From the foreshore at Petone through riverside parkland, the first section of the ride follows the popular Hutt River Trail. This family-friendly section is perfect for a casual ride, or as an enjoyable warm up before the more technical forested section.
Some of the earliest stories of New Zealand's cultural history are told along the way. Riders pass both the sites of great Maori pa (fortified villages) and early European settlements. The Petone Settlers Museum and Boulcoutt's Farm incident site bear witness to the hardiness and volatility of two peoples learning to live alongside each other.
Eventually leaving the riverbank at Te Marua, riders follow a short road section to Tunnel Gully which marks the second part of the trail.
- Petone Settlers Museum – Exhibits from New Zealand’s earliest European settlements.
- Pito-One Pa site – One of pre-European New Zealand’s largest Māori settlements.
- Boulcott’s Farm Memorial – in remembrance of colonial soldiers killed in 1845 clash with Māori.
- Barton’s Bush – part of the Trentham Memorial Park. It is a remnant of the native forest that once largely filled the upper Hutt Valley.
- Harcourt Park – Includes the pedestrian suspension bridge at Norbert Street, Lord of the Rings film location (Gardens of Isengard), and views of seismic terrace formations.