The McArthur Bridge at kilometre 36 (just past Pool Hut) has now been removed due to the damage sustained in the July flood event
Hurunui Trails, as the manager of the St James Cycle Trail is lobbying strongly for the replacement of the bridge as soon as possible, a decision expected by the end of November from our trail partner and owner of the assets, the Department of Conservation
Access on the trail to the Waiau Valley from both the Edwards Valley (southern end) and Maling Pass (Northern end) is still possible with the trails in great condition. A day or overnight excursion in to Cow Stream Hot Pools and Scotties Hut and perhaps the climb over Charlies Saddle to camp in the Waiau always is a delightful trip.
The views from Maling Pass really define the ‘Big Country’ experience and with the trail repaired from the July floods a great ride. Lake Guyon always beckons and for advanced riders, the descent of the Stanley River valley and the climb up onto the “racecourse’ leading to Charlies Saddle is an iconic adventure, as is the heritage horse trail, Fowlers Pass.
It is difficult to ever recommend crossing of the Waiau downstream of Pool Hutt due to the major flow of the river and the impact of westerly storms on it’s flow – it’s a big river so only to be considered by people experienced in back country travel – hence our desire to get a bridge solution soonest to ensure that the St James is truly a ‘Great Ride’
Keep an eye out here and on our FaceBook sites (Hurunui Trails and St James Cycle Trail) for updates and always the DOC site as your go to for trail conditions