Trail Hero(ine)


Photo Credit: Brena Smith


This month’s winner of the Cactus Equipment “Trail Hero” thank you is Brena Smith of the Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club. Brena is relatively new to trail building (she only got started in mid-April this year) but she has been going all out. Her first project is a new trail called, Mint, in the Eskdale MTB Park near Napier. Over 300m has been built in the first three months by Brena and the trail likely to be 1500m or so when finished.

Progress has been fast because Brena has logged over 230 hours already and is out working on the trail multiple times a week for long stretches. You can see the results from the photos, this is no bunny build but a quality trail finished to a standard that belies her trail building experience.


Photo Credit: Brena Smith

And aside from some start-up help from Hawkes Bay trail stalwart Carl Larsen on trail location and building tips, Brena has done the rest including line selection, pruning the 8-year old pines and then benching and finishing. All done in a voluntary capacity juggling other things like work and riding bikes.

So a big thanks to Brena from all of us for all the efforts so far, I for one am looking forward to ripping down Mint when it is finished and in fact it sounds like quite a few folks are riding what is there already. We’re hoping that the BBB from Cactus will be helpful in keeping track of all her digging and her missions especially at the moment while the weather is at its worst.

Oh, and you can keep up to date with Brena’s progress via her website ( which has a blog, photos and videos of the trail. Frankly not quite sure where she finds all the time, maybe she has stashed a time machine out in the forest somewhere?

We’d also like to say a big thanks to David and the team at Cactus Equipment for supporting this little side project of ours which gives us a chance to tell the story of some of the cool trail volunteers around the country. Remember if you are buying product from Cactus you can use the Cactus Code to get yourself a 10% discount and push another 1% of the sale value to Trail Fund NZ’s National Trail Fund. Easy!

Last but certainly not least thanks to everyone who nominated someone for this months Trail Hero, we will make sure that every nominee gets a small gift from Trail Fund NZ as a thank you from all of us / you.