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Slippery Dip Track
Oxford FallsLast Update: 14/7/2013
Some trail names are made up, if there is a different name please let us know.
Difficulty - Easy - Intermediate
Slope - Flat - Moderate - Undulating - Steep
Space - Open
Surface - Dirt - Eternal Puddles - Gravel - Loose rocks on dirt - Loose rocks on rock - Rock - Rutted - Sand - Sealed
Trail type - Firetrail - Graded Dirt Road - Sealed Road
While there are sections of sealed and dirt road the Slippery Dip Track from the airfield onwards is quite demanding with some very steep sections covered in lots of large loose rocks. Of all the fire trails on the Northern Beaches this is the most demanding I've ridden.
From the corner just above Lizard Rock on Morgan Rd, where everyone parks for the downhill track, take the dirt road from the outside of the corner and continue on the dirt road which becomes sealed and drops down to the left. Don't take the single track that runs off to the right or you will end up on the downhill track.
The sealed section runs down to the locked gate which can be ridden around on the right (eastern) side of the gate. The section from the gate to the model aeroplane field is dirt road. There might be the odd pothole but for the most part is very well groomed. There are a number of small climbs but it's nothing compared to what is to come! At the top of the 1st climb is a slight left bend and a bit of a clearing on the right hand side of the road, this is the entry point for Nursery Rhymes. It's easily missed.
When you reach the fork in the road keep right, this is officially the start of the Slippery Dip Track. It descends immediately down a rough track with a few water bars and some ruts but it's not long before the trail settles to a flat pedal for a few hundred meters around to the intersection of the Power Lines trail. Power Lines itself isn't much to speak of, it's mainly used as the exit of Nursery Rhymes.
Keep left at the intersection of Power Lines and get ready for a long fast descent. Similar to the one near the airfield this section contains a few water bars that are asking to be jumped off but be warned, the trail is rough with heaps of fist sized loose rocks, there are some ruts and in summer it can be sandy. The tightest corners also contain the ruttiest surfaces, rough rock slabs, the biggest and most number of loose rocks - which makes them quite a challenge at speed.
At the end of this descent is a sandy stretch with a few small descents of its own eventually ending up at a ridiculously steep, rough and slippery climb. I'm sure some guys can ride it but it's a pipe-dream for me! It's hard enough to walk up!
*Watch the end of the video for footage of me descending this hill*
Sadly the climbing doesn't end here, a short pedal up the road more steep loose hills and water bars await. On this occasion they defeated me and I was forced to walk.
There are still more climbs to come but they are far more rideable from here on. There are more large patches of sand and large rock slabs with plenty of loose gravel scattered along the trail before a final descent down to the Garigal National Park boundary and a fantastic lookout over the Deep Creek Valley toward Elanora Heights. It's well worth heading out to the end, not too many locals will ever have seen the amazing cliffs on the north side of the valley.
This final descent is by far the roughest section of trail with deep ruts, lots of very large rocks and a reasonably steep grade. It's not dissimilar to the top section of Duckholes Fire Trail. Proceed with some caution down this section.
There is a single track (Gutterball - as named on Strava) running from the end of the Slippery Dip Track that appears to be outside of the Garigal National Park. There's no signage at the top end so it poses the question as to whether this trail is legal to ride or not?
If you are riding back the way you came then the first half of the ride provides some really mental steep, rough and loose fire trail descents. Check the end of the video for footage of this section. However once you hit the sandy stretch at the bottom its pretty much all up hill from here back to the trail head. Intermediate riders and learners with good climbing skills should be able to climb all the way back without dismounting however the roughness of the track certainly makes it challenging.
It seems that this trail is mainly used to create a large XC/Gravity loop that runs all the way from the intersection from Mona Vale Road and Forestway down to Narrabeen Lake and back. There are a number of trail sections however that are "unauthorised".
Personally I like this trail for it's mix of fast rough descents and it's lung busting climbs. Its more challenging than the Perimeter Trail and The Long Track, of all the trails on the Northern Beaches we've ridden it's probably most similar to Duckholes Fire Trail.