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Old Coach Rd Gate to the Rail Trail  

NewnesLast Update: 7/6/2014
Some trail names are made up, if there is a different name please let us know.

Video Uploaded: 30/3/2013

Difficulty - Easy - Intermediate
Slope - Moderate - Undulating - Steep
Space - Open - Extreme Caution
Surface - Dirt - Eternal Puddles - Heavy leaf and branch litter - Loose rocks on dirt - Rock - Rutted - Sand
Trail type - Firetrail

Notes:

This is one of my all time favourite fire trails but it's a big effort to get there.

The trail starts at the gate at the end of the dirt road section of theOld Coach Rd on the Newnes Plateau and runs right down to Wolgan Rd that winds it's way through the valley out to Newnes.  Check out the page on the Old Coach Rd for directions to the start of this section.  There are a number of ways to exit from this trail.

  1. Continue right down the fire trail to Wolgan Rd and be picked up there
  2. Ride all the way out to Newnes - Rail Trail - Old Coach Rd to Newnes (well worth the ride)
  3. Or ride/walk/hike-a-bike back up to Glow Worm Tunnel Road via Rail Trail - Old Coach Rd to Glow Worm Tunnels and Rail Trail - Glow Worm Tunnels to Car Park  

The Old Coach Rd Fire Trail is almost exclusively descending which immediately puts it right up there in my books as an epic ride.  There is one moderate climb about half way down and a small pedalling section (depending on how much momentum you held) not long into the ride.  

The opening third contains some amazing views of the rocky escarpments.  It's well worth taking a breather to soak in some of the rarely seen land formations in this amazing part of world (the canyons in this area are arguably bigger than the Grand Canyon - so Wikipedia says).

Not long after the scenic stretch is a gate, God knows what for!  It does come up at you quite quickly so be on alert as the scenic stretch comes to an end.

After climbing over the gate the trail descends quite quickly through a cutting before swinging around the mountain.  The trail can be quite loose and sandy in sections, in fact on both occasions I've ridden this trail the kids have got very ragged when riding with XC tyres.

Not long after the gate is a trail intersection with the Pagoda Track, a walking track that leads back up to the top end of the Glow Worm Tunnel.  From here on there is a very good chance you will come across walkers doing the loop from Pagoda Track, Old Coach Rd Fire TrailRail Trail - Old Coach Rd to Glow Worm Tunnels and Rail Trail - Glow Worm Tunnels to Car Park.  Stay Alert, there are often big family groups spread right across the trail, the trail can be loose and steep and there's a huge temptation to fly down the track.

From the intersection with the Pagoda Track the trail descends into the rain forest for a long straight stretch before exiting the canyon and running around the side a very steep escarpment.  

The fall off to the right is very steep and there are some sections where there isn't great trail visibility despite being back out in the open.  This final section is definitely the most dangerous of the entire trail, it is quite steep in places, loose with a lot of tree and branch litter, has a scary drop-off to the right and well travelled by walkers.  Make sure you still have some brakes!

As mentioned in the opening paragraph this is an outstanding fire trail descent with some amazing scenery.  Well worth the effort it took to get out to the trail.

Comments:

This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.