Cycle Kuitpo Forest MTB Ride 2

Cycle Adelaide, Mountain Bike Ride, Kuitpo Forest MTB Ride 2

Forests are great recreational areas, offering opportunities for day or overnight visits in a peaceful, natural environment. Cool in summer and sheltered in winter - although admittedly pretty cold – they’re a haven from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a chance to get away and commune with nature. There’s also the added bonus of almost traffic free tracks and trails, providing safe off-road routes for cyclists, walkers and horse riders. These rides cover two of the many marked public trails within the Kuitpo Forest Reserve, and both are multi-use routes.

The trails are generally well marked but it’s important to remember that Kuitpo is a working forest, so trails will occasionally be re-routed around logging. Always take note of Danger signs – logging operations can be hazardous, so you need to heed them. If our route is closed when you’re doing the ride, just follow the signs for Tinjella Trail.

Along Tinjella Trail is not quite as easy, with some confusing signage and gnarly terrain - serious off-roaders, this one’s for you! It’s physically difficult, with steep climbs and descents on rough tracks, and it’s a great ride for anyone out to challenge themselves. Where it’s not steep, it’s generally rolling, ending with a long gentle downhill run to the flat finish.


From Willunga, head up Old Willunga Hill and turn left onto Brookman Road, signposted to Meadows. Black Nursery Road, Christmas Tree Hill Road and Forest HQ are all directly off Brookman Road. 

Food and Drink

Water is available at the Kuitpo Forest Headquarters. Fill a backpack and stop for a picnic en-route.

Side trip

Head on up Harvey Road, alongside the Information Centre, to the Prospect Hill Museum. Wander through buildings from the original late-1800s settlement and relics of the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfire.

Ride Log

Note: At the time of writing, this area of forest was subject to logging activity and part of Tinjella Trail was temporarily closed. Therefore, the ride does not start from the signed start of the Tinjella Trail but does commence from the same start access point, Christmas Tree Hill Rd.

  • 0.0 Ignoring the signed Tinjella Trail on the right, head straight up Christmas Tree Hill Rd into the forest.
  • 0.5 At gate CH19, turn left, cross the low stile and continue along the track.
  • 1.4 At the top of a long, hard climb, with another path coming in on the right, turn left.
  • 1.5 Continue across the intersection.
  • 1.9 Continue across the intersection.
  • 2.4 A wider gravel road comes in and goes off to the left. Continue ahead onto this road.
  • 2.5 At an intersection and the top of the hill, turn right. Enjoy the sweeping downhill on soft pine needles before the rolling terrain begins again.
  • 3.0 Turn left onto a rough, scrubby track.
  • 3.7 Turn right.
  • 3.8 Ignore the road off to the right and continue straight ahead.
  • 4.1 Turn left.
  • 4.5 Cross a low stile and a main forest road, then cross another stile on the other side to the signed continuation of Tinjela Trail.
  • 5.0 Turn right.
  • 5.1 Turn left and continue past a billabong.
  • 5.4 At a T-junction turn right onto a rough gravelly track.
  • 5.8 At the top of a steep climb, turn left.
  • 5.9 Turn right at a large Tinjella Trail sign.
  • 6.1 Take the left fork onto a smooth major forest track.
  • 6.3 Turn left at another large Tinjella Trail sign. The next section is one long, winding, gentle downhill through the forest.
  • 8.9 Cross a low stile and a main forest road, then cross another stile to the signed continuation of Tinjella Trail.
  • 9.4 Ignore the Tinjella Trail marker going back up into the forest on the right – this is part of the logging area – and continue along the track on the edge of the forest.
  • 10.1 Turn left and follow the track around the forest.
  • 10.2 With the road in front, turn right and continue on the forest track.
  • 10.9 Cross the stile onto Christmas Tree Hill Rd to finish the ride.
  • Trail map

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    11.772 km / 7.315 mi

    Total Distance

    220 m / 721 ft

    Total Ascent

    220 m / 721 ft

    Total Descent

    386 m / 1,266 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 11.8
    Elevation Gain: 225
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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