Keith George Memorial Park Loop - Silverstream
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Saturday 16th April 2022
Location: Keith George Memorial Park, Silverstream. Off state highway 2 just north of the Silverstream bridge (you can't access this when you're heading south).
We weren't sure we were in the right place when we first arrived. There was a hard stop from a busy 100km SH2 straight into potholes. Luckily, we managed it without killing the car.
There was little online about this walk, but we didn't expect the rubbish pile in the carpark. The geographically inaccurate map showed that we had indeed arrived. What the google did state accurately was that the track was steep and slippery. So, with that sage advice we left the carpark and the road noise behind and headed along the track southwards.
The main track runs alongside the highway and takes you all the way to the Haywards Substation, walking next to the motorway didn't appeal to us so we took a right at the Keith George Loop Track and headed up into the hills. You can tell by the state of the signage that this isn't the most well-maintained track in Upper Hutt, in saying that don't let it put you off - read on...
Up we went.
First up a creek bed, then through a punga forest, into a beech forest then up into a mahoe grove. The track was indeed steep and slippery and a couple of times we had to backtrack when we lost the orange triangles.
Initially it was a bit of a gut buster and reminded us of the rain gauge in the Tararua's as we huffed and puffed our way up the hill.
Miss 7 found an interesting plant which had seeds on its leaves.
Eventually it started to level out and the forest opened up a bit. We chose to try this on a mid-afternoon autumn day. The light was amazing, it felt magical.
We all thought we were on a walk to a trig but, when the track started to head downhill it was time for us all to embrace the horror that there was in fact no trig (the kids were a bit guttered).
On the downhill stretch we found some trees which the kids thought were amazing.
Including one which was so black it matched Miss 7’s outfit (specially chosen so she could transform into a ninja 🥷🏻).
Of course, heading downhill means less energy spent and more opportunities for ratbaggery. Even at 9 and 7 we are not past the 'stick parade' and a quick sword fight or two when Mum and Dad aren't looking. Mushrooms are also a constant source of fascination, and everything usually requires investigation.
Master 9 learnt that he needs to pick stronger walking sticks... :P
Eventually we reached flat ground just north of the 'Welcome to Upper Hutt' sign on SH2, just a short meander north to the carpark.
While the carpark was a bit average, the climb was tough and there was no trig to be found or view to be had, this was actually a pretty fun Adventure Walk that was perfect for a sunny afternoon. We didn't see anyone else so had the forest to ourselves.
Thanks Upper Hutt :)
Age of Kids: Miss 7 and Master 9
Walking Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Difficult because it's steep and slippery
Wet Feet: No. There are a couple of streams to cross but if you've made it that far you should be able to jump them no issue.
Amenities: There are no amenities
Dogs: Dogs allowed on lead (there was a 1080 sign)
Cellphone Reception: Yes