This park is a really special place for me. When I was in my early teens, my whole family were keen mountain bikers and raced at Pukete every week through the summer. This park is one of Hamilton’s absolute gems, and the club who maintain the track are a great bunch of people.
I met up with a dog here last weekend for a couple of adoption photos, and took a quick wander around the southern end. The park is huge, and there is a lot of variety in terrain beyond what is shown in these photos (there are large open areas, hills, gullies and a “sandpit” sandy area), but it gives you a general idea of the main dog areas. There are approx 11km of trails through the park, though when you are walking with your dog I would advise sticking to the grass areas with good visibility and plenty of space to pass, as walkers and dogs in the sandpit and the quicker single track areas can be a real safety issue. As always, be aware & respectful of other park users.
The off lead dog area of the park is the narrow strip off Church Road, or if you prefer to park on a quieter road you can also access it from Balmerino Crescent. You can also access the park from Maui Street or Pukete Road, you’ll just have to walk a bit further to get to the off lead area. This area is a quiet spot with plenty of trees and space for dogs to run, and bordered by houses on each side. Once you get beyond this zone, the trails and rest of the park is a shared space. Your dog should be under complete control once you are in the shared zone, as it is a high bike traffic area at times and it is very easy for a dog to cause a serious accident at some of the speeds these bikes go.
Big smiles from Bo! If you head over to the northern side of the park you might see this bench. This is at the entrance to “Kay’s Glade”, an area which was created by the mountain bike club in honor of my mum after she passed away in a road cycling accident. She loved the club & mountain biking, and it was really special that the club chose to remember her in this way. Photo of the bench taken a couple of years ago when it was first installed.
Partially off lead
Bins – Yes, at entrances
Toilets – At Maui Street entrance
Parking – Usually road side, be aware that Pukete and Church roads can be very busy.
Other – Avoid the sand area and narrow single tracks for safety reasons. Keep your dog under control at all times and be aware of other park users – a bike vs dog accident will not end well! The club has races on every Wednesday night during the summer, as well as the occasional other event. Check the events page on their website beforehand, and avoid the tracks during these times. Also be aware that there may be more cyclists during the evenings and weekends during summer. Watch out for poison signs and watch your dog at all times.