IntroductionFrom Boyle village on SH7, you can pick up tracks that link the end of the St James Walkway with tracks in Hope valley and Doubtful River, Lake Sumner Forest Park.
St James Walkway car park (Boyle village) to Doubtful River
Time: 1 hr 30 min
From the St James car park follow the track markers to SH 7 and then follow inside the fence line to cross the road at the old Boyle Base Hut. From here the track follows river terraces and clumps of matagouri to the Boyle River, which is crossed at this point. The river here averages 0.3–0.4 m depth over summer so may not be crossable in high flow.
The track then follows the true right of the Boyle River through beech forest, matagouri and open river flats to reach the Doubtful River. Cross the river just above its junction with the Boyle River. Note: This river can be dangerous in high flow.
Doubtful River to Hope Valley Track
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Follow the 4WD track, still on the true right of the Boyle River, until you come to a deer fence. Follow the fence around until a marker indicates to head up the hill into mānuka and beech forest. This marked track joins the Hope Valley Track, aabout 30 minutes from the Windy Point car park.
Lake Sumner Forest Park lies 100 km northwest of Christchurch between the Lewis Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Boyle village is beside SH7, about 165 km drive from Christchurch and is one of the entry points for the St James Walkway.
Safety is your responsibility:
- Have the correct and the most up-to-date information
- Take a topographic map if going into more challenging country, i.e. something more than a tramping track.
- Always be prepared for sudden weather changes. Check the latest forecast, especially if any river crossings are required.
- Equip yourself well. Prepare for the worst. Take enough food and water and the right clothing.
- Let someone know before you go where you are going and when you plan to return.
If staying in huts, fill in the intentions book. This may save your life.
- Dial 111 immediately for any fire emergency.
Stay safe when crossing rivers
If you plan to cross unbridged rivers, know how to cross safely and be prepared for if you cannot cross.
Do not cross if the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe. Turn back or wait for the river to drop. If in doubt, stay out.