A beautiful walk – Humphries Dam, Picton

The Picton area is blessed with lots of beautiful little trails, and Humphries Dam has to be one of my favourites.  It’s not that it can boast spectacular views like many of the other trails in the area, but the Humphries Dam trail is a beautiful little walk that is a winner for so many other great reasons.

  • Easy
  • Beautiful
  • Close to town
  • Sheltered
  • Accessible

The Dam track is super accessible – and pretty much any level of hiker could do it (or non hiker).  It’s almost flat, the trail is wide, and it’s around 4km round trip.  (They generally say to allow 40 minutes each way.)   It’d be a great walk to stretch those muscles before or after walking the Queen Charlotte Track.

Two photos from along the Humphries Dam trail.

The walk gets you into beautiful NZ bush, heavily featuring Black Beech trees, which are just gorgeous.  They shed beautiful little leaves, which decorate the trail, adding another level of beauty to it.

The trail is very sheltered, so it’s also a great walk to do when the weather is a little inclement.  I’ve walked the trail when Picton was experiencing gale force winds, and you wouldn’t have known there was any wind that day.  Likewise, we’ve headed out in pouring rain, only to forget while walking the track that it had been raining, as we were completely sheltered.  And of course, if you’re trying to escape the scorching sun, the trees provide a lovely canopy of shade and shelter.

Although the trail doesn’t offer views per se, it does follow the Waitohi River, so your walk is accompanied by the sound and sight of the river.  Generally you’re quite away above it, so you’ll not get your feet wet, or even get close to the river, until you reach the dam.   

The dam is really a non-event, but I’ve heard some do the trail to swim in the lake at the dam head on a hot day, and I guess if you’d like a fresh water swim, it’d be great for that.

There are a couple of picnic tables at the start of the track, and at the dam, so you could make a leisurely day of it, and take a picnic with you.

The last bonus of this trail, is that it’s accessed from town.  There’s a parking area at the end of Garden Terrace.  Park your car here, and start up the track.  A couple of hundred meters in, you’ll reach a junction – Barnes Dam to your left, and Humphries straight ahead.  This is well signposted.  

A structure on the Humphries Dam track

Barnes Dam is another nice walk, but Humphries is my favourite as it’s easier, the trail is wider, and I think the track is a little nicer.

Plus, you don’t need any special shoes for walking it, it really is a trail to suit almost everyone.

Happy walking!

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