In its latest funding round the Backcountry Trust has allocated $178,000 to volunteer-led hut and track maintenance projects. $76,000 is earmarked for mountain bike tracks - including the Canaan Downs Loop on top of the Takaka Hill between Nelson and Golden Bay; a brand new trail network in the Snowden Forest, just out of Te Anau; ongoing water control and surface work on the Wharfedale and Craigieburn tracks in Canterbury; some love for Nelson’s Matai, Rimu, Supplejack and Sharlands Creek trails; and also in Nelson - realignment and upgrading for the Hacket Track; and a new track hooking up the Link Pathway and Mt Freeth above Queen Charlotte Sound near Picton.
If your club or group have some tracks in your hood that would enjoy a dose of love, shuffle along to backcountrytrust.org.nz and download the application forms and guidelines. Money can be used for a wide variety of things including materials, digger hire, transport and signage. There's some form filling, cost estimates and Health and Safety hoops to jump through - but with up to $15,000 available annually for each project it's worth the effort.
The Backcountry Trust is a collaboration of Trail Fund NZ, Federated Mountain Clubs and NZ Deer Stalkers. It is primarily funded by DOC to support volunteer-led projects that repair, maintain and enhance backcountry huts and tracks on public conservation land.