EXPLORE // Welby Mountain Biking Trails
An awesome local trail system with something for everyone
Brought to you by The Fixed Wheel Bowral.
Okay, if you’re ready to upgrade from fire trails and are pumped to hit some single track on your mountain bike, Welby Mountain Bike Trails is one of the best spots to go in the Southern Highlands. There are three levels of trail. Green for beginners, blue for moderately experienced and black for the super experienced. Now, parts of Welby can be quite technical and is a bit rocky in places, but it offers up a bit of everything.
Speaking of technical, let’s chat stats.
Trail Rating :: 4.5 stars
Total Distance :: 12km of trails but there are plenty of deviations you can take to create a shorter trail or go round a few times if you want to spend longer in the saddle!
Total Descent :: 237 metres
Total Vertical :: 112 metres
Highest Trailhead :: 706 metres
So, where is it and how do you get there?
The Trail Head is on Meranie Street, Welby opposite the Welby Hockey Fields. There is plenty of parking and plenty of space to get the bikes off the roof or out of the back of the car.
Who is it suitable for?
Anyone, really. The green trail is perfect for beginners or families who want to get the kids off the Bong Bong Track and onto rougher terrain. The blue trail is good for mountain bikers who are still finding their sweet spot but want to give some rockier and more technical terrain a crack, and the black trail is for the seasoned single trackers getting some miles into the legs.
Before we head into the trails, here’s a big tip from us – take a photo of the Map at the Trail Head on your phone before you head into the trails. We’ve managed to get lost a couple of times [ended up on a Black Trail once – eek!] so take a pic that you can refer to if you come to a t-intersection or fork in the road [which will happen quite a lot because of the fact that there is 17 different trails in the trails system here].
Level :: Easy
Length :: 4.5km
Time :: 30 minutes
Mostly fire trails, you can access this from the Trail Head entrance. Head in and turn left onto the first fire trail. Do the loop around the old tip [Welby Mountain Biking Trails were built around Welby Tip which is now disused] before you head back into the bush and pop out at the end of Colo Street. Don’t get confused if you pop out on the street – it’s part of the trails – just cross the road and head into the trail you’ll see ahead of you. Then follow the trail around to your left to head back to the Trail Head.
Level :: Intermediate
Length :: 8km
Duration :: 40 minutes
If you’re ready to get a little more technical with your mountain biking, try out the Blue Trail. Most of it is single track through the bush, you do get a breather every now and then on a fire trail. Follow the trail out to the left towards the Hume Highway [you’ll hear the traffic as you get closer] and work your way through some rocky trails and tricky descent down into a gully closely followed by a tough [although blessedly short] ascent up more rocky paths before winding your way down the track – downhill is always the fun part and this part isn’t too tricky, although there is a couple of tight turns so watch your speed.
Loop your way about three quarters of the way around the old tip before veering left to head back into the bush and single tracks. You’ll work your way around quite a few tight corners and more rocks [it’s a pretty rocky trail system!] before heading back up to Colo Street. Keep Colo Street on your left before crossing it at the very end and then veering left to loop back towards the Trail Head.
Level :: More difficult
Length :: If you add it on to the Blue Trail, it will give you another 3.3km of riding.
Duration :: Add another 20 minutes onto your 40-minute Blue Trail ride for an hour-long ride [although we’ve found the more experienced riders familiar with the trails can knock both the Blue and Black Trails off in under 45 minutes].
Suitable for more advanced riders, the Black Trail tucks off the southern end of the Blue Trail for an extra few kilometres before meeting back up with the Blue Trail not far from where you left off. The Black Trail works it’s way around the scrub at the back of the Highlands Hub Shopping Centre along Gibbergunyah Creek.
You’ll find a selection of natural and manmade obstacles with some steep sections and drop-offs. While not crazy difficult, you’ll still need to be confident with the technical side of mountain biking to deal with some of the obstacles. A good level of cardio fitness will always help too [especially on some of the rocky climbs!].
Now, Southern Highlands Cycling Club hold regular races and meet-ups at Welby. Follow them on Facie if you’re keen to get involved.
And the team at The Fixed Wheel in Bowral are familiar with the Welby Trails. Pop in there to chat to the guys and stock up on accessories and supplies. Don’t forget, the guys can also check your bike over, a good thing if you’re about to hit a rocky old trail system like Welby – check that suspension!
The Fixed Wheel is a full-service bicycle shop in Bowral. The guys and girls in-store are all cyclists themselves with quite a collection of championships, race wins and real experience under their belts. They definitely know their stuff! If you’re keen to start cycling, you want to try a different type of cycling or perhaps you’re ready to go next level, start at The Fixed Wheel.
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We love sharing our awesome outdoor adventures with The Fold readers and want to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy when giving our walks and rides a crack for themselves. So, always check the weather forecast before you venture out. If you’re heading into a National Park, be sure to consult the National Parks website for up-to-date information about current alerts. Prepare yourself with the right equipment, clothing, safety items, with plenty to eat and drink if you’re going on longer hikes, and always let someone else know where you’re going and what time you are expected to be back. Have fun and stay safe!