Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Knapsack Park Trail

This ride within the Knapsack Park reserve offers the perfect midweek single track escape or an ideal training loop. Although not long in length this ride contains some lovely short sections of single track which lead to two major lookouts with views over the Sydney Basin. More single track exists within the reserve and there are numerous trails on offer for the cyclist willing to explore.

Terrain

Undulating semi-technical single track and smooth fire trail.

Traffic

No vehicle traffic, but Knapsack Park is popular with the locals including walkers, runners, and other cyclists.

Access

This ride is located in Glenbrook and can easily be accessed by train from Glenbrook station. If travelling by car take the M4 from Sydney and turn right at the first set of traffic lights at Glenbrook. Turn right at Levy Street and when the soccer club is reached turn left into Barnet Street and find the small car park at the start of the fire trail.

Food and Drink

No food or drink is available at the trail head, however numerous cafes, bakeries and shops are located at nearby Glenbrook.

 

More Details

Knapsack Park is located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the lovely village of Glenbrook. Its relatively close proximity to the suburbs make it a great ride for those looking to get their mid week single track fix. Short but flowing single track sections are a major attraction of Knapsack and provide a great training loop. Strap on a light and it would also make an excellent night ride. Knapsack is popular with the locals and most days you will find walkers, runners, and cyclists all enjoying the reserve. With various groups taking advantage of the trail network there can occasionally be some traffic, so please ride within your skill level and keep an eye out for fellow trail users.

Considering the small physical size of Knapsack reserve it offers the cyclist a large number of options. Rides of varying lengths can be had within the reserve, local riders have told me rides from 30 minutes to five hours are possible. However, longer rides involve a significant amount of backtracking and looping various single track sections together. For the sake of simplicity and to make it easy to follow I have opted to map the basic loop which comprises the backbone of the trail network.

For the adventurous cyclist willing to explore and use the listed ride as a base, numerous other trails can be found throughout the reserve offering an array of different challenges. Keep an eye out though as some can be hard to spot. The ride is a basic loop which links the main sections of single trail together and takes in both major lookouts and returns on the fire trail which makes up the spine of the reserve. Most of the single track in the reserve eventually links back to this main fire trail.

This ride is suitable for all fitness levels, although the terrain is undulating there are no major climbs. Most of the single track is of a semi-technical nature so most riders of average fitness may want to string a few laps of Knapsack together to form a decent ride. Doing a few laps of the same trails allows riders to master the technical sections and allows numerous attempts to get a section right.

For this reason Knapsack is a great ride for those looking to develop their single track and technical riding skills. The majority of the ride is under tree canopy which provides ample shade in the warmer months and some protection from the elements in winter which makes this ride a good option all year round.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the carpark locate the main fire trail heading into the reserve.
  • .190m Turn right into fire trail and look for silver gates.
  • .290m Fire trail splits. Take the right fork which soon turns into single trail and heads downhill.
  • .460m T-intersection. Take left hand fork heading downhill. Note the blue shed to your right at the top of the hill which is the soccer club.
  • .550m Single trail empties out onto a fire trail. Keep following this fire trail uphill.
  • .640m At the top of fire road climb, note tree with a yellow arrow pointing to the right. Turn right and follow this fire trail.
  • .7m Note small rock on your right with yellow arrow pointing to the left. Turn left.
  • .760m T-intersection, look for yellow arrow pointing to the right and turn to the right. .890m Trail enters a valley, look for a tree with yellow arrow pointing to the right. Turn right cross the creek and look for more arrows. Pick up the trail on the other side of the creek heading downhill into the valley.
  • 1.22 After steep pinch climb a T-intersection is reached with single track. Turn right.
  • 1.23 T-intersection. Note yellow arrow and turn right.
  • 1.28 Look for yellow arrow and turn right into single track.
  • 1.39 Single trail opens out onto fire trail with T-intersection. Turn right.
  • 1.45 Look for single track off to the right. Note Casuarina tree nearby with a red bicycle reflector nailed to it. Indicates start of trail.
  • 1.61 T-intersection reached with technical fire trail, turn right. Yellow markers slowly stop from this point onwards.
  • 1.68 T-intersection with fire trail. Turn right heading downhill.
  • 2.02 T-intersection, turn left.
  • 2.06 Trail opens out in to large open area with picnic shed and lookout. Views of the distant Sydney skyline can be had from here.
  • 2.06 From picnic shed look roughly to your NE and pick up trail heading NNE heading downhill.
  • 2.49 Fire road intersection, turn right.
  • 2.71 Marges Lookout. Great views of Western Sydney and the Penrith Lakes complex in the distance. Note walking trail at the end of the fire trail near Marges Lookout leads down to Knapsack bridge.
  • 2.71 Retrace your steps back up the fire trail.
  • 2.93 Look for single trail on your left, this is where you just came out off. If more single track is your thing you can simply retrace your steps along this section of single trail back to the start. Otherwise turn right into the fire trail heading uphill.
  • 3.03 Top of short climb. T-intersection with fire road, turn left.
  • 3.1 Turn right and take fire trail to your right.
  • 3.3 T-intersection, turn right.
  • 3.7 End of ride.
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    4.333 km / 2.693 mi

    Total Distance

    133 m / 436 ft

    Total Ascent

    133 m / 436 ft

    Total Descent

    218 m / 715 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    MTB Segment: flow
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 3.7
    Elevation Gain: 254
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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