Bargo Colliery


mrptl's picture

By mrptl - Posted on 03 January 2013

I went yesterday to spot called Bargo Colliery, which is 20min further south of Mt Annan.

After much research and planning from various logs I could find online, I had finally a course ready and loaded in my Garmin… well unfortunately the first few single trails I went were unused since a while and therefor too much overgrown; so I gave up and went to Mt Annan!

But it looked that someone marked trails there, as per the blue tags attach on the bushes. Unfortunately, they were hard to find and the area is big.

Also, at the entrance and a bit everywhere they are signs saying that it's a "private property trespassers will be prosecuted" (from a coal company)… so should I guess MTB is tolerated?

Cheers

crank's picture

Bargo Colliery has been off limits for the past 3 years. Xstrata received complaints from surrounding residents about rubbish dumping and moto access so they closed the area off to everyone. Security patrols regularly run in the area and they have apparently been taking photos of trespassers to pass onto police and/or escorting riders off the area.

The actual boundaries of the area are a little questionable in some spots and I'd imagine if you don't know the area it would prove to be a difficult place to ride and enjoy.

This is a real shame as I believe the area has some of the best mountain bike trails in NSW if you like technical stuff. More technical than Appin and Menai (when they were both rideable) but less flowy. Nearly all of the trails in there are old moto trails but before the closures some mtbers were doing regular maintenance to prevent erosion and improve trail quality. Some trails are mtb trails and date back to the Razorback Rangers MTB Club of the 1990's.

The local club, www.wollondillytrailblazers.asn.au, has tried to get access back to the area without success.

mrptl's picture

Oupsy, didnt know it was off limits. Well anyway I wont go back there.
Bargo, Menai, Appin, … hope the list won't go further!

crank's picture

I'm not having a go at you for being in there. Smiling

I think it would be good if people would type a friendly and polite email to Xstrata to let them know there is a mountain biking community that would love access to the Bargo Colliery area again. Use the general contact email for now and maybe mention there is a local club looking for a track that would be more than happy to maintain the mtb trails...

info@xstrata.com

hawkeye's picture

One of their concerns will be potential liability.

You might like to mention (or even better, quote and provide a link to) the NPWS cycling strategy document, which deals with this issue. The bottom line is if the trails meet a recognised standard (eg IMBA guidelines), there is no liability issue for the land manager as mountain biking is a risk activity. Riders undertaking it know they are accepting risks.

You can pitch it as providing a substantial community benefit that will promote healthy exercise, provide escape from the urban environment, and promote environmental values. It will also provide a community policing effect, displacing motorbikes and other undesirable activity from the area in a way that signs and fencing can never achieve. These are all known effects of implementing mtb trails, and there is plenty of evidence both locally and overseas to prove it.

Good luck!

crank's picture

All done already. If you can think of a strategy or resrource that hasn't been used or suggested yet I'd be extremely grateful for it. PM would probably be a better option from here I think. Smiling

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