Itinerary builder

Cougar Mountain Bike Park

Olympic hopeful Sam Gaze (left) chases a friend around a beautifully sculpted berm at Cougar Moutain Bike Park, Tokoroa, Waikato. Photo: Nick Lambert

Cougar Mountain Bike Park offers 35km of Grade 3-5 off-road forest tracks. The park hosts 14 different tracks, which cater for a wide range of riders from beginners and intermediate to advanced mountain bikers. For learner riders, the park offers hand-cut trails that have nice flow and plenty of exits along the trail.

Elite cross-country athlete and Commonwealth games silver medallist Sam Gaze rides the pine needle strewn home trails at Cougar Moutain Bike Park, Tokoroa, Waikato. Photo: Nick Lambert

Olympic hopeful Sam Gaze puts a few quick training laps in at Cougar Mountain Bike Park, Tokoroa. Photo: Nick Lambert

The Cougar Mountain Bike Park trails are set beneath the exotic pine trees of a living and working forest. Various parts of the forest are harvested at certain times over the 25-30 year life cycle of the trees. With a terrain elevation of just 75m, it doesn’t take too long to ride to the top of each trail.

Garry Brunton, of the Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club told us, “the new Southstar tracks are an absolute treat. Fast and flowing, they have added a very different perspective to the original tracks that were cut 10 years ago.”

You should expect some challenges when riding the trails at Cougar Park. Although they are created by Southstar Trail Builders – the masters of flow who cut their teeth in Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest, there are still some technical areas.

“The terrain certainly gets your heart rate up there," explains Garry. "The variety means you can ride day-in, day-out and not tire of the different tracks."

A good place to start is the 3 Blind Mice trail, this 3.4km track provides flowing singletrack for a nice warm-up ride. For experienced riders, this all year, all season ride park includes steep climbs, technical singletrack and some elevated wooden structures. The Tester is a challenging advanced trail that will, true to its name, test out the experienced riders with 600m of technical terrain.

Insider Tips

  • Make sure to include hot favourites 3 Blind Mice, Go Go Gadget and Log Drops trails in your ride.
  • This is a great venue for intermediate level riders – for newbies we recommend picking up a trail map from the Tokoroa i-Site.

Getting There

Cougar Mountain Bike Park network is best accessed from Tokoroa, which is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Auckland Airport (200km) and just over an hour's drive from Hamilton (87km). The Cougar Park trailhead starts just outside the Tokoroa township. You will find it by travelling southeast out of town on SH1. Turn left onto Mossop Road and look out for the large sign that will direct you along a dirt road to the trailhead for Cougar MTB Park.

Tell Me More

There are parts of the Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail in this region, for information on the trails we recommend visiting NZCycleTrail.

Want to explore more of this region? Visit the Hamilton-Waikato Tourism site here and explore all that the region has to offer.

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