Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

Northern Sydney Mountain Bike Project

two cyclists riding a bush track in Kanangra-Boyd National ParkNPWS is committed to providing experiences that help all groups in our community visit these remarkable places so that they can appreciate why it is important we continue to protect them.

We are also committed to helping people of every age enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Mountain biking is a popular recreational activity in New South Wales and there is demand for this recreational activity in national parks.

Background

A priority project in the NPWS Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy was the provision of a quality and sustainable mountain bike track in a northern Sydney NPWS reserve.

In selecting priority projects for mountain biking experiences, the Strategy utilised the planning, development and management criteria identified in the NPWS Cycling Policy ('The Policy’ adopted in August 2011) being the consideration of:

  • ecological and other site sustainability
  • appropriateness of the location
  • provision of a quality experience for cyclists
  • balancing competing visitor demands
  • opportunities and demand for cycling across the region, including other land tenures
  • visitor safety, and 
  • availability of resources to provide and maintain the experience.

Following assessment against criteria including Aboriginal heritage, flora and fauna surveys and assessments, and in consideration of regional demand, the Bantry Bay site in Garigal National Park was selected. The project also details actions such as closure of illegal tracks and trails, with priority to those that impact on Aboriginal engraving sites.

Construction commenced on the Serrata Track during April 2014 and Gahnia Track in July 2014, subject to the mitigating measures outlined in the review of environmental factors determination and recommendations of the plan of management amendments. These include installation of signage that confirms skill level required; that the track is primarily designated for use by mountain bikes; and details for ongoing monitoring of visitor usage, track condition and environmental safeguards.

Completed in early 2015, the Serrata and Gahnia mountain bike tracks provide riders with a challenging ride through Bantry Bay's beautiful sandstone features.

Serrata Mountain Bike Track – Forestville, NSW

This circuit comprises the purpose-built Serrata Mountain Bike Track and the shared-use Currie Road and Cook Street management trails. Garigal National Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

Serrata Mountain Bike Track
IMBA rated: More difficult (blue)
Length:        1.5 km
Direction:    One way
Recommended: Experienced mountain bike riders with good skills.

This is a one way, single width mountain bike track, to be ridden in the direction shown. Riders will find it challenging because it has variable surfaces and obstacles. Some steep sections have drop offs. Keep to the formed track and report any damage or track widening with reference to the nearest way marker.

Filter section: the first 30 m of this track has been designed to test if your bike handling skill is at the level needed for tracks rated ‘more difficult’. If you find you are not yet competent at all the challenges in this section, then do not proceed any further along the track. It is permitted to go back up the track to the start from this section only. Do not cut through the bush to exit the track.

Currie Road and Cook Street Trails
IMBA rated:   Easy (green)
Length:         1.35 km
Direction:     Two way
Recommended: Basic skills required. Sutiable for bushwalkers and off-road cyclists.

Currie Road and Cook Street shared-use trails are two way. Riders and walkers should keep to the left hand side allowing others to pass on the right. The trail varies from gentle to steep slopes.

Gahnia Mountain Bike Track, Forestville

Gahnia Mountain Bike Track
IMBA rated:   More difficult (blue)
Length:          2.15 km
Direction:      One way
Recommended: Experienced mountain bike riders with good skills.

This is a one way, single width mountain bike track, to be ridden in the direction shown. Riders will find it challenging because it has variable surfaces and obstacles. Some steep sections have drop offs. Keep to the formed track and report any damage or track widening with reference to the nearest way marker.

Filter section: the first 50 m of this track has been designed to test if your bike handling skill is at the level needed for tracks rated ‘more difficult’. If you find you are not yet competent at all the challenges in this section, then do not proceed any further along the track. It is permitted to go back up the track to the start from this section only. Do not cut through the bush to exit the track.

Bluff and Engraving Trails
IMBA rated:    Easy (green)
Length:           1.35 km
Direction:       Two way
Recommended: Basic skills required. Suitable for bushwalkers and off-road bicycle riders.

The Bluff and Engravings shared-use trails are two way. Riders and walkers should keep to the left hand side allowing others to pass on the right. The trail varies from gentle to steep slopes.

What can you do to assist us?

For the safety and enjoyment of all users of the Garigal National Park, mountain bike track riders should familiarise themselves with and adhere to the Code of Conduct posted at the track entrances. These are based on the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) code of conduct.

Enjoy riding our official track network; considerable effort has gone into design and construction of the Serrata and Gahnia tracks for your enjoyment. Unofficial tracks will be closed in line with the review of environmental factors determination. Please assist us by allowing the rehabilitation of these areas and protection of Aboriginal engravings.

The closure and ultimate rehabilitation of these tracks is a vital part of the Bantry Bay project and the performance monitoring of the track system. We are depending on local mountain bike users to promote doing the right thing for this important rehabilitation to occur.  The success of this will have a lasting effect on the relationship between mountain bike users and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Tracks may also need to be temporarily closed due to adverse conditions. For information about track closures please check the NPWS website.

To report track damage, incidents or illegal activity note the nearest totem and location details and contact northernsydney.mtb@environment.nsw.gov.au or the call centre on 1300 361 967.

Page last updated: 20 January 2016