The Timber Trail’s Trail Angels


Volunteers help make the Timber Trail a world-class mountain biking adventure.

By Bennett and Slater

All 22 Great Rides benefit in some way or another from the hard work and dedication of volunteers, whether that’s track-building, pest-trapping, fundraising or any of the other cogs in the wheels that keeping the New Zealand Cycle Trail rolling onward and upward.

Murray and Judy Bramald are great examples of the kind of people that help make our Great Rides even greater. No strangers to volunteering, the ‘retired’ couple not only work on projects both at home in New Plymouth, but also pay their own way to the Timber Trail where they roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.

We were tipped off to these ‘Trail Angels’ by DOC Te Kuiti Community Ranger Kina Campbell, who felt the couple deserved a ‘huge shout out’ for their efforts that benefit the call community and its visitors.

Says Kina, ‘Judy and Murray have been coming up since last year, and plan to come up once a month or so throughout the year. Usually they have a few jobs waiting for them, ranging from clearing small fallen trees, working on surface holes, unblocking culverts and drains, and clearing away errant vegetation to enhance people’s enjoyment of the Timber Trail.’

‘They are a phenomenal couple who have a great affinity with the bush, and work tirelessly and just for satisfaction of it,’ says Kina. ‘You should see the difference they made to Stump Hut. Located at the 33km of the Timber Trail, this heritage hut needed some TLC and Murray and Judy certainly did that – and paid for it with blackberry scratches to prove their enormous effort!’

‘Ka pai tō mahi, you two!’

Kina says the couple are easy to spot. ‘You will know them when you see them on the trail. They wear hi-viz with TRAIL ANGELS on the back and have their bikes outfitted with all the safety gear they possibly can. If anyone seens them on the trail, be sure to stop and say hi.

DOC supports Judy and Murray’s commitment to the Timber Trail by providing training, such as Growsafe Certification and soon Chainsaw competency/training too. Kina says more volunteers are always welcome – feel free to contact her at the DOC’s Te Kuiti office (tel 07-878 1050).