Riverhead Forest - Campbell Road
Walk status: Off-lead
For those of you who want to keep your feet clean, Campbell Road is the forest walk you've been waiting for. We entered via the entrance off Ararimu Valley Road, but you can choose to start it from Bald Hill Road also.
If you're coming along Ararimu Valley Road, the Campbell Road entrance is easily visible if you keep an eye out for the chain link fence. The parking here is limited as its just a small area in front of the gate but it can fit a few cars.
As per all other forest walks, vehicles are blocked at the entrance but walkers and bike riders have access. Campbell Road is a long stretch of gravel road which is perfect for bike riders. It was a wet and windy day when we arrived so I was determined to stick to the main track and keep us both clean for a change. Although I admit it was tempting to try one of those muddy forest tracks and even George looked disappointed when we didn't.
There are many different side tracks along Campbell Road for those of you who want to be a bit more adventurous. Much more doable in the warmer months when the tracks are less muddy, but if you're keen even in winter there are a few gravel roads that branch off Campbell and some typical forest muddy trails you can try (these aren't noted on the map though).
There isn't much to say about Campbell Road. It really is just a long stretch of gravel road. We had been walking around 40mins when a large downpour hit and we reached the bottom of the one and only hill we had come across so far. George gave me the look of 'why are we doing this?' and I had to agree. Had the hill lead us to a loop we would have carried on, but as I knew we were only going to turn around at the end and come back the same way we called it quits and headed back.
I have to admit, I got a little bored on this walk and I think George was only mildly impressed by it. While the scenery is always lovely through the forest, I want a little adventure and this was all a bit too safe for my liking. However, if you've never walked the forest before, want to keep the feet clean and potentially even bring the kids and the bikes along then this is great one to start with.
Although we didn't end up walking the full length of the road, what we did walk (to the bottom of hill) took us just over an hour (1.20) and we covered 5.98kms. Probably another 20mins would have gotten us to the end, making the total walk closer to the two hour mark all up.
Location: Campbell Road entrance, located off Ararimu Valley Road (or Bald Hill Road for the opposite end)
Carparking is limited here, there is a small gravel lay by.
Things to know:
There are no toilets here
The gate is locked to vehicles, but walkers and bike riders still have access.