Flying Through Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

When you’re looking for some new mountain biking trails to plant your wheels into, Mudgee most likely won’t be your first thought. Hell, you’ve probably never heard of the small outback town. To top it off, the flat, dry and dusty inland of Australia couldn’t possibly provide nice terrain to ride… could it?

It’s a good thing we are here to set the record straight.

Alright, I’ll admit it. We made the 4-hour journey west from the coast of Newcastle, bouncing along the old country roads with only one thing in mind… Wine! Mudgee has a phenomenal wine region.

And when I say bouncing, I mean BOUNCING!

Awning hagning on by one bracket after nearly flying off the roof of our van
Awning hagning on by one bracket after nearly flying off the roof of our van

We nearly lost our awning… WTF! But that story is for another time, today we are getting down and dirty with the Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails…

Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails Overview

Difficulty
Beginner / Intermediate

Trail Style
Singletrack, Cross-Country, Downhill

Distance
17 km

Time
3 hrs

Total Descent
702 m

Facilities
N/A

Entrance Fee
Free

Recommended Gear
Open face helmet, light-weight knee pads, long sleeve jersey, riding shorts, gloves, camelbak


We expected to find the Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails flat and gruelling. But I am pleased to announce the level of flow was both unexpected and tremendous.

Sure, the trails are widely cross-country focused, but the sweeping nature of the up trails and cleverly placed switchbacks made riding here highly enjoyable.

But the ups aren’t why we love Mudgee Mountain Biking! Even though they were as exciting as riding uphill can get, it’s the downs that stand out.

Epic natural and man-made jumps partnered with well-formed berms that offer extraordinary grip, all come together creating an unforgettable ride. In turn, making this bike park a terrific gravity experience.

Large rock drop on Ant Hill at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Since Mudgee is a central town for the surrounding mines, mountain biking is quite popular amongst the local workforce. So if a peaceful, undisturbed ride is sought after, you better drag yourself out of bed and hit the trails early!

A quick 5-minute drive west from the centre of town will put you at the trailhead located on Common Rd. The dirt road winds up the beginning of the mountain before leading you to a dead-end due to a gated entrance. From here the fun begins…

Small car park at the mudgee mountain bike trails trailhead

Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails – Cross Country

From the access point of Common Rd, the Cross-Country Loop commences. The moment you perch your bike onto the rear tyre and roll through the gate, you’ll understand just how dry the mountain biking terrain in Mudgee really is.

Elevator

It doesn’t take a mountaineer to figure out what lies ahead, with a name like Elevator, prepare for an initial climb. Elevator is a short and steep ascent, criss-crossing a mere 11 m in elevation. While 11 m may sound tiny, this small climb packs a punch.

Well, it does if you delved in a day of wine touring the previous day.

Undulating throughout the remainder of the 600 m run, Elevator provides a great warm-up to shift your legs into gear.

Slinky

Using Rusty’s Return as nothing but a linking trail, remember to veer right onto Slinky. Here you’re welcomed with Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails first descent.

Slinky stretches 600 m and gradually snakes down the opposite side of the hill from that you’ve just climbed.

Long sweeping corners, providing little to no support, create a loose nature if taken at speed. But in the sense of difficultly, the 31 m descent is a mild run at worst.

Splitting into two lines at the base of the valley, Slinky offers an A or B line. The A-line lifts you up over an off-camber hillside before dropping down a steep chute and through a basic rock garden. Meanwhile, the B-line runs adjacent to the creek’s edge showcasing nothing but the trickle of water as it’s passed.

Candace mountain biking over a rock roller at Mudgee Mountain bike trails

Yeah Gnar

Yeah Gnar progresses up another hill and the 1.1 km trail proves more torturous than the previous runs.

That is until the final stages…

I noticed the 1 m rock drop just in time and managed to escape an uncontrolled attempt with no issues. Candace on the other hand, well she wasn’t so lucky…

Most likely off with the fairy’s, trying to spot some local fauna along the trail’s edge, she didn’t see this one coming. Smashing her bottom bracket onto the rock as she rolled casually over the edge.

Poor bike.

Our pathetic attempt forced us to re-visit the rock drop, proving the feature really isn’t difficult if you’re paying attention.

Dropping from the rock drop on yeah ganr at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

From the drop, Yeah Gnar continues to grow in excitement. Around the corner another descent is inbound and this one is pure bliss.

Fallen trees have not been cleared, but built into small gaps creating a fast rhythm section to begin. As you pop up and down over the kickers, dust and rock will be torn from the dry terrain and sent flailing as you rip into the approaching berms.

