Maydena Bike Park – It’s OPEN, Get To It!

Maydena Bike Park’s opening weekend went off; we were there with bells on, we rode the trails, tested out the whole operation (including the bike patrol and medics). We rode their bikes, drank their beer, swam in the river, and got a proper feel for what this place is all about.
Oh, Tasmania, you’re spoiling us, it’s all just too good!

Watch our full road trip video below!

What, where, how?

In a nutshell, Maydena Bike Park is a brand new privately run gravity mountain bike park with some massive amount of elevation for trail builders Dirt Art to carve out a vast network from scratch. Think Australia’s own version of Queenstown or Whistler with uplift services running all-year long.

It’s one hour drive from Hobart in Tasmania, and it is now open with all systems go. It’s more than just trails though, Maydena Bike Park is a pretty sweet place to hang out!

SO MUCH VERT, 820m of it!

We’ve been harping on about this place for a while now so that we won’t repeat ourselves on the known facts, all the details are right here – Tell me all about Maydena!

Flow loves a road trip, so, how was the road trip?

Getting to Maydena has all the right ingredients of a cracking road trip, for the mainlanders a flight to Hobart or taking the car on the ferry to Tasmania is a fabulous travel experience and a great escape from the major cities. Travelling about or to Tasmania is terrific, its natural beauty, fascinating and well-preserved history, and healthy tourism industry make it worthwhile over an overseas trip any day.

Those who’ve travelled around the Apple Isle would know how much fun can be had, it’s a kooky place with its free-and-easy flavour, it’s another world.

Beautiful Hobart, there’s so much to do in this city, we love wandering the old town of Battery Point, the historical port area and the majestic Mount Wellington.

For residents of Tasmania, and especially lucky locals of Hobart, Maydena is a worthy day-trip or weekender to fill your boots with loads of time descending great trails. We expect a fast new generation of gravity racers to come out of this place; it’s going to foster talent into big names, for sure.

Jumping in the car from Hobart the drive to Maydena is a beautiful one, while it’s around 1-1.25 hour journey, we’d suggest slowing it down a little, take in the surrounds. Check out the old town of Hobart, swim in the River Derwent on the way, explore the historical sights like Australia’s first asylum – Willow Court – in the historical and unique town of New Norfolk. The drive takes you through some seriously epic scenery too, past rows of hop farms that smell like the best beer ever, and along picture-perfect rivers begging for a swim.

En-route to Gordon Dam.
Eye-boggling sights of the South West Tassie region.

For the ultimate South-West-Tassie experience, take an afternoon and drive past Maydena to Gordon’s Dam which holds back Lake Gordon which at full capacity is the largest lake in the country, the spectacle of the dam and the incredible story behind its history and application makes it one of the most iconic developments in the country.

Just 15 minutes short of Maydena is one of Tasmania’s most popular day-trip tourist spot – Russell Falls – a postcard-perfect waterfall in the National Park with many walks and sights amongst classic Tasmanian Wilderness.

A 20-minute drive from the bike park is sights like these – Russell Falls.

See, there’s plenty to do!

Anything happening in the town of Maydena?

Hmmm, well, yes, sort of. Maydena is a tiny town that time forgot, a stop for fuel and a sandwich on the way into the deep south-west, en-route to Strathgordon and Gordon Dam. There’s a pub up the road at National Park which looks pretty authentic when we passed by, and there’s a small milk bar that provides an essential service and a service station that makes a good lunch, breaky and coffee too.

The road to Maydena is a pretty one.
A dip in the River Derwent is hard to pass up.

But don’t get caught out with no dinner plans, it’s pretty quiet around town when the riding is done, for now.

A bike park with a restaurant and bar next to a pumptrack…?

Part of the Bike Park’s appeal is that not only will the town benefit from hoards of hungry mountain bikers coming from all over the place, with no doubt more food and accommodation sprouting up, but they have also launched a new cafe and bar at the bottom that is set to expand.

So, right now you can roll out from the trails, rack your bike and take just five paces to the bar to order pizza, burgers, rolls, beer, cider, drinks and coffee.

