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Gahnia - Bantry Bay ready to ride Christmas Eve

Simon's picture

By Simon - Posted on 23 December 2014

National Parks have delivered a nice present to all of us.

Gahnia can be ridden from tomorrow from 9am.

Please take extreme care in the rock chute entry as this feature and much of the trail are more advanced than Serrata.

There will be more signage and additional rocks in the new year to help with flow. Please take care and check things out before committing.

It should only be ridden in the north to south direction ending at the Seaforth end.

BT's picture

Merry Christmas!

hank's picture

Awesome - congrats to everyone involved. I can see that chute catching a few of us out over time.

spindog's picture

don't forget to send your thankyou emails to trail santa at email: [email protected]

MarcT's picture

Far out, cant wait to ride it. Now please tell me how to ride it, meaning where to find it. All the maps including the one above are pretty crap and also that I am a local I dont have a clue where to go. Seeing that it ends in the south, whats the way back and whats the best way to link it with Serrata?

HubertWagner's picture

I'm pretty sure it starts near 5 Grattan Cres, Frenchs Forest:

spindog's picture

entry is from the sthrn end of Grattan Crescent where you will find a green NPWS gate, enter to the right side of the gate and follow the Bluff fire trail for around 250-300m where you will find a fork in the trail, go left and you'll find the trail head. As Simon said take it easy on the first run. I'd recommend you walk the first 200m to check out some of the features. this is not a beginners trail and unlike Serrata the technical features continue all the way along the trail. If you're coming across Forestville oval from Serrata you can ride along the fire break behind the houses and the Austrian Club to reach the start of the Bluff fire trail

MarcT's picture

Thanks guys! Is there a nice way to ride up to the trail head again? And dont worry I always take it easy on my first runs but I am fortunately not really a beginner anymore Eye-wink I think I got past this stage 12 years ago.

Peter R's picture

Good to get a proper mountain bike trail in our backyard. Thanks to all involved.

GarethP's picture

Rode it this morning! WOW! You can really see how much work has gone into the track - a huge thanks to all involved from the builders to those who pushed for new trails and of course NPNSW.

Not kidding about the entrance to this trail - it's really steep and technical for your average XC rider. I rode it twice and never felt quite comfortable. I found the rest of the trail a little easier - certainly nothing with the sustained steepness of the first 2 rock chutes. The second one in particular was a bit above my comfort level. There is nothing on the trail that can't be rolled.

I really enjoy quite slow technical climbs, rocky step ups and steep roll downs and this trail has them in abundance!

If I had to give any constructive criticism - the first 2 rock chutes are meant act as a filter (according to the website if you can't ride these you should not continue). In my opinion they are MUCH harder than anything else on the trail though.

But really - there is nothing wrong with challenging features and it's a brilliant, well constructed piece of trail through some stunning bushland (love the little waterfall you go past!).

Edit: Oops I missed the bit about it being open after 9am - my bad! I was about 3.5 hours early

Rob's picture

Don't suppose anyone has a GPS of this yet? We should add it to the maps.

Cheers Smiling

MarcT's picture

How would you compare it to Serrata in terms of difficulty but more importantly flow?

GarethP's picture

I have not ridden Serrata yet so can't compare the 2 - I think someone posted that Gahnia is the more technical of the 2.

As for flow - well I guess that is a bit subjective and also depends a bit on how well you know the trail. Personally I found the trail a bit challenging for me to to flow through the sections like a more skilled rider no doubt could. There are a few places where one feature feeds nicely into the next so I guess that is what you mean by flow? There are quite a few techie climbs/step ups that are tricky to flow through if you don't know the trail well.

Pants's picture

and is MUCH longer.

The second rock chute bit is definitely harder than anything on both tracks and manly dam (except 19th hole a line). Trying to hit it at speed will be very challenging.

The first shut is like a cool roller coaster going up and down each side of the rock chute.

There are a few little steep rolls further into the track.

bmar560's picture

What do you do when your bike is awaiting warranty replacement frame and your ankle is buggered ?
You walk down the newly opened trail.

I have posted some photos on the bantry bay gallery page,

The rock work that has been done on this trail is pretty amazing !!
Can't really comment on the technicality of the trail as I was on foot, but most of it looks rollable, not many tight corners like Serrata and a bit more climbing. The hardest bits are at the beginning about 50-200m in.

