Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park is the secret gem on the East Coast of the North Island, located within 880ha of privately owned pine forest, the local Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club have constructed over 80km of MTB trails over the last 20 years, that suit all ability of riders, from serious downhill (where 2 current pro downhillers call home) through to easy cross-country, achievable for families and kids of all ages.
Located just a few minutes drive north of Napier overlooking local wineries - from the tops (highest point 290m), you can look out over the Hawkes Bay to Napier, the port, Cape Kidnappers, Te Mata Peak and north to Mahia Peninsula.
Types of trails include extreme freeride, to competition downhill (equivalent to any world cup course), to advanced cross-country through to very easy cross-country suitable for the kids and beginners.
The clay based soil sprinkled with pine needles is solid and fast for eight or so months of the year as Hawkes Bay normally has a hot and dry climate. During the winter months some sections do get a bit boggy, wet and slippery.
As the facility is on private property, permits are required for access.
For regular riders to the area it's recommended to join the club for 24/7 access, or there is a "3 week visitors permit" available from local bike shops, information centres, some retail stores or on the club website.
All trails are rated and signposted at all entrances and exits.
The Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park trails are generally more technical than other trails found around NZ, yet flow really well - a great favourite for those that have experienced what the Hawkes Bay has to offer.
Thanks to the Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club for providing notes and photos on this ride.