You are hereKincumber Reserve / Kincumber Reserve
At a Glance
Small but sweet downhill trail located at Kincumber Reserve, just south of Gosford. Requiring at least an intermediate rider skill, it also has decent surrounding fire trails for those not game for technical riding.
Bronzewing Drive, Erina, NSW.
Kincumber Reserve sits between the suburbs of Kincumber and Erina, just south of Gosford. This includes the mountain containing the downhill trail, and the surrounding single tracks and fire trails. The drive from Sydney on the F3 should take around 45 minutes. Use the first Gosford turn off past the reptile park.
The easiest parking is located on Bronzewing Drive, Erina. There is a locked gate to the south showing the way onto the connecting fire trail, with parking for all on the surrounding street. In fact, we found this to be an ideal locale for a post ride beer! Ledge Greggy!
Up and Back
Starting up the fire trail, you are presented with a choice of the fire trail climb to the left, or the bumpy single track to the right. Both work fine as possible alternatives, depending on the rider's preference. By taking the single track to the right, you will be both spoiling the fantastic surprise of the run down the hill later, and also probably making the climb that little bit harder. Irrespective of the choice, you will need to get yourself to the top for the start of the action. This is a downhill course, so one would expect to do some climbing on this trail. But it is well worth it. The vertical climb is about 150-200m.
The downhill course starts at the very top of the mountain, close to a radio tower / power lines. Not a "downhill racing" trail per se, this trail is more a technical single trail that has some jump / drop elements built into it by the locals. All jumps / drops have a chicken run, so everyone can have a close look at the technical elements before attempting anything. To start the trail, just look around for the boulders littering the landscape below, and you will see various single trail bike tracks carved into the side of the mountain. You can take whichever single trail you feel confident with, as they generally all join together after about 100m.
The first part of the downhill trail involves some steeper technical single trail amongst these boulders, with some larger rocks and leaf litter to negotiate. It can get quite steep in places, as some of us found out (yes Rob, you think I didn't know you stacked it there!!). This section requires slow roll downs of the surrounding terrain. The end of this section flows onto a downhill single trail leading to some jumps and drops.
Anyone for some air?
Here the downhill trail speeds up as the rocky part of the trail is left behind, for a moment. As speed increases, the dirt trail runs downhill towards a large jumping obstacle, perfect for those with the bigger bikes (or bigger something else!). There is an A-line and B-line. The A-line on the left consists of a large 3 foot high kicker jump with a 5 feet fly onto a table top rock, and a 4 foot drop off of the rock onto the ground. The B-line on the right consists of a ramp onto the table top rock, with the same 4 foot drop onto the ground. Although straight-forward enough for a decently skilled technical rider, there is some element of risk involved with these jumps. But it is by god a fantastic jump!!
Clearing this launch and landing, the trail continues along on the flat for a while, with a series of fast and flowing sections, with dirt jumps to keep you busy and interspersed with tree roots and rocks. Almost perfect for any technical rider, or those looking to get better at this kind of riding. All of the jumps here are about 1-2 feet tall, making for some serious grin factor as you are barrelling along here. This section of the trail generally runs parallel with a firetail you could have taken riding on the way up.
Not long after, you will commence the final single trail section, back towards the cars. This is the single trail you could have ridden up from the start, but you would now be riding fast downhill. This consists of a sometimes fast and flowing, sometimes tight and twisty single trail. The dirt has partly given way to more rocks and tree roots, increasing the risk of injury to both rider and bike if you make a blue. But it sure is fast and furious action! Many of us almost came a cropper here (yours truly included!) by riding too fast or on the wrong line. This section is reminiscent of places like the fast downhill bits of Mooney Mooney, or St Helenas. As the speed and risk increases, so too does the fun! You blast along under the cover of the dense rainforest trees for a full 5 minutes, with your senses buzzing and your wrists and arms burning from the jarring. It is just too good to describe! But as you ride here, you know you are conquering a trail that is something special.
Finally you arrive out at the cars, where you can do it all again. No doubt by now you and your friends are high on adrenaline and talking about how cool this trail was, and are eager to get to the top to do it all again. If you have the ability, you can shuttle run up to the top (via Island View Drive from the South) using a vehicle, as there are access roads to do so. Sweet!
There are also surrounding fire trails on the side of the mountain that have been explored, but are quite basic in their layout and technicality. Although, they are very useful for getting from one point in the reserve to the next. For anyone wanting to ride some km's on fire trails that will involve some decent hill climbing, this would be a good ride. You are sure to get a workout. All of the fire trails are well marked with signage by NPWS. You can see these marked on the Google Map attached to this trail review.
We didn't look far, but there also seems to be a few other options spread about the place. Several tracks lead left and right of the major trails and although there's no concrete evidence of the fact - we suspect these would defiantly be worth a look for the discerning rider.
Eventually... when you've done with the climbing and XC capers roll on past the car park and facilities atop the reserve and feast your eyes on the rock playground up there. A nice area of drops and rolls - plenty of fun to be had honing one's skills here.
Sound nice? Why not head up to Kincumber for yourself and check it out. Make sure you say when you are going so the group can go too!