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NPWS Bantry Bay Proposed Trails - Open for Comment - New Northern Beaches MTB Trails

Gregorian's picture

By Gregorian - Posted on 17 June 2013

Folks - this has been previously reported in a NOBMOB forum string but can't or the life of me figure out why its not given higher priority. GET YOUR COMMENTS TO NPWS!! Links below. The trails look good.

Proposed trails:

Full report and comments submission:

Pete B's picture

112 reads and no-one replying that they've commented!?

Come on people, this is important and needs to be done.

(I commented on this the first time it was posted btw)

MarkkyMarkk's picture

Here's what I wrote:

As a frequent National Park visitor as both a bushwalker & mountain bike rider, I fully support the exhibited proposal for a Mountain Bike Track within Garigal National Park. The proposal stikes a good balance between conserving the environmental values of the park & meeting the huge demand for local mountain biking facilities.

It doesn't need to be complicated, just write something that shows your support.

TheOneRing's picture

Reviewed and invested 5 minutes in some thoughtful comments. Absolutely no downside to more approved MTB trails.

Just wondering how the link trail will work between the eastern and western loops. The one that is flagged is a 1 way descent which has a little tricky section half way down. Not the sort of spot where you want to be riding down and meeting another biker pushing the bike up. I'm assuming that some thought has been given to creating a link back up the hill? Or maybe it is a different land owner/responsible body/approval process?

DudeistPriest's picture

Ok I've made a submission.

Simon's picture

TrailCare is doing a walk through this weekend with NPWS before making comment.

It appears to have changed again since the last stakeholder meeting. The two segments used to link and also go all the way to Seaforth Oval.

There have been some challenges in getting the project this far.

It also crosses through Forestville Park which comes under Warringah Council. This is where TheOneRing identified. I'm not yet convinced this is the best outcome.

Will report back after the weekend.

Chris H's picture

Done! Very positive move from National Parks which seems to strike a nice balance between environmental concerns and the need for dedicated MTB tracks on the Northern Beaches.

TheOneRing's picture

Thanks for the update Simon and good luck at the weekend. I have already put a few lines in my submission about the link trail.

I noticed that the maps were different from previous submissions and, indeed, different from the maps that they have nailed to trees at the start and end of the previously published option 'A' and 'B' link trails.

Whilst the link trail(s) will be very important in the future, hopefully this component won't delay progress on the other trails. A legitimate loop on the eastern side will add a well needed optional extra to the usual Manly Dam circuit.

garyinoz's picture

Looks promising so fingers crossed.

Brian's picture

I've added my support. I wish went you filled in the form it sent a confirmation email.

BT's picture


PeterPan's picture


KJW's picture

Done, fingers crossed!

lorax's picture

Here's the submission I submitted:

I am 42 and in the last 12 months I have visited Barrington Tops and Blue Mountains national parks for bush walking, cayoning and mountain biking recreational activities. I believe that mountain biking and other activities complement each other. Mountain bikers appreciate the pristine environment as much as other users. Increased utilisation minimises anti-social activities such as illegal dumping. My subjective observation is that the main opposition to mountain biking comes from bush walkers in the older demographic. I believe this is mainly a reaction to change, which I understand - I don't like much of the music on commercial radio like Psy's Gangnam Style - however I have to come to terms with the fact that my kids do like it. I have also visited Rotorua in New Zealand which is capitalising on mountain bike tourism with beneficial results for local business. Mountain bike trail building needs to be managed and I believe the Glenrock Conservation Area POM is a great template for this. I hope you proceed with the planned mountain bike trails in the Garigal National Park and I look forward to riding them.

pommygit's picture

Ive put my oar in, fingers crossed.

Lach's picture

... that this all leads to something actually happening in relation to some official mtb tracks in northern Sydney before the shutters go up prior to the next State election in March 2015. It all takes so loooong...... and I'm not getting any younger....

Otis's picture


beanie's picture


hawkeye's picture
I'm a keen supporter of the implementation of sustainable mountain bike trails in National Parks and the Bantry Bay plan in particular.

Trails such as this give myself and my son the opportunity to escape the built environment and enjoy and connect with the natural bush together. This would simply not be available to us if we were restricted to travelling on foot. We strongly support this plan.

New South Wales and Sydney's northern beaches in particular have enormous pent-up demand for singletrack riding trails, due to the severe scarcity of authorised trails. It is vital that a variety of sustainable trails are authorised and built to suit rider skills progression from green beginner level trails to double-black and everything in between. We are lagging other states and New Zealand by some margin.