Pizza in the bike park!
The re-purposed school is a perfect place for a bike park, the undercover beer garden and bike rack area was cranking with good vibes all day long.

Take a seat in the beer garden, watch the pump track and fuel the stoke for more runs. Pretty bloody sweet!

Yeooo, pump track!

The repurposed school now hosts the Maydena Bike Park HQ.

Bike hire, test ride a Canyon, bike school, complete workshop and retail store, the whole lot.

It’s the complete package of this place that impresses us, like the way you can go to Thredbo with no gear and hire everything you need Maydena also has you covered. There are currently ten Canyon Senders, and ten Canyon Strives in the hire fleet. A full complement of Canyon Torques and Spectrals are on their way soon, too. We rode a Strive on the first day and scored a lucky first ride on the Torque (oh, yes, it’s perfect for Maydena).

Maydena has partnered with Canyon for their hire fleet, this in itself is appealing to a potential Canyon customer as they are sold only online, a demo or test ride is not as simple as regular retail brands. Maydena will provide that opportunity to hire one to test out properly.

Canyons for hire, the best place to actually try one out on legit trails!

The workshop is manned by a fulltime mechanic operating like a proper bike shop with spares and loads of trick stock from the likes of Deity, Maxxis, FOX, Dharco, SRAM, Rockshox, 100%, FIST, Krush and much more.

What’s at the summit?

It’s pretty hard to tear your eyes away from the view of the summit and get riding; it’s a massive view that lies below you, stretching as far as the eye can see. The Eagle Eyrie building is a striking structure and currently hosts a cafe and plans are to lift the capabilities of the building to host sunset functions, as well as more food and drink options for everyone, not just mountain bikers.

Sunset summit beers with trail builder and absolute shredder, Brad Segda.
A meal with one of the best views in Tasmania?
Breathtaking stuff, this view won’t ever grow old.

What did we think of the trails?

Yes, it’s nice to drive there, there are pizza and beer, but that’s not what you’re there for, how are the trails!??

We’re not going to beat around the bush; we were pretty blown away by the trails, everyone was. Partly due to the amount of trail that was finished and ready to ride for the open day, the flow and feel of them, the variety on offer, and the fact we can’t remember going to a destination in Australia and having our asses handed to us like we did that day, Maydena is legit!

Spot the human. This is the final jump on Maydena Hits, the big jump line that scared the daylights out of us but was amazing to watch riders soaring overhead.
Shelly Flood going large.
Trail builder – Jai Motherwell – brings his wild riding skills to the build crew.

Mark our words, this is a gravity park, and the trails are fast, steep and very long. While there are plenty of blue-grade trails they err on the darker side of blue, it’s the daunting gradients and how you need to manage your speed well to avoid exploding on a simple piece of track that turns a trail with simple features into something more tricky. The jumps are epic, from small-ish to enormous they are the biggest jumps we’ve seen in this country! The jumps are safe though, well designed and never a nasty surprise as you rip down the descents, visibility is excellent and it makes you push your comfort zone. Spend some time here, and you’ll come away a better rider and jumping bigger than before, guaranteed.

There’s a real mixture too, one run you could take in insanely fast bike-park style runs with superbly constructed berms that catch you and send you hurtling into the next one if you’re committed and hundreds of jumps. Then on another lap down, you could be sinking your tyres into a lush and loamy wonderland on one of the natural hand-built trails that dart and weave through the dense and ever-changing bush.

You think you’ve seen steep trails…? We walked away from this one, it was practically vertical!

Diving into ‘Zen Garden’ one of our favourites, a natural hand-built run with some seriously lush loam and natural technical sections.
Connor Fearon in deep.

We could have ridden on that dirt for weeks; it’s so nice to shred hand-built trails that are designed to drift and roost soil everywhere.

Because the whole project is privately run, there are billions of benefits over a public facility most notable is that trail builders are freed of any ‘sanitising’ influences – steeper, wilder trails, with more challenging lines than you’ll find on public lands are in abundance in Maydena.

How many runs can you do in one day?

Bike park laps, yesssss!

