Lots of variety! If you go out to the Buddhist monastery I think its a bit further than 28kms, but the water is great - thanks! Big climb at the start, lots of up and down, single track and fire trail and quite technical, hard for a beginner like myself but I think I am better for it; got to practice technique and to figure out how to get up and down rocks. Coming back was fun, although I struggled to get up any slight incline by then, being saddle sore and exhausted. Fire trail return was smooth as, so we got lots of speed but watch out for the gate at the end, my mate pulled up with only a metre to spare. Exhausting but fun ride: Take snacks you need to recharge along the way.
Did this ride this morning (25/11/2012). Was great! I bailed on some loose sand around a corner though. The conditions are perfect at the moment but very hot and exposed at the top.
We went up the Old Great North Rd trail, up the technical stone, then we took a left at the top of the hill by the gate and did an extra loop to Claires bridge. We mucked about doing ramps for a bit, close to the bridge, then headed to 10 Mile Hollow and down the way we came (the rocky downhill was awesome!).
Awesome ride, trail conditions are great at the moment, but HOT and exposed. I went through 6l of water. (3l to start and then filled up with another 3l at the Buddhist retreat)
This is our route: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/109627114
Rode this trail for the first time with my brother and his wife 27-12-10. What a great ride; a little bit of everything, great climbs and some fast bumpy descents. Plenty of fun whatever level of rider you are. Well recommended and will ride more often.
Almost a perfect mix. This network of tracks has no designated singletrack, but it has everything else a keen MTBer could ask for - Technical descents/ascents, Difficult climbs to give you exercise, fast firetrail descents, narrower tracks and some wide flat firetrail sections where you can cruise and enjoy the sceenry.
My favourite was the technical stuff at the top of the first hill, though the final blast of the Western Commission Track was much enjoyed - but be careful - when I did this track, a bus passed us (going to the Buddhist Hermitage).
This is undoubtedly one of the best places I've ridden - the best bit is that you start at the bottom so save the downhill blast right till the end!
I rode this old great north road last Sunday, 4th Oct 2009. The road was very good at first but became endlessly rocky, bumpy and narrow. The torture suddenly ended and it became a wide road. It was a good road downhill and easy to the Buddist temple. Further along, another 1.1km, there is the Clare Bridge. Returning requires some effort to climb the hill but from the top, it is joy ride to downhill. I rode downhill at full speed and the road was wet because it was rainy but at the end of the road there is a huge metal piped gate. I did not see it and when I gripped the brakes, it was too late; I crashed at the gate and I tried to protect my bike and as a result, my upper body hit the gate. I hit my left shoulder bone to the gate and slipped on the ground. I found my right arm bloody and I felt my left shoulder in pain. I found there is no broken bones and it was fortunate. My bike was intact but my body wasn't. Be aware the main gate is closed at the end of the road.
Yesterday rode from Wiseman’s up the Western Commission Track, then The Great North Road up to Mogo Creek Road, and back to St Albans and Wiseman’s. I had been to Clare’s Bridge and back several times and was itching to see what lay beyond! So I arrived early at Wiseman’s armed with 6 litres of water and set off.
I chose the Western Commission Track as a way to get me to Clare’s Bridge as easily as possible, but I still found it pretty tough! The trail beyond Clare’s Bridge is excellent with more of the same type of terrain as the first section. All rideable with rocky, slabby ups and downs, flat single track, sandy sections, great technical riding without being too difficult. I left Wiseman’s at 07:20 and got back to the car at 16:00 tired but happy I had done a great ride. I had used all my 6 litres of water as well. I only saw two bikes coming in the opposite direction and the mobile reception is non- existent so take care.
Rode this track yesterday in perfect weather with a couple of mates as my intro to the world of MTB. Nice views but not a fan of the wide flat tracks, I was bored... until you get a little past the Finches line turnoff. Had an awesome time on the short sections of challenging rock terrains up and downhill, we ate it up! Bring on more of this! Unfortunately for me, the rocky terrain finishes at the commission track. Did enjoy the remaining downhill sections. We did the ride with regular breaks quite comfortably in 4 and a half hours. Will be searching this site for next weekends adventure. A great resource, thanks.
I thought since I use the website I might give a comment or two. Went to the Old Great North trail on the weekend. It was wet and cold and the climb up was a good warm up. The rocky down hills were fun and challenging for me. I think I was on the right path but could not continue the ride as 5km's in I snapped my rear derailleur and broke my helmet in anger!
The bike is fixed and a new helmet is ready. I'll go again this weekend and see if I can complete the loop.
We recently did a similar ride GNR ride (Aug 07) - although I prefer doing the Western Commission Track first and Old Great North Road last! Track wasn't too bad after the June 8 storms. Some of the really sandy sections were now nicely packed but some of the previously packed areas had been eroded :( Towards Clare's bridge some trees were down but all good. The Buddhists have actually placed a water barrel at the trail edge to avoid any impacts on their privacy (how's that for being thoughtful?).
As suggested, keep away in summer (too hot & bushfires?!). Take lots of water.
The Great North Road does go up to the Hunter. We rode from Mogo Creek (Bucketty) to Wisemans Ferry Oct 06. It was too hot and certainly hard going. There hadn't been much rain and the track was very dry, sandy, rocky and eroded.
We did have a good day (and no accidents despite nearly everyone coming off). We started too late in the moring on a hot day which didn't help.
There's very little mobile reception out there so take care! Lots of water and watch the heat.
PS - There's a lot of side tracks off the main trail so take a map as you have to know where you're going.
Rode this on the Easter weekend. Didn't pick the best weather as it rained for most of the ride, but the track itself is brilliant. Great diversity with single track, rocky sections and free flowing fire trail. Thanks to the guys that helped me fix my broken derailleur.