The proposed loop at Bantry Bay simply must go ahead without further delay. I strongly encourage National Parks NSW to complete it and expand the trial as quickly as possible across the Northern Beaches. Not only will it improve Parks visitation and appreciation of environmental values, it will lift community exercise rates, boost the local economy and improve sustainability of the wider trails network.

Further, high quality rides and the provision of a sustainable trail capable of IMBA "Epic Ride" status must be a high priority. As recently as last year it was confirmed that mountain bike tourism brings in more revenue to the Rotorua economy than the famed hot springs. Other areas in New Zealand are finding that mountain bike visitation provides more income than forestry operations, and is leading to a re-evaluation of how forests are used (for the better in my view). We are missing out, and sorely need something like that here. We have outstanding scenery in Garigal and Ku Ring Gai national parks. Why are we not acting on this opportunity?

I'd like to express our appreciation to the staff and management involved in bringing the plan this far. Let's not get distracted by spurious matters raised by extremist self-appointed "green" representatives whose views are not supported by available evidence and whose ambitions are to keep National Parks closed to all but their particular ageing clique. The evidence is clear that on appropriately designed singletrack trails that mountain bikes and walkers have similar impacts.

Mountain bikers value the natural environment highly and are very concerned that dropping visitation levels threaten the long-term future of our parks and the allocation of government funding to their guardians.

Getting to this point has taken much too long already. Lets not waste any more time and use the opportunity that's in front of us to turn it around now.

CB's picture

My 2 cents worth....

I am a Northern Beaches resident who is a keen user of NSW national parks. My wife, 2 sons and I frequently visit National Parks and State forests to do some camping and walking. Our main recreation however is mountainbiking.
My sons ( aged 7 and 12 ) love riding well designed single track ( as do all mountain bikers ). Typically this involves a longish trip to either Wingello in the Southern Highlands or Awaba on the Central Coast. We recently drove to the Ottways in Southern Victoria for a week of riding around the town of Forrest.
Each of these places is well known for having well designed, well built sustainable singletrack for mountian biking. While these trips are excellent fun, having some similarly well designed and built singletrack a bit closer to home would be absolutely wonderful. As such, my family and myself are strong supporters of the proposals put forward. We look forward to the plans being implemented with great anticipation and would like to thank all of the stakeholders involved for their hard work in putting together these proposals.


hawkeye's picture

I agree with Simon, on reflection the connection between the two loops is poor. I'll be making further comment to that effect.

unicycle6869's picture


Black Flash's picture


firefly's picture

I'm on board with submitting comments also. Man I can't wait for this to happen, this is going to be awesome!


Simon S's picture

Done and link sent to other riders

danielschipper's picture

Also added a note re the link being unsuitable and asked that a new link be assessed some where in between the suggested link and the existing link that runs over the rock shelf.

ahein's picture

Done. It will be great to have some more official tracks nearby

Simon's picture

Hi all,

Thumbs up, please make comment online and provide constructive feedback on any concerns.

Did the walk through with NPWS and the mountain bike committee in the rain Saturday morning. In 2 hours we only managed to bush bash through 1/4 of the more technical loop close to Wakehurst Parkway.

After 5.5 years if lobbying I couldn't stop grinning. I had been worried about it being not that technical, however the rock chute descent and terrain have huge potential. They are talking both loops to be the harder end of intermediate with options for more advanced at technical features. Done well with the features around this should have something to keep most interested. It won't be DH or FR, no surprises there but well worth the ride and a destination in its own right relative to the Dam.

The track we walked runs over slick rock and drops steeply down a rock chute onto the lower of two rock platforms with the track leveling out and passing well below and in the opposite direction to the old Bantry Bay loop. The track is on roughly a 20m wide ledge at the base of a cliff face having a feel in some places similar to the cave region of Deep Creek. The build will be challenging requiring helicopter lifts of sandstone for armouring and structure. Plus a few small bridges about 4m in length. The track location down low was required to avoid threatened ecological communities, however this is not a compromise and has ended up making it better.

We didn't walk the other side. The other loop is planned to have a tight steep entry with rock bermed switch backs leading to a flowing descending trail with a firetrail climb out.

The trails won't be Hornsby style wooden structures with NPWS preferring natural rock or metal due to fire management. Synergy however are providing input to the design specification as there were initial concerns by NP's that what they had first planned may not be fun enough.

The builder is yet to be determined during a tendering process.

The main areas I had been worried about that had changed a lot since the last meeting related to land outside of National Parks on both Manly and Warringah Council land. The track extension on this land has not been ruled out but due to timing and funding it is outside NPWS scope for their build and PoM amendment.

Given the importance of commenting online can everyone keep an eye on this and bump it up to keep it on the first page of posts.

hawkeye's picture

Nice work mate. Sorry i couldnt get there to join you. This sounds great.