The uplift is around 20 minutes long with a new more direct route up the mountain and in the new turbo diesel bus fleet (unfortunately red tape got in the way of us experiencing the turbo vans this weekend) will provide a rapid and comfortable uplift.

On average five runs (totalling about 5km of vertical descent) in one day would be comfortable, it takes a long time to get down! Though if you are mad keen and quick seven-eight runs (a whopping 6.5km of vert earnt) in one day is also achievable.

How many runs to do them all?

There are currently 34 trails open, totalling a mighty 32km, it would take you 14 runs to do each track right now. The challenge is set!

Shred hard in safe hands.

As Tasmania doesn’t have significant ski resorts like NSW or VIC, the safety program is second to none, and they have had to write their own state code practically. The fees to uplift and use the park go toward a full-time bike patrol medical team. They have already put in the time to work on a comprehensive safety and extraction system that covers the whole park.

Trust us on this one, we personally tested this out, though an unfortunate accident, we were indeed in safe hands.

What bike to bring?

We started on a Canyon Strive, their burly enduro race bike with 160mm travel forks and found it to be quite ample. The park is varied, but a long-travel (150mm and up) bike is highly recommended. Make sure you have plenty of meat on your tyres and have brakes that bite and are not prone to fading on longer descents, if there was a place to test out brakes, Maydena would be on our list.

After the Strive we stepped it up a notch to the new Canyon Torque, their recently released 180mm travel ‘park bike’ which gave us a lot more confidence to let the speeds trickle up and commit harder to the turns and let it hang out on the natural tech lines.

Team builder and phenomenal rider, Baxter Maiwald on the new Canyon Torque.

Even a downhill bike would be great there, we’d just recommend that whatever you bring, make sure you can control it on long and steep descents!

The bike park is big, the riding level is advanced, so what is next?

We expect a lot of experienced riders to rock up to Maydena and find the trails a bit daunting, but that was the plan from the outset, Maydena is its own place, setting it apart from other hot spots in Tassie like Derby. Right now the park will appeal to the more experienced riders, but the next six months will see the place exploding with variety as they embark on construction and continue to introduce more trails to maintain interest. We won’t get bored!

  • A climbing trail is under construction which will take riders up to Midline Trail, (not to the top, that’d be too brutal to climb) where you’ll have 13 trails to choose from to descend back down.
  • ‘Flow’ and ‘technical’ intermediate level tracks are in the works, designed to provide a stepping stone for riders, an introduction to more blue grade trails.
  • An intermediate jump line will be under construction soon, a contouring track with multiple table top jumps, like B-line or Crank it Up in Whistler.
  • Green/beginner 15km Flow Trail, early summer season 2018/19.
  • A 25km wilderness trail, like Blue Tier Derby with twice the vertical. Contouring, short climbs, a proper wilderness adventure. Taking you to beautiful rivers and viewpoints. Completion early 2019.

Oh, and there are events!

Yep, alternating fortnightly there will be a Fat Friday social, for $20 the crew will provide an evening uplift with a beer after, with a new track to be raced selected before the day.

And alternating each Sunday, a Turn Earner event, $5 with a beer a 10km trail ride/race up the climbing trail and down again, a social affair, and sounds pretty good fun to us.

Maydena Gravity Fest!

But the big news is this coming April 2018 is the inaugural Maydena Gravity Fest! 

  • Ultimate Flow Challenge

Race to find your flow down 820m vertical of incredible flow trails! We’ve pieced together the ultimate combination of trails to find Maydena’s Queen and King of flow!

  • Air DH

Australia’s first ever full-scale Air DH Event! This event will test riders ability to rail corners, scrub jumps and maintain momentum through the absolute best selection of the park’s jumps trails.

  • Tech Assault

Rocks, roots, loam and hand-built trail goodness, the Tech Assault is a top-to-bottom race through some of the park’s most technical trails.

  • Pump Track Challenge

Race a series of laps around the park’s mega pump track, or simply spectate from our trackside beer garden!

