You are hereMount Banks / Mount Banks
At a Glance
Easy/fun/short-ish fire trail ride with great views.
Heading west from Sydney via Richmond then along Bell's Line of Rd.
Turn left onto dirt road to Mt Banks Picnic area (signposted) about 7km west of Mt Tomah.
You can park here at start of dirt road or continue down to the picnic area itself (recommended), most cars can drive down without hassle.
There is a walking track with steps up to the summit, starting behind the rock/plaque monument. This is a walking track only. Nice views and worth the walk if you can be bothered.
The fire trail starts left of the rock/plaque at the locked steel gate.
Ride length = 5km from this locked gate to a watertank/viewpoint at the southern end (= 10km return).
You can continue to further viewpoints beyond this on a worsening trail.
A sign at the locked gate says "walkers only" but Robert from Blue Mountains National Parks (Govetts Leap info office) says it is legal to ride this trail -13/04/12.
This is an out-and-back ride with a great view at the end. The trail is a typical undulating fire trail in fairly good condition even after a heavy rainy season. It's a great trail for beginners or riders wanting a cruisey/picnic type ride. There is only one short steep-ish section beyond halfway that might have beginners walking up on the way back.
You can get up a good speed and certainly have some fun on the ride but be warned the trail can be popular with walkers, that you might meet around some of the blind corners.
The trail winds around Mt Banks from the north side to the south and you come across a fantastic view of the Grose Valley looking down into Blue gum Forest at the bottom. Stop here for a while and turn around or continue a bit further if you wish. The trail begins to deteriorate from this point but is rideable for another km or so to access other faint walking trails off to the right. These offer more great views into the valley and across to Mt Hay.
There is a toilet at the start picnic area (northern end) and a water tank at the turn around point (southern end) of the trail.
Both the start and turn around points make for great paces to lunch/chill out etc.
Coffee shops and fantastic fresh fruit stands at Bilpin etc on the way up Bells Line of Rd.
(the Apple Bar at Bilpin, if open, does dinner and has beer on tap...)
Supermarkets and other shops at North Richmond. Pub at Mt Victoria. Shops, including bike shop at Lithgow.