This is the lower section of the former ‘Five Mile Track’, notorious as the ‘canal of mud’ that formed the main track between the Wainuiomata and Orongorongo valleys from 1914 to 1981. Today, it's a dry track that passes through superb groves of mature hard beech in the lower reaches of Graces Stream.
The track climbs through an old burn (now covered in second growth forest with profuse rimu regeneration) to Clay Forks at the junction with Clay Ridge Track and Middle Ridge Track. As the track descends into the Catchpool Valley there are good views of the distant Rimutaka Range and the forest canopy of the valley.
Catchpool valley is 12 km south of Wainuiomata. Follow the Coast Road for 10 km to the Rimutaka Forest Park entrance, then follow the Catchpool valley road for 2 km to the car park and information area. If the water is flowing over the ford on the road, park before the ford and use the Nga Taonga Nature Walk to reach the car park.
From the car park go to the downhill side, across the lawn and across the footbridge to the start of the track.