Whether you’re new to mountain biking or regularly shred MTB trails, Sydney has something to offer for everyone. Here are the six best mountain bike trails in Sydney for your riding pleasure.

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Sydney’s a fantastic city to be a mountain biker. In fact, the NSW capital is filled with some brilliant mountain bike trails. Generally riding is on the technical side, but if you know where to look there are some great downhill blasts. There are countless green spaces and national parks within and around Sydney, and there are all kinds of mountain bike trails to tackle within.

Parts of Sydney can get pretty hilly, so expect to work the uphills for your downhill blasts. We’ve chosen a range of trails, from tough tracks with tight turns and technical features to test your skills on, to easier trails for the mountain biking novices and newbies out there just learning to roll a berm. 

Read on to discover the best mountain bike trails near Sydney.

Heads up! Tracks are often closed after heavy bouts of rain, so it’s worth checking national park websites, council pages and Facebook groups before you go. It’s always best to wait until the trails dry out so you can shred it up safely (and importantly, not damage the trails).

 

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1. Old Man’s Valley

Where: Hornsby
Trail type: Cross-country
Distance: 7km
Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate

Hornsby’s Old Man’s Valley is a popular spot in Sydney for mountain biking. There are around 20km of trails to try, ranging from beginner to intermediate, with a few tricky sections. There’s a main intermediate trail that weaves its way around the entire valley, with optional lines all over (with some being more difficult than others). Check out Lava Flow for some pumpy weaving through the trees.

For advanced mountain bikers, there are some black-graded lines near the trailhead, but they’re short and technical. There’s also a rowdy series of jumps in the valley for you to work on your airtime! Overall Old Man’s Valley suits beginner and intermediate mountain bikers best, but there’s something for everyone.

 

Specialized Ambush with ANGi Mountain Bike Helmet – Gear Review, old man's valley, mike ashelford, nsw

Leaning into the first corner of OMV | Photo thanks to Mike Ashelford

2. Deep Creek

Where: Narrabeen
Trail type: All-Mountain
Distance: 32km
Difficulty: Intermediate – Advanced

Deep Creek in Narrabeen is a massive area that sits in Garigal National Park and feeds into Deep Creek and Narrabeen Lagoon. This mountain bike trail is best for intermediate to advanced riders as it’s full of tight, natural backcountry tracks and some dense (but incredible) native bushland.

It’s overall quite technical, with no real break and lots of big roots and rocks to climb over. There are some pretty spicy drops and descents down the sandstone features too, and some big gap jumps at the Start/Finish. Most of the trails in the network are rated black or double black, so beginners should definitely give this one a miss.

 

3. Mill Creek

Where: Lucas Heights
Trail type: Cross-country
Distance: 15km
Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate

For another epic mountain bike trail near Sydney, look no further than Mill Creek down south in Lucas Heights. The trails, which were built and are maintained by volunteers, are heaps of fun, and while they aren’t super long, they have a nice, natural feeling and are good for beginner and intermediate riders. 

Most of the trails are green and blue, but if it’s your first run make sure you take it easy, as there are some technical features and loose rocks that are more suited to intermediate riders. You can spend a whole day at Mill Creek exploring all the trails, from Pump Action to Black Hawk Down – take a map and take your pick!  

4. Temptation Creek, Royal National Park

Where: Sutherland
Trail type: Dirt/gravel road/singletrack
Distance: 6km
Difficulty: Intermediate

Bet you didn’t think Royal National Park would have good trails! But first, a heads up, there are plenty of shared hiking/MTB trails, with many good for gravel riding too, so it’s important to watch out for those without wheels. The Royal National Park is as beautiful as it is huge, and there is plenty of dense bushland you can easily get lost in.

For a scenic (and definitely legal trail), have a go at Temptation Creek and Savilles Creek Loop. This is a shared track with hikers, so be mindful of where you ride. While trail info in the park is sparse, there are plenty of resources out there to help you find your way so you don’t go riding down a trail that’s not meant for mountain bikes (yes, we see you).

 

5. Manly Dam

Where: Manly
Trail type: Cross-country
Distance: 11km
Difficulty: Beginner-advanced

Manly Dam and Bantry Bay is one of the most popular mountain bike trails near Sydney and for good reason. There are a wide variety of trails to tackle, so it’s suitable for beginner to advanced riders, it’s a loop with a wide variety of terrains, and there are many entry points.

Heads up though – parts of Manly Dam are a shared track with hikers and local residents, so always ride with caution. The main trail is a loop around Manly reservoir, and is suitable for beginner to intermediate riders. It’s a combination of singletrack and service road and is pretty cruisy in most places with some short technical sections as well. Over in Bantry Bay you can find some really technical riding on bumpy Sydney sandstone.

 

How To Trail Run At Night, photos by Karl Reynolds, black diamond, gear, trail running month, manly dam, nsw

Manly Dam is also popular with trail runners | Photo thanks to Karl Reynolds

6. Wylde MTB Park

Where: Penrith
Trail type: Single track/cross country
Distance: 12km
Difficulty: Beginner-intermediate

If you’re looking for a purpose-built MTB park near Sydney, Wylde MTB Park is the place to check out. It’s especially ideal for mountain bike beginners looking to upskill, as the terrain is more undulating with smaller hills and not too many technical sections. The trails consist of one main loop track, with several bail-out points off the main loop that range in length. 

It’s never harder than a blue trail, but there are some technical features thrown into the mix if you’re feeling like you want a challenge. You’ll also likely spot a roo or two on your ride, so be mindful of our nation’s greatest treasured species and pest while you ride.

 

Feature photo by Nathanaël Desmeules