Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Heathcote Pipeline Trail
This ride follows a pipeline access track through the beautiful Heathcote National Park and also the lovely Heathcote River. There are many opportunities along the trail to access some of the beautiful pools on the Heathcote River which are perfect for a dip on a hot summer’s day. One of the most notable of these pools is Lake Eckersley which can be reached via a short walk from the trail. Whilst not technically difficult this ride does involve some hills and is suitable for riders with good fitness levels.
Bitumen, fire trail and some eroded bitumen. There are a few climbs and a causeway crossing that could be impassable after heavy rain.
Vehicle traffic on Woronora Dam Road. Walkers and other trail users on fire trail.
If coming by car take the Princess Highway via Engadine. If coming from the city turn right into Heathcote Road and then turn left into Forum Drive, Heathcote and park at the end of the road. If catching the train exit at Heathcote station ride down Heathcote Road and then left into Forum Drive.
Food and Drink
Public barbeques and water are available at Woronora Dam, no food or drink available at the Engadine trail head. Shops close by at Engadine and Heathcote.
Numerous side trips to pools along the ride including Lake Eckersley, and of course Woranora Dam at the point of return.
The ultimate object of the ride is the mighty Woronora Dam. Barbeque facilities exist here which make it perfect for a lunch time barbie. Signage at the dam states that it is only open to visitors between the hours of 10am and 5pm and that entering outside these hours is considered trespassing so be warned!
As the name suggests this ride follows a large green two metre in diameter pipeline which was initially constructed in 1940s for the purpose of carrying water from the dam. This ride is a favourite training ride for numerous southern Sydney MTB riders due to its distance and the fair amount of climbing involved. Whilst the ride undulates it tends to be mostly uphill on the leg out to the dam and downhill on the way back.
On some of the downhills great speeds can be reached and there are some rather tight corners to navigate. Please ride within your ability and be mindful of other trail users before really letting it rip on the downs. Lack of technical difficulty also makes the pipeline a great night ride. As written this is a 22km long jaunt, however it can be extended by crossing Heathcote Road and picking up the trail on the other side. Taking this option, rides of up to 50km return can be had. Most of the time you’ll find yourself on fire trail and sections of degraded bitumen road which makes it suitable for riders of all skill levels including beginners.
Whilst not technically challenging the numerous climbs and the distance mean that this ride is best suited to those with good fitness level. Absolute new comers to cycling and younger children may find the ride a little challenging. The Heathcote Pipeline is reasonably sheltered for most of its length and is suitable all year around. Warmer weather allows for a refreshing dip in one of the numerous bush pools along the way, however this ride would not be much fun in periods of extreme heat. Take note that the Pipeline should also be avoided after periods of heavy rain as the causeway can often be under a few feet of water making passing impossible.
22.207 km / 13.799 mi
582 m / 1,909 ft
581 m / 1,907 ft
255 m / 837 ft