Heartbreak Hill - Lake Mangamahoe, New Plymouth
Walk status: Off-lead/On-lead
Upon entering the Lake entrance, you drive alongside the Lake to your right. All of this area directly alongside the lake is officially off limits for doggies, even on-lead. But that doesn't mean you and your dog can't enjoy this little piece of Taradise. TEN (Equestrian Network) who operate these trails along with the council, have confirmed that dogs can be off-lead in the bridle trail area as long as you're respectful of other users. Horses and riders take priority here, so please put your dog on a lead if you're approaching them to keep everyone safe.
For this walk you start at the Bridle trail carpark which is about halfway up the road on the left. Starting here also gives a good indication of how many horses might also be on the track based on how many horse floats are in the carpark.
To start this walk, head left on the bridle trail. Follow the main track up the slight hill until you get to the end of this main path. You'll then reach a section of the path that goes left or right. Head left at this point which is walking you back towards the lake, and you'll see glimpses of traffic. Just before reaching the road, the track forks around to the right. Head up the hill and continue to follow this trail all the way to the top.
A couple of things to note. I named this walk, Heartbreak Hill because I really thought the first time we did this walk we would discover amazing views. Unfortunately my heart broke at every turn that the foliage hid most of the views and you only got a glimpse of the lake. Another thing to note is this track is REALLY muddy in winter. There are some low areas that pool with water after heavy rain and while you can avoid them with some tricky footwork, be prepared to get muddy and wet if the weather is bad.
Once you get to the top, you'll then head downhill through the trees and if you look to your left, you'll get some views of the mountain if its not cloudy. The track then continues through the grass and meets back up with the main trails. Once you've reached the next fork in the tracks, you can really choose whatever way you want. Once you get to know the trails, its easy to make up your own adventure.
For this walk in particular, we headed straight, back up the hill and alongside the old shed. At this point you'll reach multiple tracks, and you should begin to see the funeral home carpark. Heading towards the funeral home, join the main track to continue in a loop. Any of the tracks around the funeral home carpark lead you to the same spot, so it doesn't matter which one you choose to follow.
You should then reach another fork of tracks. You have the option at this point to head up hill or down. In this walk, we headed down and about 1/4 of the way down the hill is another track through the trees to your left. Take this track to make the walk a little longer. This track leads through the trees and once up a slight hill pops out on another track. At this point, we head down the hill. At the bottom of the hill there is another track to the right, take this one to head back to the carpark. Follow it along until you again get to another fork. Both tracks at the bottom of this track to the left head back to the carpark. At this point in the walk there is a map so you can check where you are in relation to the carpark. We went to the very bottom of the hill and turned left on the bottom track.
You can then follow this track up the hill and then turn right to return to the bridle trails carpark. The above instructions probably aren't easy to follow when you're not walking it, but hopefully the GPS image and the chance to make your own adventure here will give you motivation to give it a go!
Location: Lake Mangamahoe, entrance opposite Kent Road
Carparking is good here
Things to know:
There are toilets here, but only at the entrance by the main road
Dogs are not allowed to be off-lead or within 200m of the Lake