Cavalcaders first to walk new trail section

Don Morrison leads the Otago Goldfields Cavalcade 'Whisky Galore' walking trail on to the Lawrence-Evans Flat section of the Clutha Gold Trail yesterday morning. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Don Morrison leads the Otago Goldfields Cavalcade 'Whisky Galore' walking trail on to the Lawrence-Evans Flat section of the Clutha Gold Trail yesterday morning. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Walkers setting off on the first day of their Otago Goldfields Cavalcade trek from Lawrence yesterday morning discovered the occasion also marked the opening of a 5km section of the Clutha Gold Trail.

Construction of the 73km Clutha Gold Cycle Trail from the Roxburgh Dam to Lawrence, on the opposite side of the river to the Roxburgh Gorge trail, began at the start of last year.

Trail trust chairman Rod Peirce said the group was happy the section's opening coincided with the cavalcade.

The 5km section stretches from Lawrence to Cockleshell Rd at Evans Flat.

About 50 people are taking part in the cavalcade's ''Whisky Galore'' walking trail, which began in Lawrence yesterday, winding up to Beaumont, through Black Gully, to arrive in Tapanui on Saturday in time for the cavalcade's grand parade.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the number of walkers opening the trail was ''magnificent''.

The Clutha Gold Trail has a $5.5 million budget, including $3.8 million from the Government.

The Lawrence to Evans Flat leg of the trail is all on private land. Mr Peirce said farmers gave the trust easements for the trail.

The 13km section from the dam to Pinders Pond was complete except for a bridge over the Teviot River, which is expected to be put in place next week. The trust planned to open the trail in sections to allow public use before an official opening of the entire trail by spring.

- helena.dereus@odt.co.nz