bush to the felled forest area at the top. This bypass avoids completely the extensive boggy section, and will be permanantly signposted shortly.
Marker poles have been added at Pigeon Hill - these lead to or from the City Forest plantation (known informally as the White Flag Route). A new descent to the remaining section of the Escarpment Track has been made from Pigeon Hill (the original route is now well and truly buried under fallen pine trees). This new route is steepish, but well marked with orange triangles. The section of the track between Pigeon Hill and Cowan road has been completly cut and is easily followed.
The entry / exit at Cowan Road has been marked and recut, so no more following down the fenceline...