Winmalee Trail

Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Winmalee Trail

This ride is a hidden gem, popular with both local walkers and cyclists. For the cyclist it offers a real mixed bag of delights with a cracking high speed fire trail descent, lovely lush fern lined sections along the valley floor and beautiful views over the Grose Valley for those fit enough to take the Bees Nest Hill challenge. The ride essentially follows a fire trail loop descending down to and along a creek before climbing back out to the cars. Being a loop this ride offers easy navigation and is not technically difficult, making it great for riders of all skill levels.

Terrain

Undulating fire trail loop with single track sections and one killer of a climb. Watch for exposed rocks in some areas.

Traffic

Walkers, other cyclists. This is a loop and traffic could be going in both directions.

Access

If coming from Sydney take the M4, continue on up the mountains and take the Springwood exit. Cross back over the M4 and follow into Winmalee. Turn left into White Cross Road and find the small car park at the end.

Food and Drink

A short distance back along White Cross Road is a shopping centre with numerous cafes and shops.

Side Trip

Walk along a foot track out to Grose Head South.

 

More Details

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lovely undulating sections of fire trail which flow freely in all the right places. The fast but loose fire trail descents, flowing single track, heart starting climbs, and sensational views are bound to have you seriously contemplating another lap!

This ride is essentially a loop ride and as such you can ride it in either direction. It follows a fire trail down to, and along a creek. Once down on the valley floor the fire trail narrows into a thin section which flows nicely through towering gums and ferns. If you squint hard enough you’ll almost believe it’s legitimate single trail!

From the valley floor a side trip can be taken up to Bees Nest Hill where once at the top magnificent views of the Grose Valley can be had. Be warned however, it is one killer of a climb, and whilst it is short in duration at only around 1km, it is incredibly steep and has a loose surface. Only the fittest of the fit will be able to cycle all the way to the top. For the rest of us mere mortals it involves a 10 or 15 minute hike a bike up to the top. The view from the lookout at the top however makes all the pushing worth the effort. This is a great place to stop for lunch or simply to watch the world drift past.

What goes up must come down and the descent back down into the valley is an absolute ripper. Take care though as the surface is rather loose and there are a number of tight corners. By all means have fun on the way back down, but keep an eye out for unsuspecting cyclists or walkers coming back up the other way. This ride has ample shade and would be a suitable proposition all year around. During the height of summer bring plenty of water as the ride does contain some large climbs especially if taking the Bees Nest Hill option. The trail has numerous exposed rocks, and can have a loose surface in sections.

For this reason it’s recommended that you have some level of off-road experience before tackling this ride. While the main loop has only the one major climb at the end, it is not overly steep and should be bested by riders with average fitness. For those wishing to attempt Bees Nest Hill, good fitness or a sense of humour is required!

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Ride starts at White Cross Rd car park.
  • 0.2 Ignore the fire trail off to your left; this is the trail you will return on later. Note the sign post indicating Shaw’s Ridge and take this option which is the right / straight ahead option.
  • 0.3 Go around the locked gate and continue on straight ahead.
  • 4.7 Junction with Bees Nest Hill trail, turn right and get ready for a tough climb. If you do not want to take this side trip continue on straight ahead.
  • 5.6 At the top of the climb of Bees Nest Hill you come to a T-intersection. Left takes you to Saint Columbus College, right leads towards Grose Head South. Turn right.
  • 6.6 Fire trail ends. Excellent views of the Grose Valley can be had from here and this is a great place to stop for lunch. A foot track continues on from here out to Grose Head South if you have some extra energy. Once you are done here retrace your steps back the way you came and descend back down the Bees Nest Hill fire trail.
  • 8.5 At the bottom of Bees Nest Hill you again come to an intersection of Shaw’s Ridge and Blue Gum Swamp. Turn right and take the Blue Gum Swamp option.
  • 10.0 Go around the locked gate and continue straight ahead.
  • 11.6 Ignore the bitumen road off to the right and continue on straight ahead on the fire trail.
  • 12.8 At the top of the fire road climb turn right, this will take you back to the car park.
  • 13.7 End of ride.
  • Trail map

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    Back

    12.733 km / 7.912 mi

    Total Distance

    523 m / 1,715 ft

    Total Ascent

    522 m / 1,713 ft

    Total Descent

    390 m / 1,280 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    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: 13.7
    Elevation Gain: 604
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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