The Mangapurua Valley was opened by the government to encourage settlement by returning World War 1 soldiers and their families. The land was cleared of forest and turned into farmland but problems such as poor access, erosion and falling stock prices during the Depression years forced most of the settlers to abandon their farms. The few remaining farmers were forced to leave the valley in 1942 when the Government refused to maintain the storm damaged road. The trail features a uphill climb to the Mangapurua Trig, sheer bluffs, regenerating native forest and the historic Bridge to Nowhere. Three campsites are available along the trail. The Mangapurua Track is part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.