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Ourimbah State Forest
At a Glance
Championship downhill course, many Km of single trail and even further firetrail - Ourimbah has it all.
Enter via Red Hill Rd, Ourimbah State Forest. On your right will be 'TreeTops' for the kids and it's large-ish carpark. Carry on past there and the first small clearing which is were parking used to be, and is where the 'Browns' single track turns (you might see riders on your left here). Please do not park in this car park.
Parking and official trail head is now designated a further 350m or so up the road where there is a larger area. There's a CCOMTB notice board here by the trail entrance (on the left as you drive up the hill). Park up nose to curb or as directed.
This place is absolutely littered with both single track and firetrails. On our first visit I optimistically thought after a couple of downhill runs we'd hit the firetrails up on the ridge for a bit of further exploration. It's a testament to how much single track there is in the 'downhill zone' that this just didn't happen - there was no need. What follows below are details of what we rode but doubt this touches even half of the trails in here - it seems every few metres we'd be crossing another junction or seeing another trail branch off into the trees.
The main event for many, the start ot the downhill course (or, "Towers" as I believe it's also known - it starts right by the communications tower up there) is right up the top of Scaddens Ridge Road - about 200 vertical metres above the car park. It's a tough climb, but do-able... erm... unless you brought your downhill monster - I'm told the only way then would be a shuttle or long walk (it's about 2.5Km on the road).
I'm no expert on the downhill, but found this rather enjoyable. There are starting gates by the tower, a gentle (all relative you understand) drop in with switchbacks and then a faster, straighter section. Then the fun begins proper with rocks to fly (or roll) off and many steeper sections.
Eventually you'll come out in the valley and have a short climb up to the carpark. 5 minutes well spent, get back up the hill and try again
From the parking area head off in the direction of Potter's Gully Road, but bear right into the trees between it and Red Hill Road. I'm not sure if what is marked on our map actually is "The Valley" proper, but what it is, is nice single trail that drops away from, before cutting back towards (with plenty of switch backs) Red Hill Road.
Down where Roller Coaster comes out (RC's West end) there is also some sweet single trail the opposite side (to the RC exit) of the firetrail. I have a feeling this is where one could also end up. Instead, what's marked on the map will take you pretty much parallel to Red Hill Road until the start of Jurassic Park.
There's a firetrail marked on the topo map as, Big Gully Road. I believe the start of this is the Jurassic Park trail. Turn left, either at the end of The Valley or off Red Hill Road (which just looked to be 50m or so away) and head downhill. Starting off as firetrail this turns left, then quickly narrows and heads uphill to the right.
It's not particularly long, but leads through some lush, almost rainforest like flora. The huge humps are in here too, love that stuff!
Eventually come out down in the valley where it's left back to the cars or right uphill on the same Potters Gully Road towards Five Ways.
Head a little North from Five Ways, and if you're lucky come to a car wreck (sadly useful marker, although not the most environmentally friendly one). From here bear left for what is another top single trail - Roller Coaster (you'll pass the sign after 50m or so).
A little faster and more open that Jurassic Park, and brilliant fun. After mostly downhill and a few sharp turns you'll come to a small bridge then some steeper rocks to fly down before flying through the trees and back out to the familiar junction in the valley (right for the cars, left back up the hill and straight on for that unknown single trail).
To get back up to the Downhill's start from Five Ways one has to tackle the seemingly infamous Demtel Hill. Head North from Five Ways up what is actually part of Potters Gully Road. This seems the steepest climb around here, but after a while you should catch glimpses of the Downhill course just off the road to your right - keep grinding (or pushing!) in anticipation of what's to come.
And the rest...
Repeating the guess from above - this can't be even half of the single trail even in what we've named The Downhill Zone. Case in point - from a plateau half way up Demtel we found a trail leading off to the West which wound it's way back down to Five Ways with a couple of top jumps built half way down. One can only imagine what else is hidden around here.
And then, once you're done playing on single track there's the many Km of firetrail up on the ridge and beyond to explore. Phew - I can feel many more exploratory visits coming when time permits!
In January '09 we noticed that a Tree Top Adventure Park has opened where the lower car park used to be. This appears to have some temporary amenities right now, but no doubt something more permanent will come.
This park is ideal for kids of course - so family types can bring their clan for a morning of fun in the park while they hit up the MTB trails. Perfect!
Sydney Spring Fat Tyre Festival - 2007 Lap
This is the course used for Sydney Spring Fat Tyre Festival - 8 1/4 hrs of Power (2007).
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