  • Dual Slalom

Dual slalom is back! And we’re not sure why it ever left. Side by side racing down our ‘old school’ dual slalom course, with a mix of flat turns and built features.

  • Whip off (invite only)

A collection of jump legends sessioning our whip off jump for the battle of who can get most sideways!

See, it’s big!

Visit the Maydena Bike Park site or their Facebook page for more.

Or want to see really good riders riding Maydena? Click here.

Photos supplied by Flow, Jasper da Seymour and Ryan Finlay/Maydena Bike Park.

Local Video: Ollie Tice Shreds South Hobart

The South Hobart slopes of Mount Wellington are home to a collection of steep, rough and raw trails with a handful of burly jumps, all built by the local riders. One of those locals is Ollie Tice. The 17-year-old has earned some success in the Tasmanian Downhill Series and is also getting a taste for enduro. Magneir Media and Ollie teamed up to create a project showcasing the impressive variety of tracks and high level of riding under the mountain’s shadow.

On Instagram? Be sure to follow @magneirmedia and @ollietice

The Tassie MTB Road Trip: Hobart

Powered by the sprawling colossus of Blue Derby, Tassie has stormed to the front of the Australian mountain bike scene. Save your Tasmanian jokes, folks, this spot on the map is putting the rest of Australia to shame. And with the world’s attention falling on Derby for the Enduro World Series, we thought it was time to delve a little deeper and see what we could find on a circumnavigation of the state; welcome to the Tassie MTB Road Trip.

Our journey begins in Hobart, a town that will stop you in your tracks with it’s natural beauty, and with the riding to match. Cut in half by the River Derwent, and lauded over by the hulking 1000m beast of Mt Wellington, it’s a dramatic setting for some incredible riding.

One thing that grabs us about Hobart riding is how close it all is to the CBD, no other Aussie capital city can boast so many distinct trail networks this close to town. We teamed up with adopted local ripper Jaclyn Schapel for a tour of three of the best.

Meehan Range

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Clarence MTB Park is the sunset spot of choice.

On the eastern side of the river runs the Meehan range, a lumpy caterpillar of rolling hills and steep cliff lines, that’s riven with trails. It’s a tremendous mix of organic volunteer built stuff, quirky, plentiful and varied, blended with professional machine-built flow. Our time on the Meehan was spent in Clarence MTB Park, the hub of this area, and the easiest region to navigate as a newbie. We barely scratched the surface, but at least we scored a magical sunset over Hobart, with the day’s final rays bending their golden way around the black of Mt Wellington. Magic!

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South Hobart Trails

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Pride of the south.
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Mt Wellington looms over it all.

If you know much about Tasmania, you may have caught wind of the north/south rivalry, embodied in the battle between the Cascade Brewery (Hobart) and Boags up north (Launceston). With that in mind, the trails of South Hobart might just be the most parochial of all, finishing as they do right on the doorstep of the Cascade Brewery!

This rabbit warren of trails is largely off-the-radar, so to get the most out of them you’re best served by rustling up a local to ride with, doing a bit of research, or just getting amongst it and following your nose!

These trails fall in the pitching, steep folds of Mt Wellington’s lower slopes, and you find yourself plunging into deep pockets where the sunlight rarely reaches, the terrain flipping from dry gums and chunky rock, to loam and mossy decay as you slide onto the southern side of a gully.

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On the south side of the gullies, it’s real rainforest stuff.
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But on the northern slopes, it’s all rock, dust and gums. Jaclyn Schapel knows the trails well.

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Explore away, you know you’re never more than few minute’s descent from a bakery or cafe, such is the beauty of riding in Hobart. If you’re keen to extend your ride a little (ok, a lot) further, then the South Hobart network is a perfect precursor to a run down the North South Track, Hobart’s best-known trail.

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North South Track

You’ve likely heard of this one before. The North South Track was a marvel at the time of its construction, and it still holds its own; a wide-eyed, tree-dodging, moss slipping, seemingly never-ending descent, you can’t leave Hobart without a ride here.

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Rainbows, good portents for a great ride ahead.
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Check out the trail craft here!