Hope to be back there on my bike next time

GAZZA's picture

Just did two laps of it with extras.
I'd honestly say the second roll down is easier than the double roll down of Serata.
It looks a lot worse but I rode both today on a 100mm travel xc hardtail and the Ghania roll down is much easier to control and manage your speed ( and that's with a bald back tyre)
Top work by the trail builders on making such a technically challenging and beautiful track using a lot of the natural rock formations.
Bloody love it!!!

spindog's picture

if you don't send an email to NPWS to let them know what you think.

well not me personally, we'll send around the hired muscle (Oldandslow and Spokeydokey) to do this, they've already proved their worth as boundary riders on the Possum .. hehehe..

So if you want to avoid a good thumping you know what to do!

seriously though .. don't forget to do this, especially if you want to see more purpose built mtb trails in our national parks

and a very merry riding Christmas to all! Eye-wink

bikemad's picture

I felt like some tech nerd that waits out front of apple to get the latest must have i-whatever...We were there at 8.30 no ques tho haha,just a really nice ranger that was putting the finishing touches in and is also a mountain biker!We smashed the first lap and on the second there were a handful of other fellahs frothing to ride it.its abit more flowy that serratta (in my opinion)although there are a few sections that are tricky.I got caught on a steep uphill bit had no problems on the downs but youll get that on a 160mm Slash!Personally i like that you dont have the fire trail climb out either(im no wippet) but in all excellent work,kudos to everyone involved that has made this happen.

Chris H's picture

Love it! The first 100-200m is certainly more technical than I'm typically comfortable with, but plenty of good challenges. After the first two rock chutes it's a nice mix of techy climbs and roll-offs. Walked quite a bit on the first lap, then got more confident on the second lap. On the third lap the confidence was probably too high and I came unstuck in a big way on the first rock chute. Survived to tell the tale though and will be back again.

The two tracks are a great achievement for all involved, and are a real testament to how much work has gone into building them.

CROMERBOY's picture

that was a blast.

Just a bump up on the feedback - I sent them an email, hopefully everyone that enjoys the trails does the same.

Thanks to all involved

[email protected]

MarcT's picture

How do you get to the start again when you want to ride it multiple times?

GarethP's picture

Ride north on the fire trail that it pops you out on. You can ride the possum single track or just ride on the road to grattan cr.

Simon's picture

Rides differently to Serrata, entry is super fun and the rest has a nice pumping flow where you can keep up with a lot of guys by pumping the bike rather than pedalling. More ups and downs than Serrata and a few fun optional features added into the track in places.

Rode Serrata, Daisy Duke, Gahnia then south a bit and linked up the golf course at Manly Dam and back to Currie Road. No time for second laps today but big smile anyway.

Not as full on as Ya Mums etc by a long way but great for what it is and well worth it for more chilled days but more than enough to keep it interesting.

chuckie's picture

Rode this today... Awesome work ... Congrats to the builders...Curious to know why these new trails have been made so tight and slow? Was this on purpose or was it due to the terrain they had to play with? Best part of the track was the chutes at the beginning!

Simon's picture

NPWS weren't out to make XC race tracks. The trails are tight and moderate tech to keep it interesting and provide good amounts of time on the trail rather than burning up km fast given the effort gone in to getting these trails approved.

They also went back to the drawing board a bit after OMV went in as they got worried some initial concepts would be boring. Synergy Trails then came on board and had a lot of input to both tracks detailing much of them. Synergy and NPWS spent a lot of time walking unofficial trails in the area. Synergy's drawings were then put up for tender with Trailscapes winning the work and sorting final details.

Riders also wanted corners rather than fast straight pedaling. The environmental approval also gave us this too by limiting the size of vegetation that could be cleared and so more twisty trail.

The terrain also lends itself to this more than beginner trails which are more expensive to build in this sort of terrain and have a higher environmental impact.

They are also more like the back of Oxy which is where we lost access in 2008.

obmal's picture

what a surprise!

I did a slow run through (two mechanicals!! and cleared a tree that was blocking the track?) and was totally surprised by the fun level of this track, I dropped into the first chute expecting something a lot more sedate, but this track is very much on the technical side of XC. well done!

Although it does look like a messy B line around one of the drops/rollovers is already forming Sad

StanTheMan's picture

This is actually perfect.
combined with a Manly Dam Extended Loupe. It gives you everything. People are starting to ride an extended loupe wich includes Golf Course wiggle, Serrata, Gahnia, Possum, Kevin Costner, Pipeline Nursing home trail 19th hole. Manly Dam backend Downhill to complete a loupe wich is about 22 km. takes about 90 -105min at a reasonable pace. We have almost everything in that loupe.
Tight single track,
fast single track.
intermediate roll offs,
Fire trail
some technical roll offs.
opportunity to kill oneself in plenty of places.