Gapping the log jumps at mudgee mountain bike trails

Bouncing left and right out of these berms, as gravity pulls hard over the rear tyre, is a tremendous display of the flow that Mudgee mountain bike trails offer.

But Yeah Gnar ain’t over yet!

Ending with a bang through a small rock garden followed by yet another series of red berms and a final rhythm section. The 1.1 km run of Yeah Gnar was an absolute stand out display of Mudgee’s Cross-Country trails.

Mountain biking through the rock garden on Yeah Gnar at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Barking Mad

Barking Mad continues to follow in much the same trail structure as Yeah Gnar. Commencing with a steady climb, that adrenaline may begin to disappear. But this run shapes up to its predecessor in the end.

Though instead of tight single track, Barking Mad provides a wider playing field and much larger jumps. The sweeping lines do not require much technical skill, just a great approach to jumping and a fearless attitude.

At the final stage of the 1.3 km track, you’ll find a small skills park featuring both an A and B-line options. The A-line consists of a large roll-able ramp leading straight into a gap, while the B-line merely offers a chicken track down the outside concluding at the creek.

Riding off the wooden feature on Barking Mad at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Coolah

Crossing the creek and jumping onto the 1.6 km climb known as Coolah, you’ll be happy to know we are nearly at the best section of Mudgee!

While Coolah may sound like a slog, the ascent is spread far and a gentle gradient is thankfully the result. Over the 69 m rise, there is no major hazards or obstacles, perfect time to take a breather.

Trust us, you’ll welcome it with what’s coming!

Mountain biking through the open bushland of Mudgee mountain Bike Trails

Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails – Downhill

If the gravity descents of the Cross-Country trails appealed to your wild nature, then you’re going to love Mudgee Mountain bike trails unconditionally now!

Meet the Three Amigos – Quarter Pounder with Cheese, The Entrance and Morewood Gully. These three runs are the backbone of Mudgee’s gravity trails and while they run alongside one another, they each display a healthy dose of uniqueness.

So strap yourself in for some good old outback mountain biking!

Candace sitting at the send it sign in Mudgee Mountain bike trails gravity runs

Quarter Pounder With Cheese

An outright banger of a name undoubtedly backs up this beauty of a run. Quarter Pounder with Cheese – and we mean with CHEESE! – is the far left line and is Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails only black diamond run. Spanning just a short 300 m and dropping 33 m in elevation, you won’t be able to wipe that grin off your face when you send it.

Beginning fast through loose rocky corners, forcing your tyres to grab traction can prove somewhat of a challenge. And as you wind down the gully of two mountains, you’ll almost get vertigo riding this fantastic trail.

Awaiting in the lower portion, testing advanced mountain bikers skill are large gaps, step-ups, rock drops and a creek gap… what’s not to love?

While this is the most advanced of the three brothers, B-Lines cater for all riders so be sure to have a crack!

sending the creek gap at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

The Entrance

Onto the middle amigo, The Entrance. Our pick of the bunch and if wandering back up trails isn’t your forte, then this is the run to tackle.

The Entrance doesn’t provide any of the larger features its bigger brother offers, but what it lacks in size is made up in quality. Super flowy ski jumps, small gaps, rhythm sections and sticky berms make this the easiest of the three and at the same time the most enjoyable! The best we came across in this park, perfect for working on your skills and nailing those turns.

Mountain Biking through beautiful berms at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Morewood Gully

Finally, Morewood Gully. In this case, we haven’t saved best for last. While this run is still worthwhile, walking back up a third time may not appeal to all and if so, missing this will not leave you wondering.

Morewood Gully is extremely loose across the entire 350 m descent and due to the loose laying rocks, a technical battle awaits. The lack of nice cornering and flow forces us to rate it lower, though this run is still worth a ride if only to try a different set of kickers.

Riding a berm at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Giddy Up

The Three Amigos all link back together on a run known as Giddy Up. Hosting some tabletops and gaps along a flattened surface, you’ll want to shoot out of the foregoing runs with some oomph to clear these fun additions.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, there is something you need to see first!

We mentioned hectic earlier… but now, let’s talk HECTIC!

If you love a double black diamond and aren’t afraid to carry your bike up to the peak of a steep mountain, forget the three amigos and start the perilous journey up Ant Hill.

Walking up Ant Hill with our bikes at Mudgee mountain Bike Trails

Ant Hill

We do mean double black diamond so this one is definitely not for beginners.

We are going to make a bold statement – “this is the toughest run we have faced in Australia” and yes, we have ridden the Cannonball at Thredbo!