Tracking this trail down is easy: from the mid-point of the road up the mountain, you’ll see the signposts for the North South Track. Follow them into the forest, engage your senses, and let it run! As you pick up speed, the trees seem to tighten up, the rocks whistle past your bars, pedals and derailleur, the number of “I can’t believe I got away with that” moments accumulate. And it just keeps on giving, the brief climbs or traverses offer a chance to reset your brain, but don’t switch it off, as there’s much more to come.

When you hit the open rock scree slope, make sure you take a moment to appreciate where you are and what you’re rolling over. The craft in this trail building is exquisite! Quite how the builders envisioned and massaged a way through this cascade of rubble is remarkable.

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How a path was found across this, we just don’t know.

As the trees open up and you hit the lower regions, you find yourself at the top of the Glenorchy MTB Park, the site of many a National Series race, and a whole other zone to explore. You’ve got options here, so choose your adventure, they all end up funnelling you down to the trail head below. Enjoy the moment, you’ve tamed one hell of a trail!

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Hobart, from the North South track.
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High road, low road, slippery road.

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Dropping into the upper reaches of Glenorchy MTB Park.
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Take us back. Hobart is a hard place to leave behind. Shot from the peak of Mt Wellington, 1000m up.

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Maydena Bike Park Plans Released

The Maydena Bike Park will be a full time, year-round gravity bike park, located in stunning wilderness in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, a 1:15 hour drive from Hobart.

We didn’t think it could get any more attractive to get down to Tasmania for a riding trip, but we’re happy to be proved wrong by this announcement!

With Tasmania already having a bevy of top quality riding locations, we're starting to get pretty jealous of the Apple Islanders!
With Tasmania already having a bevy of top quality riding locations, we’re starting to get pretty jealous of the Apple Islanders!

The Maydena Bike Park is being developed by renowned trail building company, Dirt Art. The Park utilises the currently disused ‘Eagles Eyrie’ building, a multi-million dollar visitor centre located over 800 vertical metres above the township of Maydena.

The disused 'Eagles Eyrie' building will be repurposed by the Maydena Bike Park.
The disused ‘Eagles Eyrie’ building will be repurposed by the Maydena Bike Park.

A network of over 60km of gravity-focused (all mountain/enduro and downhill) trails will connect the summit with the park’s base building in the town centre, offering over 800m of vertical descending across a range of trails for all abilities.

The proposed trail map for Maydena Bike Park, exciting stuff!
The proposed trail map for Maydena Bike Park, exciting stuff!

Recent work from Dirt Art includes the insanely good Hero Trail at Bright in Victoria, and the plan for Maydena is to have each of their trail teams from all around the country make at least one trail each.

It doesn't get much better than the Hero trail at Bright, seriously.
It doesn’t get much better than the Hero trail at Bright, seriously.

As each Dirt Art Team Leader and their team has a unique style of trail building, the variety of riding on offer is sure to offer something for every type of rider.

There'll be jumps and berms at Maydena, but there'll also be tech lines and natural trails- sounds good to us!
There’ll be jumps and berms at Maydena, but there’ll also be technical lines and more natural trails- sounds good to us!

The bike park base building will include; café, bar and beer garden, bike hire, bike shop, skills clinics and tours and retail area.

The old Maydena primary school will be re-adapted to include numerous facilities to complement the Bike Park.
The old Maydena primary school will be re-adapted to include numerous facilities to complement the Bike Park.

Construction is due to start mid 2017, ready for an opening in early 2018.

More project information include concept plans can be found at or via social media; Facebook- Maydena Bike Park and Instagram- @maydenabikepark

Trails: Clarence Mountain Bike Park and Belbins Road

We had the right combination of sunshine and time while in Hobart for one more ride. We pulled our muddy rental car off the Tasman Highway to a little carpark just next to the B33 off-ramp. Here we met up with a small part of the Team Hellfire Crew to ride the Clarence and Belbins trails, their pick of the local parks.

Duncan Giblin and his partner, Sarah Kennedy, were enjoying some post-Hellfire Cup recovery now. They were visibly excited to step back on the bikes after over 18 months spent planning the inaugural event. Our guide for the day was local trail builder, Aub Carter, and his Boarder Collie, Jack.

