5 miles
3,448 ft
-1,002 ft
Avg time


  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T2 Mountain Hiking
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Bridge, Rock Face, Rock Garden
  • Global Ranking
    #15984 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    10 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Land Manager

This challenging single track in Golden Bay is one of the region's best. The epic 44 km return track has a whopping 58 switchbacks with an overall climb of 1,820 metres - it's certainly a challenge, but those who conquer it give it rave reviews.

The Kill Devil Track is signposted from the Uruwhenua Road. You'll follow a gravel road along with the cows through some farmland before entering a forestry block. Sign the intention book at the start of the track and get ready for an epic ride. The farm road turns to single track and the real Kill Devil Track begins.

Without a doubt, the most challenging aspect of this ride is the climb up Kill Devil Spur. Don't say we didn't warn you - you'll face 58 (or is it 57?) switchbacks over 800 metres of climbing. The miners who build the track knew what they were doing and the track is quite well graded. You'll climb along a grassy terrace before entering the bush. The beech forest thickens about the same time the grade gets a bit more challenging.

The switchbacks range from smooth, to rocky, to erosion prone with large rocks. Your balance will certainly be tested over the course of the climb. Many of the tight corners are smooth in the approach so you can get a bit of momentum. Inevitably you'll be off the saddle (some more than others) - especially in the last half of the climb where the switchbacks are quite eroded. Expect the climb to the ridge to take between 1.5 - 2.5 hours.

Just before you reach the summit, you'll reach a signposted stream. Fill up your water bottle or CamelBack as this is one of two reliable water sources on the track. Just past the stream the view opens up and there is a great spot for a refuel. The vies are superb - stretching all the way from Abel Tasman National Park to Devil River Peak and the Devil Range.

The ride along the ridge is fantastic - a mix of technical sections with fast, smooth and open sections make for a great 6 km ride. A couple gnarly, rocky descents down a tight ridge will ultimately drop you at the turnoff to Riordans Hut. You'll have to hop off your bike for the first 100 or so metres but after this it's all rideable. The hut has been refurbished, has big open fireplace and offers up some fantastic views. It's a great place to stay for the night.

After passing Riordans Hut you enter the Kahurangi National Park. While this is typically out-of-bounds as far as mountain bikes go, DOC has allowed a three year trial period and you can ride all the way to Waingaro Forks Hut. The ride to the Waingaro Forks Hut is fast and downhill with more rocky and technical switchbacks.

Be prepared for weather to come in quickly as much of the ridge is quite exposed. The ride down is an absolute rush though and just as challenging in reverse on the 58 switchbacks.

source: NZ by Bike
Access Info

From Upper Takaka head north for 6km's, turn left at Uruwhenua Road and head south for almost 3 km's to the signposted start of the track.

Follow the farm road for a few hundred metres to the base of the hills, and then the triangle orange markers will lead you across a stream and up to the single track.


E-bikes are not permitted on this trail.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Kill Devil Track - Carpark to Tin Hut Shelter bike trail
  • Altitude change
    2,446 ft
  • Altitude min
    342 ft
  • Altitude max
    2,930 ft
  • Altitude start
    342 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,788 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    1 mile
  • Distance flat
    1,334 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Jun 29, 2019
Very Dry
Avg: 4.5 (2 votes)

view (16)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
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  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
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Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
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  • Both Directions
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  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
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Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
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Max Vehicle Width

Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • eBike Charging Point eBike Charging Point
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Gate Gate
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
  • Boardwalk Boardwalk
  • Camping Camping
  • Cabin Cabin
  • Lodge Lodge
  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
  • Ranger Station Ranger Station
  • Summit Summit
  • Other Other
      Directions to kill-devil-track-carpark-to-tin-hut-shelter trailhead (-41.008720, 172.805620)
      update trails status or condition

      Kill Devil Track... Trail Reports

      Jun 29, 2019 @ 2:59pm
      Jun 29, 2019
      Trail is very dry and loose
      Jun 29, 2019 @ 2:59pm
      Jun 29, 2019
      Trail is very dry and loose
      Mar 11, 2017 @ 7:59pm
      Mar 11, 2017
      Due to the rain in the last couple of days it was pretty wet, but still a good ride
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 0 rides
      • 18 rides


      more »
      88 |
      Dec 12, 2017 @ 7:39pm
      Dec 12, 2017
      81 |
      Dec 12, 2017 @ 7:39pm
      Dec 12, 2017
      331 |
      Mar 2, 2014 @ 7:40pm
      Mar 2, 2014

      Reviews / Comments

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      more »
      Kill Devil Trail, Kahurangi National Park,...
      231 | Apr 22, 2018 , Takaka
      Kill Devil Trail Highlights, Kahurangi...
      157 | Apr 19, 2018 , Takaka
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