This is a low level forest walking track following an old route where logs were once hauled to Yeoman’s Mill. The mill started in 1926 and ran for 30 years. It handled over 50 million feet of podocarp logs and at the height of its production employed 18 staff. The track gives an interesting insight into forest regeneration since logging ceased in the 1960’s.
The restored historic Ellis Hut is at the northern end of the track. It was constructed in 1884 and is the oldest surviving hut in the park. It is also known as Murderer’s Hut after it was used as a refuge by accused murderer, Jack Ellis, for nine months in 1904. A round trip can be made along Ellis and Wakarara Roads back to the road end at Makaroro River.
If you are biking the Yeoman's Track, it is easier to ride from the Ellis Hut end. It is grade 3, suitable for experienced riders.
Yeomans Track can be accessed from the Wakarara Road End. This is approximately 75 km from Napier. Turn onto Wakarara Road from SH50 and follow for approximately 26.5 km to the end of Wakarara Road.
There is no vehicle access to the Ruahine Forest Park from the Wakarara Roadend. You will need to cross the Makaroro River.
From the carpark, follow a poled route (marked with orange track markers) along the farmers fence line and through a paddock down to the river.
Yeoman's Track is an intermediate grade. It has several sharp, steep climbs, is narrow in places and can be very muddy with deep ruts at times.
Allow at least 45 mins to reach Ellis Hut and 30 minutes to return to the carpark. The 17 km loop takes 2 - 3 hours.
Know before you go
Caution: All tracks from this roadend require a crossing of the Makaroro River or a walk up the riverbed. It is dangerous to attempt to cross the river when the water level is higher than normal.
These roads are through private commercial forest and are for foot and mountain bike access only. Take care of logging trucks and forestry workers which frequently use these roads.