Hump Ridge: Edwin Burn to Port Craig
ElevationAscent: 198' 60 m
Descent: -301' -92 m
High: 249' 76 m
Low: 103' 32 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)
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“A steady meander along an old tramway previously used for logging operations at Port Craig.”— Kristen McGlynn
The highlight of this section is definitely the Percy Burn Viaduct, which at 125 m long and 36 m high is one of the largest standing timber trestle bridges in the world. The viaduct used to be open to hike across but unfortunately was recently (2013) closed due to decay. There is now a bypass trail in place that takes hikers down to the Percy Burn stream. The view of the viaduct is no less impressive when viewed from the bottom of the gorge that is spans.
After the somewhat steep climb back up from the stream, the trail continues on the tramway which is often carved into the hillside so it feels like you are hiking in a tunnel of earth and trees. Many sections of the trail are very straight and can seem a bit tedious, but, overall, there are no major ups or downs to contend with.
The trail will eventually pass the historic Por Craig schoolhouse which has been converted to a hut that is operated by the DOC. This hut is not operated by the Hump Ridge Track and is a 20 bunk hut that is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Shortly past this, you'll come to the Port Craig Lodge. This beautiful lodge is situated amongst the remains of the town of Port Craig, a short-lived settlement that operated to support the logging operations in the area. Take a stroll down to the water to see the remains of the wharf and mill or explore the area around the lodge for an interesting look into the history of the settlement. More information can be found on the DOC website.
Be sure to take the short spur trail that leads down to the beach. A pod of Hector's dolphins call this cove home and can often be spotted playing in the shallow waters along the shore. Be warned that this idyllic beach is not free from the usual pesky sand flies, so bring bug spray.
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Land Manager: Department of Conservation - Fiordland National Park