Breaking up the 3300km drive to visit my folks in North Queensland with a few doses of MTB therapy sounded like a mighty fine idea. I researched a dozen or so ride options on various driving routes but it was only when I learnt that the forest housing the Taree Tip trails was closed due to a burn that things started to take shape. A longish 1000km day one drive from Castlemaine, Vic to Newcastle, NSW meant I could ride Glenrock the following morning, Jack’s Ridge at Nambucca Heads that afternoon and go from there if it all went to plan…
Hitting Sydney traffic at the end of a long day kinda sucked but I was seriously looking forward to checking out the Glenrock trails. The Glenrock State Conservation Area slopes down from the Pacific highway to the Pacific ocean – an idyllic slice of forest for sure. The local MTB community have been working with authorities since 2003/2004 to manage the development of a sustainable trail network. Cool stuff.
The trail head is just off the bustling highway. On arrival it was great to see a bunch of people either heading off or returning from their morning ride. In no time I tagged along with 2 local riders, Stephen and Darcy, on their morning loop. Thanks guys! Within moments we were swooping down through swirls of green and blue – lush green forest, blue skies and ocean views. All up a massive contrast to my home trails around Castlemaine, apart from the trail surface itself which was surprisingly dry and dusty.
We rode the trails in a clockwise direction, staying left and high at junctions, essentially remaining close to the perimeter of the park. Whenever we popped out into a cleared area or onto a dirt track it was simply a case of following the well worn line.
The ocean lookout at the bottom of the park and half way around the loop was a highlight, complete with surfer dudes on the beaches to either side below. We continued on the longer loop back up and around to the trail head. Keen to sample more of Glenrock I headed off by myself on a second loop, this time returning via the quarry and center pump/jump trails, followed by a shorter third loop.
The Glenrock trails themselves were super fun with something for everyone. Enjoying lush forest and great views while ripping along well made and maintained flowing singletrack – there’s not a whole lot to complain about is there! I wanted to stay and ride longer but it was time to head north.
Next stop: Jack’s Ridge, Nambucca Heads!