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Our guide for the day was local trail builder, Aub Carter, and his Boarder Collie, Jack.

Jack likes running so much he got Aub back into mountain biking rather than the other way around. They started out doing a fire road loop, progressed to more singletrack and now spend days together out at Belbins Road building trails for everyone to use. Aub and Jack helped to build a lot of the trails for the Hellfire Cup course as well.

We’re told that Jason Unwin and his crew work out here at night building trails too. In the heat of the morning they were nowhere to be seen.

The Clarence Mountain Bike Park features a series of purpose built trails, including a cross-country loop that is typically split in two. Our ride began on a series of very steep, tight, uphill switchbacks, a good test of fitness and form.

More tight switchbacks led us back down the hill, the sort that make you want to be confident in your bike handling skills. It was a fun alternative to the wider bermed corners we’re seeing in a lot of other recently built trails right now.

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Head out here if you get the chance and feel your way around before it gets too popular. It’s only a ten-minute drive from the Hobart CBD or you can ride there along the Hobart Airport Cycling Route.
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The trails are unsigned at the moment but Google and Strava will help you track down maps online. There is also one at the Clarence trailhead.

A linking track connects the mid-point of this Clarence loop with the Belbins Road/Stringy Bark Gully network. It’s a two-way track, but plans are in place for building a second trail for the return leg.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience on the North-South Track a day earlier, but the looser, narrower, more organic feeling lines out at Belbins are a great throwback to mountain biking from decades past.

In summer the surface becomes glassy smooth with a powdery topcoat. Today it was grainy enough to keep us on our game, but tacky enough that our tyres still had some bite. Long erosion ruts ran down the middle of some long straights, they took some getting used to, as every now and then they were the best line to ride.

Jack ran ahead, clearly used to a faster paced ride. Aub tells us that at peak fitness he runs about 80km a week. He can complete stage one of the Hellfire Cup in an hour and a half, which is faster than most humans. Not bad for a dog who likes to completely immerse himself in puddles before having a drink.

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These trails have a much more organic feel to them. When you look closely, you can see the rock armouring that keeps them in place and it’s obvious that there’s an active group of people who keep them well-maintained.

After some steep and honest climbing we reached the Birthday Loop, a trail that Aub built for Sarah. It’s a twisty five-minute loop that stays dry even in the middle of winter. You can quite happily ride it a few times, work on your skills and keep your mental health in tact when the weather gets it down. Possibly one of the best presents one mountain biker could ever give to another.

Not far from here is another work of art, the Wedge Rock Track. Aub is a self-professed lover of climbs and doesn’t care much for descents, which is strange, because this one that he has built is excellent fun. Long straights, big corners, a trail that makes you feel like you have the hillside all to yourself. It reminded us a bit of the Bridges track in Tathra.

Like a lot of the trails here, it is built with rider habits and the Tassie weather in mind. It’s designed so riders can get around the corners without creating breaking ruts and positioned so the wind and sun keep it primed for quality riding. It lasted forever and was over too soon.

Before long, we were back on the sweeping, flowing descent back into and out of Clarence. Aub rode in front confidently knowing Jack was not far behind. The sound of the highway was a quick reminder of the urban location of our ride, a case of a great trail network on a big chunk of unused land.

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Built by ‘volunteers and hands’ the Belbins trails are a nice contrast to the machine built trails and wider singletrack that follow grant money and trail building as a business.

Climbing, descending, steep corners, birthday tracks…Commercially built trails are an important part of the growth of our sport and key to seeing locations like this one become established riding destinations.

At the same time, places like this wouldn’t have half their appeal if it wasn’t for a man, his dog, and a quiet band of others who share their passion for quality, hand built trails.

Thank you Tasmania, you certainly are an island full of surprises. We’re looking forward to exploring more of your stunning trails some time in future.

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While Belbins has been home to a growing trail network for several years, it’s only recently that these trails have become legal. It’s a nice example of guerrilla trail building done well and leading to a positive outcome.