Trail use

There are a number of ways we monitor trail use; some of these are informal and rely on club members reporting on who they talked to while out riding.

However, there are a couple of more formal methods used:

  • The NPDC has an infra-red counter at Mangamahoe.  The NPDC pass the traffic information to us.  Some of the data from this counter will graphed when the data becomes reliable and shown on this page in the future.  The counter has been having some issues.
  • We have installed four MTB counters that work using a magnetometer on a number of the trails (they do pick up carbon bikes!) at Mangamahoe.  We are using these TRAFx trail counters operating in Bike mode.  The trails that were part of the first period of monitoring were: Kiwi Kids, Mandatory Power Play, Lawsons Loop – GDO Link and Kahore Tau.  Subsequently the counter from the Kiwi Kids track has been moved to the new Highway to Hell trail, so data from that trail’s use is now included.
  • At the beginning of February the counter on Lawson’s Loop-GDO Link was moved to the Lap It Up track and the Mandatory Power Play counter was moved up to be nearer the entrance to this trail to make it safer to retrieve the data.
  • It has been 3 months since we last retrieved data from the counters, so let’s see what the winter has done for the numbers.

Some of the results provided from the data collected from the TRAFx counters are shown here (last updated 8th September 2019):

What does a daily count look like for the Autumn and Winter months of 2019?

As shown in the past, a regular weekly cycle that corresponds to the high weekend use of the park.  However, you can see the effect of our wet season with the daily use dropping off from early July with Sunday 28th July obviously had fine weather and people got their fix of mountain biking.

During the last 365 days up to the end of August 2019, there were 7 days in this period where there were fewer than 2 bikes recorded over a 24 hour period on any of the counters: 1st October 2018, 13th May 2019, 3rd & 4th July 2019, 5th August, 12th August & 23rd August.

The peak count per day summing all counters was 528 on 14th April 2019, the start of the school holidays and there was a club championship race.  There were 10 days where more than 400 bikes were recorded passing the four counters.

The minimum, maximum and averages per day over the 365 days to the 31st August 2019 are:

Highway to Hell Kahore Tau Lap It Up Mandatory PowerPlay
Max/day 199 190 231 190
Average/day 27 25 47 41
Min/day 0 0 0 0
No. of days
with no riders
11 14 13 6


We can get monthly averages.  The trend on the trails is generally upwards since June 2017 with the new trails attracting more riders to the northern end of the park.

These are the monthly figures for the first 8 months of 2019:

The monthly averages are trending downwards as they have done in previous years as the weather deteriorates.

For the same 8 months of last year these were:

For the same 8 months last year, 3 had less traffic on average than they have had this year whereas Lap It Up had more last year (1406/month) than this year (1381/month).


Which was the most heavily ridden trail during 2018?

Apart from 4 weeks during 2018, Lap It Up was getting the most ridden each week.  Mandatory Power Play is next, Kahore Tau and then Highway To Hell.  This shows that as riders we were heading out to the top end of the park to sample the new trails.

Has this continued during 2019?  The same four sites compared for the first 8 months of 2019 now shows this:

Highway to Hell and Mandatory have taken a bigger slice of the pie whereas the trend for Lap It Up to have less traffic shows up.


What are the trends for the time since the counters have been installed?

Mandatory PowerPlay has come back into flavour which may be a reflection of recent work on the trail and the new Sweet Spot trail being opened up leading to more riders at the southern end of the park.

For 2019, each of the sites is seeing  25+ bikes per day on average.  These 2019 averages most likely will decrease as the wet season continues with the first half of the year being prime riding time and then pick up later in the year as the weather improves.

There seems to be over well over 16,000 bikes in our park over any 12 month period.