GAZZA's picture

Message sent!

BT's picture

It'll be fun if it's anything like the old Bantry Bay loop.

edmond's picture


Someone is putting up anti-cyclist posters around the Bantry Bay / Forest Way area. So we must make sure we get some good numbers on this one.

I wrote:

I have just finished reviewing the proposed Amendments to the Garigal National Park plan of management, and fully support the inclusion of provisions to expand and enhance the facilities for Mountain Biking and Cycling.

Mountain Biking is a wonderful activity that allows us to get fit while enjoying our previous nature reserves. As we have seen in other locations, cycling facilities when built correctly have a low impact on the land and will do much to support and encourage the preservation of nature reserves.

I feel in an age where we are losing so much land to housing developments that we need to encourage the use of our parks, so that those who enjoy them will fight for their protection.

Please keep up the good work!

Simon's picture


Comment on the PoM on NPWS site if you haven't yet.

In the half hour I spent at the Manly Dam car park yesterday no one had heard of Bantry Bay or commented on the proposal.

Matt P's picture

If we can keep the technical features that are already there and include the variety that is available at OMV, then we can really start to get some good legal riding facilities in the area.

Simon's picture

What they are proposing looks good but I should point out its a completely new track.

It was too close to the carvings and despite the recent bulldozing just beyond NP's border most of the old track ran through bush and habitat that is threatened.

I was surprised to hear its threatened as to the untrained eye, myself included, it looks like nothing special scrub. This however we are told is part of the issue as most of it has already been cleared for houses and there isn't much ridge top upland swamp vegetation of this type left. Sydney has progressively cleared all ridge tops and built houses and roads on them.

hawkeye's picture

Anything special you'd like us to mention?

Simon's picture
Simon's picture

Needs to be on first page.

nrthrnben's picture

Submissions extended until the 26/07/2013

We need everyone to do it takes just a couple of minutes and you will get years of riding pleasure

nrthrnben's picture

Final day.. please make a positive comment before 5pm

nrthrnben's picture

Anyone see the comment in the Manly daily 27/7 today about this from R Loughnane from Forestville in the Conversations section, entitled "Say no to Bike trails to preserve bushland"..the lies in that are unbelievable, the track is designed to go around Aboriginal carvings, not through it. Also making out that by putting a mountain bike single trail its going to kill the surrounding bush and goodness...why??
Is this the same person that does letter box drops and is anti mtb vocal at public meetings?

Can trail care meet with this person and educate her/him that mountain biking is sustainable, we don't want to go on carvings and it doesn't kill the bush or animals, it has the same impact as a walking trail, and could even be argued as being more sustainable due to superior trail design.

hawkeye's picture

She won't meet with us. Doesn't want facts getting in the way of her story.

nrthrnben's picture

Trailcare could respond to her comment in the paper, just quote the date who you are responding to and the title, if you guys don't have time, I can draft something up, let me know.

We can educate her via responding (even if she doesn't want to be educated, she will read it) and fix the lies to the general public that read that in the process.

She's probably a nice person, just been given false information and half truths that have made her very negative toward a mtbers as a whole whom probably love and respect the bush just as much as her.

hawkeye's picture

Personally I think Rosemary's too emotionally invested in her position and would rather die than give it up. Remember she spent 6 months of Saturdays gathering her few signatures. She doesn't want to change her mind. The evidence no longer matters to her. She thinks we're making it up.

Anyway, she is increasingly being marginalised by the evidence.

R_M.G's picture

Im not exactly a map reading fallout, but I do know how to read a map and I really wasn't clear on if the plan proposed a linkage back to the main loop in the reserve? The map showed a "proposed link", but that looked like it ran all the way up Wakehurst parkway and past the manly loop. I apologise If there is something I have missed.. But a link back to the trail would be essential?

I am a beginner rider, only started to get serious with MTB'ing within the past 9 months. I only ride manly (and sometimes OMV) but from what Iv'e seen, very large numbers of beginner riders take on manly dam (like myself) and what would be a suitable option is a Mountain bike skills area! It doesn't have to be flash or expensive, just a few skinnies and maybe a see-saw with a some drop/rocky sections? And a micro pump/flow track? Im sure there are some other mountain bikers who would agree with me? Anyway - the proposed trails look great. I'll look into them, in the mean time - any ideas/comments/thoughts about the skills area? Let me know Smiling

*P.S First post on the forums! (yippee) I'll also be at the maintenance afternoon tomorrow, so feel free to chat then Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Council is working on a proposal to put those kinds of things into a bike trail around the playing fields and Aquatic Centre, with links to the Dam trail.

Perhaps you'd like to send them an email and enquire how it's going? Smiling

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