Sure, its not Rotor Rhur , Stromlo or Whistler.

But we shoiuld be pretty dammed happy with what we have now.

BT's picture

Had a good couple of laps there yesterday arvo. Came across one rider coming through in the wrong direction and he had no idea. Maybe a sign is needed at the end saying exit only or something. What a great track. Nice and technical and no room for error in some parts, especially the 2nd 'shute' where there's potential to go flying down the hillside to the right.

I had no problems with riding all of it, except one little pinch climb which I kept getting losing my balance and having to un-clip. Nearly fell off the side of the rock and into the bushes on that one. Smiling

Echoing a post above, it's a shame to already see a B-line being formed around a roll down about half way along the track. It's an easy roll down, so if you made it through the filter at the beginning then this one shouldn't be an issue.

beetle's picture

Unreal , loved it , great job to the designers and trail builders . Very weather proof and extremely we'll built , links up well with the dam and possum.
Is there an easy legal link between Serrata and Gahnia through Forestville park.i pushed my bike up the heavily eroded steep rocky Shute that put me on the back of the houses but was hoping for something rideable?

jandb's picture

Fantastic track. A fraction beyond my ability though, had a little tumble about 2/3 through. When I got to the end I realised my red Garmin Edge 500 was missing. If anyone comes across it I would appreciate if you could let me know!

hawkeye's picture

PM sent.

kitttheknightrider's picture

Surely someone got a NoGro for Christmas and has tested it here, come on, get the videos up. (please)

hawkeye's picture

Probably because no-one has got a clean run yet while their cam's been running Eye-wink

MC's picture

Can you send me the same PM please.

Got a rough idea but no point riding around looking and ending up in a sensitive spot if someone could point me in the right direction.

GAZZA's picture

Clean run?
I had the Kom on Xmas eve,,,,
For about 4hrs till a friend stole it.
Happy to borrow someone's camera to wear on my retaliation lap?
( only joking )
#All STRAVA attempts are performed under strict, quiet conditions and no other riders will be hurt or even upset in the slightest in the process!

MarcT's picture

Well this is awesome!!!! This must have been so much work and I am very grateful that such a trail was built. Its technical yes but flowy as well. I dont find the first two chutes too hard, you can roll them without much fooling around first. A few climbs catched me off guard on my first round but other than that I was pretty much able to ride everything without checking it out first. I third some of the comments above, theres a steepish roll down in the middle, the chicken way was even flagged off but people still seem to ride it. If you cant ride stuff on the trail, just walk it please or check it out first and then attempt it but dont try to find a way where there is none.
Love this thing!

Simon's picture

I closed this down yesterday morning.

Please email me at [email protected] if keen to work with us at Trail Care and NPWS doing volunteer maintenance.

People short cutting the track on features far easier than the filters doesn't help the public image of responsible riders in the National Park.

Thanks for highlighting the problem area.

But please, we all should take some ownership of these trails. If the bunting tape has been broken over a problem area stop and put it back up and put the rocks back where they were supposed to be.

bloodpuddle's picture

Rode both Serrata and Ghania for the first time this morning. They're excellent!

The switchbacks into roll downs on Serrata are a nice challenge to take smoothly. The variety and length of Ghania are great, although I thought the two filters were more difficult than anything that followed them. Maintaining momentum to clear the pinch climbs is also a nice challenge.

Well done to all involved in the advocacy and trail building efforts. It's an awesome achievement.

I've written to NPWS to say thanks, and hope everyone else who rides there does too.

Cheers and happy new year.

marcel van schie's picture

Hi Simon

If you have a direct line to the NPWS project manager could you see if as part of their final and permanent signage they are able to place a 'no entry' sign at the wakehurst parkway exit?

I have now twice come across groups of riders trying to ride/walk the trail backwards.
Might pop a laminated temp sign up on the weekend.

Possum and Kanye could do with the same, many non-local's don't understand the unwritten law that these are all up-ride trails and there were quite a few potentially nasty head ons over the holiday break !

hawkeye's picture


Simon's picture

Thanks Marcel, will do.

modelcitizen's picture

I finally got out to ride this on Thursday - what a great piece of trail. So nice to see some new, legal trails in Sydney that aren't just a perfectly groomed ribbon of dirt. There is so much technical interest in this trail. Interested to see how it wears-in over time (though I imagine it shouldn't change too much as it's mostly rock). I walked so much of it on my first lap... returned on Saturday and rode the whole thing, fantastic stuff. Great challenge, really makes you work! Great trail!

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