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Cooyong Track (2.33km)
Terrey HillsLast Update: 25/10/2013
Some trail names are made up, if there is a different name please let us know.
Difficulty - Intermediate - Advanced
Slope - Moderate - Steep - Near vertical
Space - Open - Extreme Caution
Surface - Clay - Dirt - Eternal Puddles - Heavy leaf and branch litter - Loose rocks on dirt - Loose rocks on rock - Rock - Roots - Rutted - Sand
Trail type - Firetrail - Single track
On some maps parts of this trail and on occasion the entire trail is listed as the Sandy Trail however on most maps the southern end running from the Ryland Track is known as the Cooyong Track and it makes sense that it start in the north from Cooyong Rd. Read more about how we have broken up the trails.
There are miles and miles of fire trails around the Terrey Hills area and I'd always wondered why the Cooyong Track didn't attract the same attention as other rides in the area, especially as it provides and off road link from the Cascades area via Quarry Track, St Ives Horse Track and Ryland Track to the Perimeter Trail 2 - Durumbil to Finish on the north side of Terrey Hills.
Well that question was answered fairly quickly as the trail dived into and climbed out of Kierans Creek valley.
The opening section from the Ryland Track is a fast and open fire trail. It's mostly straight with a slight descent and a number of rolling water bars, however this flatter section is short lived. With each water bar and each twist of the trail the Cooyong Track gets steeper and steeper and steeper.
As seen on the video there is a clearing about halfway down the hill. Halfway down the hill vertically .. but not in trail length, in fact from the clearing it's only a short ride to the bottom.
Up until this point the trail largely traverses the hillside but from the clearing the trail turns sharply down the fall line with a steep, tight, off camber corner on the down side of a large water bar. Take it very easy on your first run!. From here on it's straight down the hill with a number of large water bars.
At the bottom is a short section of single trail consisting of small steps and a creek crossing. The single track continues on the other side swinging around to the left and starting on its way up the hill. At the time of riding the trail was very wet and muddy, however on a dry track riders who are confident climbing steps could manage to get themselves up onto the fire trail without walking. The fire trail on the north side is very very steep, while not as loose as the south side it is rediculously steep. I'm sure some guys can ride it - aliens etc - but for a weekend warrior like me the climb up to the intersection of the Sandy Trail was laughable. STEEP AS BRO, rocky, rough, loose and on this occasion wet, muddy and very slippery.
From the intersection of the Sandy Trail, the Cooyong Track continues to climb but is far more rideable. Intermediates and fit newbies may be able to ride all the way to the end without getting off, but there was one hill that defeated me. The alternate way out via the Sandy Trail will almost definitely require some walking - there are other reasons to avoid the Sandy Trail as well.
It's only a couple of hundred meters from the hill to the end of the trail.
When you reach the gate turn right. The dirt road at the end is an access road for houses and the road to the left leads up to private property. The trail pops out at the end of Cooyong Rd - and that's why we decided that the Cooyong Track started here.
If you are coming the other way don't be deterred by the signs at the start of the trail. While the dirt road from the end of the Cooyong Track is an access road to private property the section from Cooyong Rd to the Cooyong Track gate is public access.
The Cooyong Track can be ridden in both directions. If riding from Terrey Hills towards the Ryland Track I suspect that the descent to Kierans Creek would be fairly unexciting as it's a steep straight fall line descent and largely without water bars. The initial climb out on the south side of the Kierans Creek is probably too steep and loose to ride and even further up the hill I suspect the water bars would be a MASSIVE challenge. It's not something I plan to attempt.
The video will show you why most riders choose the road option when linking St Ives to the trails on the north side of Terrey Hills but if you like exploring, descending and climbing near vertical fire trails then I would definitely say give the Cooyong Track a go.