Beginning steady with jagged rocks everywhere, punctures will be your biggest worry. Keeping in mind, from that steady start, this run accelerates from 0-100 very quickly! And before you can say AHHH, you’re ejected into an extremely steep section encompassing hairpins and rock gardens.

Riding through the Ant hill rock garden at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

To clear things up, the main reason this run is so insane aside, from being super steep, is free laying rocks and copious amounts of dust that makes traction almost impossible to gain. Here is a taste of that Good old Aussie outback we’re sure you were expecting. Be sure you have your tyre pressures and suspension set-up correctly to assist with grip in every way.

After these first sections, you‘ll find decent gaps and step-downs in which brake control upon landing is paramount.

A large rock gap on ant hill at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Making your way further down, long carving bends set you online for a daunting rock drop, but one in which is much easier than it looks, and more rewarding.

Finishing off this downhill beast, a sharp rock garden sits to the left of the trail with a B-line down the right. Steer clear of the middle as sharp rocks will no doubt leave scars on your precious wheels, the last thing you need before attacking the final berms and stylish kicker concluding the run.

After completing this, our adrenaline was soaring and I was dying to ride it again, though our legs wouldn’t allow it. After 18 km’s of mountain biking already, we were nearly at the point of exhaustion.

Pro Tip: Bring snacks and water along for the ride, the outback is mightily hot and unshaded!

Large rock drop on Ant Hill at Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

As for the final gravity trails located at the very southern end of the Pea Dodger (fire-road), we can’t offer you a lot of information. We were absolutely stuffed by this point and one pedal up here was all we could manage.

Pethetic I know…

Mushrooms

Choosing to ride Mushrooms may have been a mistake. Commencing with more uphill, we were left exhausted trying to gain momentum. But after 200 m, the gradient shifts downward, though a disappointing line follows.

I can compare Mushrooms with Morewood Gully. Quite straight, loose and rocky. For this reason, the remaining kilometre didn’t convince us to head back up and try Butcher. Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, but we think your time would be much better spent playing amongst the Three Amigos!

Now that you’ve got all the information you need, get out to Mudgee and have a crack! Ride all these trails and more, because guess what? The Vineyards are just around the corner!!!

mountain biking through the grape vines in mudgee vineyards. Best things to do in mudgee

Other Things To Do

Surely not to your surprise, Mudgee offers many downtime activities aside from mountain biking. From the wineries to the Drip Gorge to riding Motorcross at Louee, planning just one day here would be a mistake.

I’m going to lay it straight… You’d be a fool not to check out some of the delicious wineries in the region. They are just so damn good!

Wide streets lined with trees and surrounded by an abundance of pubs and restaurants are just a couple of small highlights that make strolling through this small mining town a memory in which you won’t forget.

For more on the other sides to the beautiful country town of Mudgee, check out our blog post – 5 fun and unique things to do in Mudgee.

exploring the Drip Gorge, one of the great things to do in Mudgee

Where To Stay

Mudgee is a beautiful country town and sends off a charming vibe at every time of the year. With this charming nature, there are many quaint cottages to stay both in the town or on a beautiful retreat through the countryside.

As far as camping goes, there are several options including the caravan park and surrounding campsites. Our favourite campsite was Ponto’s Reserve, a beautiful open paddock on the river that provides toilets. The only catch is the hour drive west to reach it.

Proving the charming nature of the town, and if you want to be a little sneaky, Lawson Park is an option. The beautiful picnic spot on the northern side of town is an option for our vanlifer friends out there.

Just be warned, the gates do get locked overnight so once you’re in you can’t leave till morning. We had a lovely old chat with the friendly security guard that let us stay.

Camping at Ponto Reserve, One of the best campsites in the Mudgee region

Where To Eat

The classic stereotypical Aussie outback country town states that a town isn’t complete without a pub and Mudgee doesn’t disappoint. With more than 5 to choose from, you’re guaranteed some good pub grub. We love Lawson Park Hotel, the great menu mixed with an awesome atmosphere makes it shine!

Other than pubs, there are many different cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the town. So if you’re worried about not getting fed, you’ll be sweet.

Mudgee Bakery, best pies in Australia. One of the great things to do in Mudgee

How To Get To Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Getting to the town of Mudgee is easy, and with the help from Google Maps, the 3.5 hr drive through the countryside west of Newcastle is as easy as it is gorgeous.

Although finding the trailhead isn’t as straight forward. Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails are located on Common Rd and parking will be found at the end of the dead-end dirt patch.

Only a small car park is provided, so if it’s a busy day, overflow parking will spew out onto the main street.

Mudgee mountain bike trails pinterest pin
Mudgee mountain bike trails pinterest pin
Mudgee mountain bike trails pinterest pin