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Bantry Bay (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Bruce Ridge (Canberra)
Bungarra Alpine Centre (Snowy Mountains)
Currumbin Border Track (NSW/QLD Border)
Daisy Hill (South Brisbane)
East Kowen (Kowen Pine Forest, Canberra)
Forest Pipeline (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Fred Caterson Reserve (Castle Hill)
Golden Jubilee Field MTB Park (North Shore, Sydney)
Hassans Walls (Lithgow)
Hinze Dam (Gold Coast)
Jindabyne (Snowy Mountains)
Kiwarrak State Forest (Tarree)
Majura Pines (Majura, Canberra)
Manly Dam (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Mt Joyce (Gold Coast Hinterland)
Mt Kosciuszko (Snowy Mountains)
Nerang State Forest (Gold Coast)
Old Man's Valley (Hornsby, Sydney)
Ourimbah (Central Coast)
Oxford Falls (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Pilot Wilderness (Snowy Mountains)
Red Hill (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Rotorua Redwoods (New Zealand)
Silver Mountain (Kellogg)
Singleton (Hunter Valley)
Sparrow Hill (Kowen Pine Forest, Canberra)
St Ives and Belrose (North Shore, Sydney)
Stromlo Forest Park (Canberra)
Terrey Hills (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
The Oaks (Blue Mountains)
Thredbo Resort (Snowy Mountains)
Thredbo Valley Trail (Snowy Mountains)
Whistler Bike Park (Whistler)
Wingello (Southern Highlands)
Wylde MTB Trail (Cecil Park - Western Sydney)
The New Majura Pines and Sparrow Hill Trip
A few months a go I headed down to the ACT to ride with a couple of mates. Our usual plan of attack would have seen us spend the weekend at Stromlo however on this occasion I was keen to sample some of the trails at the Kowen Pine Forest. The plan to ride East Kowen (usually just called Kowen) was dashed when other riders advised the trails were closed due to an MX event, so we took the opportunity to ride Sparrow Hill a separate set of trails in the same forest but on the other side of Sparrow Hill Rd. We spent a couple of hours riding the Sparrow Hill Short Loop and then had a quick ride around Majura Pines on the way back.
The quick sampler was enough to drag me back for longer trip over the Queen's Birthday weekend where I got to fully appreciate the best that Sparrow Hill and Majura Pines has to offer. Two trail centres with vastly different riding experiences and both super fun.
Some of the trails at Sparrow Hill are really out the back - unfortunate riders who didn't return
Day 1 - Majura Pines
The new Majura Pines is amazing with a mix of winding XC trails steep ascents and really fun park style descents. I took my XC bike which made the climbs up Love Shack, AJs Leap, Boy Wonder and Batcave a whole lot easier but I wished I'd taken the Enduro bike for the descents.
Great trail signage at the new Majura Pines. This taken at the trail head on (old) Majura Rd
Planet Claire at the south end is a fast bike park style track with heaps of berms, doubles and some tricky combos of the two. At the north end the descent down Pino Grinio was lots fun but Bombora at the bottom was a super cool gully run.
Amazing views from near the top of the blue trails at the southern end
The XC trails between the two ends had a mix of roots, rocks, gully dips, small climbs/descents and some nice flowy sections.
Despite only being officially open for a week some of Majura Pines' descending trails were a little blown out. As the trails mature and some remedial work is completed the descents are only going to get better. I was super impressed with Majura Pines and I'm looking forward to getting back there soon with the Reign.
Day 2 & 3 - Sparrow Hill
My first trip to Sparrow Hill had not excited me. As someone who likes descending I never felt like I had the opportunity to get fast and flowy, in fact the limited descents on the Short Loop were uninspiring. So I returned to Sparrow Hill with tempered expectations and a plan to just knock out a heap of kilometres.
The trail signage at Sparrow Hill is excellent just follow the loops.
The Long Loop runs around 40km depending on a couple of route options. It takes you to the four corners of the forest and at times you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.
Some of the best climbs and descents were in the final half of the Long Loop, I was very glad to have paced myself leaving plenty of power in the legs to get to the highest points in the forest.
Over the 40km I only saw half a dozen people and I'm sure some of them were the same people. My Long Loop was 3-4 hours of great single track, beautiful forest, amazing views and solitude.
Amazing view from the top of Traffic Jam. The forest below featuring Nutcracker and Out the Back.
Day 3 I rode the Archery Loop plus Disco Duck, Rock & Roll and Brake Dance, three trails that provide an alternate descent to the most western gate. These trails don't feature on any of the 3 loops but are well worth the ride, especially Rock & Roll. From the western gate I climbed back up Sparrow Rd (mostly walked as it was sopping wet, which was interesting because the rest of the forest was bone dry) and came down again via Big Dipper.
On the edge of the forest at the western gate.
Picks of Sparrow Hill
Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog
- Majura Pines (Majura, Canberra, ACT)
- Sparrow Hill (Kowen Pine Forest, Canberra, ACT)
- Stromlo Forest Park (Canberra, ACT)