How to get there
Woodpecker Forest is currently being logged. Access is weekend only from end of December through to end of April - watch for signage advising if the forest is open.
As of May 2013 a network of logging roads have been constructed and logging operations are progressing well. New trails have been constructed so that there is now a 9.5km loop available from Black's bridge, up Back Track and then through the logged areas at the top of Scott's Rd before descending through some of the remaining pine forest.
A map of the trails is in preparation and a sign is soon to be erected at the top of Back Track.
Kahuterawa Loop or K-Loop is a network of mountain bike trails that start from the car park at the very end of Kahuterawa Rd, Palmerston North. The trail climbs up Back Track (a paper road which links with Scott's Rd). This is a rugged, rocky climb, to access a network of trails that descend through the Woodpecker Forest Block. Back Track ascends through regenerating native bush, which changes to Exotic Pine forest at Scotts Rd. The trails can be used for running, walking or Mountain biking.
The trails are reasonably technical - at least grade 3 on the IMBA scale of difficulty. The climb up Back Track is a technical rocky trail, with 5 stream crossings that passes through regenerating bush. Recent work on Back Track has improved drainage and some of the more technical elements have disappeared, however the long term viability of the track has been assured. Once you have made it up this climb, then there are a number of single track trails that create a loop currently 9.5km in total length. You will need to be reasonably fit and able to cope with the many obstacles presented. If you can manage that, then this ride is a blast. There are also some downhill trails being formed which are Grade 4-5.
The area has been renamed Arapuke Forest Park and the two central logging roads are Arapuke Rd and Zig Zag Rd. Signposts are in place with directions to get you back to Black's Bridge and Kahuterawa Rd.
As of May 2013, Manawatu Mountain Bike Club has re-established approximately 5.5km of trails, which is a variety of easy single track, to fun swoopy bermed downhills, with some jumps and a switch backed uphill climbing trail. The goal is to create 4km of new trail per year, with funding coming from MMBC, PNCC, NZ Trail Fund, GroundEffect and community trusts. The area should have over 20km of Grade 2-4 trail in place by the end of 2017 and hopefully 2 downhill runs up to 2.5km in length. There will also be space to develop some dirt jumps and a pump track.
Link to the old trails
Kahuterawa Loop at EveryTrail