12 Dec 2015

Historic miners' road opens up as biking trail

1:44 pm on 12 December 2015

An historic gold miners' road on the West Coast has been officially opened as a mountain biking and tramping trail this afternoon.

The 85-kilometre Old Ghost Road, inland from the Westport to Karamea highway, will be the country's longest continuous single track, with four new Department of Conservation huts along the trail.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said the $6.5 million cycle way - which took five years to complete - was expected to create 18 jobs in the region.

He said it also gave the upper South Island an opportunity to tap into the growing tourism market in the area.

Mr Smith said the trail had been described as the Milford Track of cycling as it was the longest off-road cycleway in the country, with impressive backcountry, and had been been listed internationally as one of the top three cycle-ways in the world.