top of page
Coppermine Trail


From the lowlands of the bustling city, this loop trail climbs a forest-clad historic rail line onto the mountain tops, transporting the rider into the martian like, arid sub-alpine zone then, once again descending to the valley floor to complete the circuit by following the river into the city's heart. This is one of the easiest bike trails to the tops.

​The Brook ascent is an intermediate grade climb to the tops before the trail narrows and becomes more exposed, technical and suitable for advanced riders. This is a great day loop trail like no other and best experienced when there is no snow on the trail.

The Coppermine Trail is a glorious loop behind the city of Nelson. The trail is divided into several sections that are ridden as a day trip. While the trail is just behind the city, it is rough and very exposed with challenging riding on the Maitai Valley side of the Coppermine Saddle. The full loop is 43km completed from the iSITE, or shortened to 38.1km starting/finishing at Brook Street (as described in the trail sections).

The former railway line trail from the Brook up to Coppermine Saddle (known as the Dun Mountain Walkway), is suitable for intermediate cyclists, with the trail beyond best for advanced riders. The trail is generally ridden in an anti-clockwise direction.

The trail out of The Brook has a gentle climb, is wide in places but narrows once above the bushline. After reaching the saddle the trail becomes steep, rocky and tight. The trail is mostly off-road, with a gravel or natural formation and some technical and steep gradients on the downhill.

Toilets are scattered along the ride with the only other services located in the city of Nelson - the departure point of the trail. The trail is generally well signposted. It reaches the sub-alpine region and some challenging terrain. Warm clothing is required.

bottom of page