The track heads into forest immediately behind the carpark and consists of a series of steepish climbs interspersed with a few level sections to get your breath back. Not far from the beginning is a huge rimu and a bit further on a large rata. As the track climbs higher up the ridge, lovely views out to the west are frequent. Just before the main track finishes there is a wonderful lookout giving views up to the main range and back out towards the coast.
Enjoy the walk from the carpark, past the giant rimu to the large rata. Here, a track splits off from the main track to wind up the slope behind the rata to a trig at the park boundary, with a nice view across the farmland. Cross into private land and follow the track back to the carpark.
Head towards Pohangina from Ashhurst and turn right onto Pohangina Valley East Road. Follow this past Awahou School and then turn right onto No.1 Line Road and continue along this gravel road to the carpark at the end.
No.1 Line Road stops short of the park boundary so it is necessary to cross private property. Westview Farming Partnership owns Songbird Gardens, which adjoins the Ruahine Forest Park. The No. 1 Line tracks' access way, car park area and part of the trig loop track are available to the public thanks to the their willingness and generosity.
The rata and kamahi forest that once thrived in this southern area of the park has been severely damaged over the years by possums. Introduced as early as the 1890’s, their chomping, in combination with high winds, heavy rains and slips, contributed to a major forest collapse by the 1950’s. Today the forest has more horopito, rangiora, bush lawyer and toetoe - all species possums don’t favour. Recreational hunting is one of the main forms of animal control in this area today.