Where to go mountain biking in Brisbane: local riders share tips
Grab a bike, get outdoors and chase that exhilarating feeling as you career down dirt tracks, along mountain ridges and through sun-dappled valleys. Mountain biking is as addictive as it sounds and there are plenty of hidden spots throughout the Greater Brisbane area to explore.
We chatted to a few local mountain bike riders to gather tips about the different national, state and private parks around the city that offer great trails for everyone from beginners and families to advanced competitors.
Gap Creek, Mt Coot-tha Forest
Details: Mt Coot-tha Forest is home to 31km of multi-use trails for walkers, horse riders and cyclists, plus an additional 23.5km of specific mountain bike trails. The multi-use trails are easiest, and the 2.2km Rocket Frog Trail is a great beginner trail – working up to a stack of difficult tracks. Discover this map of all 41 MTB trails here. Gap Creek Reserve is a 23-minute, 14.9km drive from the CBD.
Hidden Vale Adventure Park, Grandchester
Local rider Trent Chandler says: Hidden Vale Adventure Park is 50+km of single tracks 80km from Brisbane and caters to all skill levels from beginner to expert cross-country. It also runs events throughout the year which are great fun.
Details: A 55-minute drive west of Brisbane, this network of single track trails is a mountain biker's heaven. The property, which is managed by Spicers Hidden Vale, contains all-level trails that are mostly 4-8km in length. The longest is aptly named The Epic at 8km long. On weekends the homestead often cooks whole animals on the spit – the perfect lunch for a tough day on the trails.
Local rider Rhiannan says: Steep, rough and fast! Mt Joyce MTB Park includes both endurance-style single tracks and downhill tracks with features to test the most skilled rider. Most technical features have a b-line option, but Mt Joyce would be best suited for intermediate/confident riders.
Details: Home to more than 40km of multi-use, and 25km of dedicated mountain bike trails, Mt Joyce Recreation Park is an easy place to spend the day. Managed by SEQ Water, the park centres around Lake Wyaralong and you can even camp the night there.
Local rider Shaun Lorenzelli: Castlehill is a great area to ride XC and All Mountain. The trails are fun and exciting, built with plenty of flow. Plenty of options in regards to trails and they're all connected by a single, easy-climb fire road to get back up to the top again. There's easy green trails which are perfect for beginners and there's also some more advanced black trails on the hill which are technically challenging with jumps and drops for the more adventurous riders. In all, Castlehill is more a place for your serious MTB enthusiasts.
Trent says: Blackstone Hill is a couple of km from Ipswich CBD, known to locals as Castlehill. It's 20km of difficult downhill and cross-country tracks. Run by Ipswich council.
Details: Blackstone Hill played a significant part in Ipswich’s mining, cultural and architectural history. Its nickname – Castlehill – comes from the remains of a large three-storey mansion called Brynhyfryd that was built in the late 1880s. Ipswich City Council bought the land recently and graded the trails to meet classifications.
Local rider Shaun says: Daisy Hill is more mellow, great for everyone from the casual family ride all the way up to aggressive XC/All Mountain riders. The trails are mostly, if not all, green easy trails with a few intermediate ones. Daisy Hill has put its stamp on the Brisbane MTB community with its wide and smooth-flowing trails that always leave you smiling!
Details: This popular park in City of Logan features four dedicated MTB tracks, and eight mixed-use trails. Enter the park from Daisy Hill Rd, at the end of the car park is the Bicycle Entry Point. Daisy Hill is just a 20-minute drive from the CBD.
Cornubia Forest Park, City of Logan
Local rider Craig Tierney says: Cornubia Forest is only a stone's throw away from Daisy Hill. It has to be one of the top MTB places around Brisbane – between its flowy trails and loose rocky descents, it's hard to get bored riding here, topped off with a very active trail care program, all the trails are always in great condition. Recommended for the experienced rider.
Details: Cornubia is a neat set of trails right nearby Daisy Hill State Forest, featuring more than 12km of trails suited to intermediate and skilled riders. Enter via Boxer Ave, Sugarwood Pl or Kimberly Dr.
Rhiannan says: A short bike ride from the Daisy Hill trails (you can also link Underwood onto your Daisy Hill ride) Underwood is great for beginners. The park is reasonably flat, nothing too steep, full of smooth, tight, winding berms and corners. Also includes a skills park where you can have a play riding logs, tabletop jumps and berms.
Details: Find the Underwood Park trails within the sports precinct, and follow the bitumen road right to the end. There are limited trails here (about 7-8km), but plenty of good technical features to challenge your skills.
Craig says: Bayview is a great spot for MTBer’s, whether you want to go for a 30-minute aggressive ride or a three-hour cross-country ride it caters for both, and with the recent upgrade to a lot of the trails you will never get bored here.
Details: There are multiple entry points to Bayview including from Serpentine Creek Rd, Days Rd or German Church Rd. These picturesque trails are littered with grass trees, and Redland City Council has installed a number of self-service bike maintenance poles. The trails in the northern part are among the toughest south of Brisbane. Keep an eye out for the annual Bayview Blast event.
Craig says: Redlands Track Park is perfect for the social rider. RTP consists of about 25km of easy-to-moderate trails, perfect for kids and beginners. As this is my local trail, I find it perfect for a quick mid-week ride.
Details: This fairly basic park is just 40 minutes' drive from Brisbane CBD. Check out a map of the trails here. Entry is via Flinders St, Alexandra Hills or Coburg St West, Cleveland.
Craig says: Mt Tamborine (Old Tambo) is a single downhill trail about 3.5km long, recommended for the very experienced rider. With riders reaching high speeds and jumps the entire way down, a full-face helmet is a must and don’t forget: it's a long climb back up so most riders organise a shuttle back to the top.
Details: The trail starts at the end of Wongawallan Rd, Eagle Heights and ends at Welches Rd, Wongawallan. As Craig mentioned, best opt for a shuttle back to the top.
Rhiannan says: Smaller trail network a short bike ride from Bunyaville Forest (you can link the two together for a longer ride). Brief pedal to the top with some fresh, new, long winding descent trails, some smooth, some naturally rough. Also includes a large skills park which is a lot of fun and great for beginners looking to try new features like berms, jumps and rock gardens.
Details: Enter off Samford Rd at the Ironbark picnic area. The park is an easy 30-minute drive from the CBD and it's great for those wanting to ride long distances as it can be tied together with Bunyaville Conservation Forest or Brisbane Forest Park trails. Most of the tracks are fire trails.
Details: Right next door to Ironbark Gully, Bunyaville has a range of trail levels. Enter via the Jinker Track, Dungandan Rd or Collins Rd. Check out this map of all the trails.
Hennessy Hill, Beerburrum
Details: Hennessy Hill offers a moderately graded downhill track with jumps, bermed corners and rock gardens off Woodford Rd in Beerburrum.
Details: Mountain biking is allowed on all forest trails, unless stated. It is suggested to carry a topographic map and ensure you have a high level of fitness to tackle. Find out more about the two trails here.