kids encyclopedia robot

Bridle Path (New Zealand) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Bridle Path 049
Looking down to Lyttelton Harbour from the top of Bridle Path
Bridle Path 041
The Canterbury Pioneer Women's Memorial at the top of Bridle Path, with the Jane Deans memorial seat in the foreground

The Bridle Path is a steep shared-use track that traverses the northern rim of the Lyttelton volcano connecting the port of Lyttelton with the city of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand. It is a popular walking and mountain biking route. The track ascends from the port itself to a height of 333 metres (1,093 ft) before descending again via Heathcote Valley to Christchurch. At the summit, next to the Summit Road, is a stone shelter with covered seats that is a 1940 New Zealand centennial memorial to the Pioneer Women of Canterbury. There are also seven commemorative stone seats placed along the Bridle Path; most of these were built for the 1950 Canterbury centenary celebrations.

Hastily constructed in late 1850, just in time for the first Canterbury Association settlers to use, it was the most direct way to travel from the port to the new settlements on the plains on the northern side of the Port Hills. Although very steep, it was the primary means of traversing the hills until the Sumner Road over Evans Pass was opened to light traffic in 1858. Originally, the road over Evans Pass was intended to be completed by the time the first settlers arrived but the Canterbury Association ran out of money. John Robert Godley had the road work stopped, and only had enough time to cut a rough Bridle Road once obtained further funding. It is referred to as a bridle path because the track was so steep and narrow in places that riders needed to dismount and lead their horses by the bridle. The path was considered unsuitable for a fully loaded cart or dray.

The track is a legal road, so may be used by motor vehicles, such as trail bikes, though this is regarded as a nuisance.[not verified in body] There have been attempts to change the legal status from road to park since the 1970s.

kids search engine
Bridle Path (New Zealand) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.