Taylor River Reserve covers a section of the Taylor River extending from the Taylor Dam to the south of Blenheim, to Riverside Park in the Blenheim CBD. The reserve serves a dual purpose as a popular recreational area, and as a floodway in times of high river levels.
From Riverside Park to Brayshaw Park, concrete paths for cyclists, walkers and runners are provided on at least one side of the river, and for a substantial distance on both sides. South of Brayshaw Park, an unsealed path continues another 5km to the Taylor Dam. The entire reserve is almost 10km long.
Close to the centre of Blenheim, plantings of flax (harakeke) and other native trees and shrubs have been made, while other sections of the reserve have mature introduced species including willows, poplars, oaks and cedars among others.
From 1933 to 1969 the Come to Blenheim Association spent a considerable amount of money and volunteer effort on beautifying the Taylor River. Much of this was spent on what is now Riverside Park, but also extended to the current Taylor River Reserve.
In 1999 Blenheim's Best and Marlborough District Council initiated a community project to enhance the environmental, recreational and amenity values of the reserve. This was planned as a ten year project which included plantings, singage, installation of concrete paths, seating and car parking.
Entry to various sections of the reserve is possible from different locations including sections of Nelson Street, Henry Street, Beaver Road, High Street, Bank Street, Monro Street, Rogers Street, Leitrim Street, Burleigh Road, New Renwick Road, and the west end of Wither Road.
Permitted recreational activities include dog exercising (off leash allowed), cycling, walking and running, and where there is sufficient water in the river, kayaking. Picnic tables and park benches are provided in several locations, however there are few toilet facilities in the reserve, with one located off Nelson Street opposite Beaver Road. Blenheim Riverside Railway also runs through the park.
Marlborough District Council. (2015, June 14). Taylor River Reserve. Retrieved from Marlborough District Council: http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/Recreation/Parks-and-Reserves/Reserves/Blenheim/~/media/Files/MDC/Home/Recreation/TaylorRiverManagementPlan.pdf