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A zigzag track starts near sea level behind Logan Park High School and ends up at 393m at the Signal Hill lookout. But the climb is so gradual you barely notice you’re doing it.
To reach it follow the driveway left of the school. The track starts under the large wooden bridge.
Mountain Biking Otago built this 6km path in 2010, cleverly finding the long and winding route along the easiest contour. Walkers are welcome, having the responsibility to keep left and give way to bikers. Track width makes this easy.
Sometimes, the track passes through healthy native bush, especially at the start, where the delightful Opoho Creek keeps you company. At other times, though, it’s like walking through a life-sized compendium of pest plants.
Next thing, though, all is well again. Here’s a young tree fern solidly staking its ground and there’s a native clematis, strongly flowering away in the springtime.
A beauty of the very gentle gradient of the track is those new to jogging can go for a wee test drive without jarring the joints. The ease of the rise could be boring for more experienced runners but novices can get a puff going without risking becoming airborne at any stage (I speak from experience).
The new Accessibel website includes photos and comments about the accessibility of the Big Easy. This way, people can assess the route according to their own situation before they even leave home. So handy.
If you get sick of the Big Easy’s mellowness, you can push the eject button at the 4WD Water Tank Track and soon exit at the top of Signal Hill. If you instead stay on the Big Easy, you’ll arrive at The Plateau, a flattish meeting place of intersecting tracks, complete with a drinking tap, seat and city view.
Once at the top of Signal Hill, follow the road down. The route is a bit of a bogan trap but for those of us with some hooning in our history, we can only mentally indulge the latest generation as they burn past, breaking their own new ground.
Blacks Bush entrance looks like someone’s private property but is a paper road extension of Blacks Rd. Head for the track at the left of the cabbage trees.
Once you hit the Big Easy again, turn right downhill, not left uphill. Bizarrely, that instruction needs including as the gradient is so gentle the downhill direction is not immediately obvious.