At a Glance
XC / Trail
This trail is not visible on Google in map view, which is very strange given that it is clearly visible in satellite view. You can also find this trail on the Kuringai Council cycling map.
Horses are allowed on the Cooyong section of track from the trailhead through to where it reaches the bottom of the valley so keep an eye out. This is regular fire trail so there is plenty of width to avoid other riders be they the equine or mechanical kind. Certainly no shortage of mountain bikers out there.
About halfway along Cooyoong (about 1km) there is a noticeable fork in the road. Left takes you along Ryland (a bit over 2km to the end) and right continues along Cooyong (another 1km or so). Cooyong is supposed to link up with Sandy track on the other side of the valley and from this point is rumoured to be a good descent. The climb out looks brutal.
The first few Kms of Cooyong is fairly flat as are the power line service trails that run off it. Mostly hard packed sand and patches of small loose rocks and slightly raised, exposed sandstone throughout for a bit of fun. There are some patches of deep sand that will put your rallying/motorcross skills to the test and a couple of these are very inconveniently placed just before a climb or at the bottom of a fast descent. Only a couple of short steep sections in the first half of Cooyong and the worst thing about them is the loose surface. Very rideable, but finding good traction requires you to keep your eyes open.
Ryland is almost immediately a different surface. It is rockier and there is plenty of loose shale. There are a couple of steep and sketchy descents, but mostly a mild downward gradient from where you turn off Cooyong to the end of the track. While there are no substantial obstacles, Ryland is somewhat technical in parts as there are opportunities to put a wheel in the wrong place at speed and lose the bike from underneath you.
All of the service trails off the main tracks begin to drop into the valley to varying degrees near their end and get a bit sketchy and covered in shale. Cooyong is the only section that actually goes to the bottom of the valley. All others end near the ridge line, but the bush is typically too thick to see very much.
Finding the Trail HeadFlow Nation
- XC / Trail
The trailhead is just off Mona Vale Road opposite the turnoff to the Belrose Supa Centre. There is an area of dirt near the trailhead on the side of Mona Vale Road where you could park, but it is quite exposed. Best to park elsewhere and ride to the trailhead.
Better to park at the St Ives showgrounds about 2Km up the road and ride along some great single track to get to the trailhead.