We’re going on a trail ride!

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Anticipation . . . Children from Five Forks School and Maheno Rugby Club (some involved with both) are looking forward to this year's trail ride, with all-new tracks across the local countryside. Helping rider Finn Strang (11) check out one of the locations near the Kakanui River are (from left) Hamish Dodd (11), Hadle Ludemann (7), Hunter Winmill (5), Charlie Hay (7), Ben Strang (12), Henry Smith (8), Lucy Strang (9), Lilly Francis (5), Charlotte Smith (10), and George Smith (5). PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

The 11th incarnation of the Five Forks Foothills Trail Ride is taking in new terrain next weekend.

The annual fundraiser for Five Forks School and the Maheno Rugby Club is based on Balruddery Rd this year. The organisers are putting in countless hours to create a network of tracks catering for riders of all ages and abilities, also showcasing some of the district’s finest scenery.

It ranges from river flats to tussock high country with alpine views.

A “pee wee” track allows the youngest members of the family to join in, while experienced riders will get their adrenaline hit on the advanced tracks.

Riders must have spark arresters on their bikes and wear appropriate clothing and a helmet. Roving marshalls will be present throughout the weekend, along with the North Otago Land Search and Rescue truck.

Catering and refreshments will be available at the Balruddery Rd base camp on both the Saturday and Sunday. A tyre service will also be on hand.

Farmers have been great in making their land available for the cause, the organisers say.

They have been publicising it far and wide, including via their Facebook page and online at fiveforkstrailride.co.nz

There has already been a lot of interest from intending participants.

Added incentives are the chances to win a free day’s riding.

Accommodation prizes have already been given out.

The tracks are open from 9am to 4pm. Fees per day are $40 for an adult, $20 for a child, and $80 for a family of four with a maximum of two adults.

The proceeds will be shared between the school and the sports club – both proudly rural institutions.

The school has 38 pupils across years 1 to 8 and two teachers. It enjoys strong support from parents and the wider community, working collectively towards the goal of producing good citizens.

The Maheno Rugby Club, established in 1896, describes itself as “a real community affair”. It has members aged 5 upwards. Its premier team won the North Otago club competition last year, taking home the Citizens Shield.