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Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust wins Outdoor Access Champion Award
The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust received an award on 15 May 2019 for its work creating the 85km-long Old Ghost Road trail.
The Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa presents Outdoor Access Champion Awards each year to people and organisations who have made significant and lasting contributions to public access to the outdoors in New Zealand.
Following a nomination by DOC Operations Manager, Bob Dickson, this is the first time an Outdoor Access Champion Award has come to the West Coast.
Mr Dickson says of the trust:
"It has developed a hugely popular biking and walking trail which brings over 11,000 visitors a year to the region and features in the Lonely Planet’s guide to the most epic biking trails in the world."
Walking Access Commission Regional Field Advisor for the West Coast, Inger Perkins, says the trust has worked tirelessly under the direction of its inspiring chairperson Phil Rossiter.
The Old Ghost Road trail includes four new huts as it traverses native forest, open tussock - lands, river flats and forgotten valleys. It is the work of over 400 volunteers who collectively donated 26,500 hours of work to build the trail. It is one of New Zealand’s Great Rides.
Inger Perkins says that since opening, the trail has been recognised as one of the world’s premier backcountry mountain biking routes.
"It offers a unique experience. The trail opens up a beautiful and long-unexplored region for both mountain bikers and walkers, and is one of New Zealand’s few multi-day rides."
The trust received the award on 15 May 2019 at The Adventure HQ, 193 Palmerston Street, Westport.