Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Heathcote Loop
Heathcote National Park was once part of the traditional lands of the Dharawal Aboriginal people and evidence of their occupation can still be seen throughout the park. Heathcote National Park was created in 1943 and covers an area of roughly 2,679 ha. Its rugged terrain consists of deeply dissected Hawkesbury sandstone landscapes. Harsh terrain and proximity to two restricted areas, the Woronora Catchment area and the Holsworthy military restricted area, limit MTB opportunities in the park.
Fire trail, some rather eroded, and sections of bitumen.
Vehicle traffic on section of Woronora Dam Road.
If coming by car, from the Princess Highway, turn into Burns Road which is located just past Heathcote. Park anywhere along here and trail head is at end of Burns Road.
Note: if coming from the north you are unable to turn right into Burns Road and will have to travel through to Waterfall where you can turn around. If travelling by train, alight at Heathcote Station, turn left into Princess Highway. Once Burns Road is reached cross highway and ride to end of Burns Road.
Food and Drink
No food or drink available along ride route. Shops and cafes located at nearby Heathcote.
Woronora Dam is worth the extra two kilometres each way.
This ride makes use of the available trails and links up a number of short sections to form a loop ride which circumnavigates a large portion of the park. Being a loop ride, it can be ridden in either direction, however, be warned which ever way you go the ride will end in a large climb back to Heathcote! Whilst riding in the park you will travel through a number of vegetation communities including open forests primarily composed of angophoras, bloodwood, grey gum, Sydney peppermint, scribbly gum, and grass trees.
Areas of low heath typically composed of brightly flowering shrubs, including ti-trees, banksias, hakeas, and waxflowers. If you are riding during the warmer months keep an eye pealed for the botanical super star of the park the beautiful flame red flowered Gymea lily. As this route is comprised of a number of sections, the level of difficulty varies greatly but can generally be split into two halves.
The first half contains the descent down Mirang Road, an easy section of the pipeline trail and a stint on Woronora Dam Road and the Princess Highway. This section is easy with the only notable challenge being the final steep and eroded drop down to the pipeline trail form Mirang Road, however once the pipeline trail is reached it’s smooth sailing. Two sections of public road must be navigated, being Dam Road and the Old Princess Highway where light vehicle traffic can be expected.
The second more difficult section of the ride begins when the park is re-entered from the Princess Highway. This half of the ride follows a number of sections of fire trail, many of which are heavily eroded with exposed rocks and patches of sand. Terrain in this section tends to undulate and combined with the trail conditions, provides riders with some technical ups and downs. Many of these may result in some anxious moments for less experienced riders but will be enjoyed by most.
21.803 km / 13.548 mi
535 m / 1,755 ft
538 m / 1,765 ft
281 m / 923 ft