Slow going on the mapping project. Hoped to complete the Otago Dam Track today, but the stream had clearly flooded parts of the track recently which made it muddier than usual. Since this track has multiple stream crossings and a risk of flash floods it seemed unwise to carry on.
Track has been mapped up to the first major stream crossing, where the first flash flood area ends.
I ran into other walkers who had turned back and was able to direct them to Munro’s Gully walk which is of similar difficulty and length without the wet feet.
I opted to explore the part of the Gabriel’s Gully Interpretive Track that goes to Pollards Dam. Someone previously traced the trail into Open Street Map, but I had noticed the Pollards Dam section on OSM seemed much longer than the actual track.
It turns out there is a track that goes behind Pollards Dam. This track is not visible on any map I have of Gabriel’s Gully. It starts out along a ridge which overlooks Greys Dam to the right. At first I wasn’t sure it was really a trail, but there was a stile where a fence clearly used to be and a bench a short while later. Once past the overlook you enter into pine forest with a clearly marked trail that runs alongside Glendhu Forest Road. Unlike the Interpretive Track, this mystery trail uses plastic arrows. Unsure of how long the trail was and where it was going I did not complete it, but wondered if it linked up to the Munro’s Gully Track.
Interestingly, as I was leaving I ran into walkers I previously directed to Munro’s Gully. They did the Munro’s Gully trail, but also ended up on the mystery track, confirming my suspicions that it leads there.
This seems preferable to the official Munro’s Gully walk which has adventurers return via Glendhu Forest Rd, which is used for forestry operations and has no sidewalk.
Walking Track Map Project
DOC Walking Track Categories Cheat Sheet