Lake Mangamahoe Lower Lakeside Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near the city of New Plymouth that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
The walk may be started at either end of Lake Rd. The lower lakeside route takes you on an ambling walk close to the lake edge. Lakeside vegetation and regenerating pockets of native bush provide a cooling atmosphere and a home to many birds. Keep an eye out for cheeky fantails. Natural features: The predominant tree planted for commercial purposes is the radiata pine. This Californian tree has proved most adaptable to New Zealand conditions and is easy to establish, very fast growing and produces wood suitable for a wide range of uses. Due to its outstanding qualities radiata pine has become the most important commercial species in New Zealand. Along the circuit walk you will meander through a small collection of redwood trees which were planted in 1931. In California, where they originate, they are known as the giants of the forest, reaching heights of up to 11m. Redwoods are known for their longevity. History: In the early 1920s NPDC purchased land for the construction of a dam and a lake. The purpose of the lake was to act as a water catchment area for the expanding city of New Plymouth. In 1931 the lake was created. This was achieved by forming a dam across the valley and submerging 79 acres. The lake was named after the Mangamahoe Stream which flows into the upper reaches of the lake. Water from both the stream and the nearby Waiwhakaiho River feeds the lake through a 548m pipe. In order to protect the steep hillside from eroding, development planting was undertaken and shelterbelts were planted to protect the pine trees growing in what is now the Mangamahoe Forest. The lake itself is also significant to the district in terms of power generation, Trustpower Ltd administers this from the Mangorei Power Station. Public entry to the forest was once restricted. However, with the increasing demand for leisure use within the forest this restriction was lifted in 1990. Since then leisure interest has increased considerably and Lake Mangamahoe and its forest now attracts many individual and organised group activities. Today Lake Mangamahoe is a 262ha commercial production forest administered by us, combined with a scenic park and lake.