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Published September 30th 2016
Go off-road for some adventure
Want to go off-road on your next bike ride? The Mountain Bike Track at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan certainly provides plenty of off-road action and is sure to get your heart pumping and your legs burning!
Located within the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan, the track consists of approximately 10 kilometres of dirt trails across varying types of terrain and is split into three sections - Competent, Intermediate and Advanced trails.
The competent track is indicated by green arrows and caters for a moderate fitness and skill level with the trail extending approximately 4 kilometres. The intermediate track, indicated by blue arrows, is more difficult with increased gradients and narrow sections. It is recommended for those with above average fitness and skill level with a length of around 3 kilometres. While the most difficult track is the advanced course, indicated by black arrows. It features a tight winding trail, loose irregular surfaces, steep hills and is approximately 3 kilometres long.
While I consider myself to be neither above average fitness level nor skill level on a mountain bike, my family optimistically decided to challenge ourselves on the intermediate course. And a challenge it was.
You certainly get to experience many different terrains on this course. There are a few open areas on the intermediate course but they are interspersed with some thickly wooded sections. There are also numerous dry creek crossings across rocky surfaces and bridges.
And did I mention the obstacles? On the intermediate course you will be challenged by loose surfaces such as rocks and branches, as well as obstacles on the course such as large rocks, big logs & tree stumps, short but steep inclines and sharp declines. This trail is not for the faint-hearted. The trail is also very narrow in some sections with sharp bends and turns to navigate.
We found the course to be quite challenging. It definitely got our heart rate up and our legs burning. I must admit that in a few places I had to do a walk of shame beside my bike as the incline was too steep for me to ride up. Nevertheless, our family of four made it to the end of this character-building mountain bike track.
While the ride was tough we did enjoy the challenge and also the scenery. One of the advantages of the course being situated in the botanic gardens are that there are many scenic spots to enjoy along the way and on a clear day some great views out to the city. If you have the energy after your ride you can explore the gardens by bike, car or on foot or perhaps you might just want to rest and relax in one of the many picnic areas.
Trail Map (Image Credit: Australian Botanic Garden)
The Mountain Bike Track at the Australian Botanic Garden is free to use and is accessible during the normal garden opening hours. Facilities at the track include a bike wash and bubblers for drinking water, which are located near the start of the track. There are toilets and barbecues close by at the Big Ideas Garden across the road. BYO bikes and helmets.
As the track can be affected by the weather (it is sometimes closed after heavy rain) it is a good idea to check whether it is open before heading out there. You can do this by checking in the top right of the website here. There is an icon which will tell you if the track is open or closed.
Rules of use of the track include the following:
• riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
• all riders must wear an Australian Standards approved bicycle helmet
• riders must obey all signs and warnings at the trail.
The MTB Track is located near the Big Ideas Garden and there is parking out the front. For a map of the Australian Botanic Garden click here.
The Australian Botanic Garden is located at Mount Annan. Entry to the garden is free and is accessed via Narellan Road, Mount Annan. For more information about visiting the garden click here.