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Off road cycling resources - AllTrails and the National Parks website

Phillip Hart | Published on 9/12/2023

You may be excited at going off road for a cycling adventure, but do you also have some of these questions:

How do  I know where to ride on gravel or fire trails?

How long and how steep will it be?

What will the conditions of the trail be?  

Do I have the skills and experience to cope with the surface and gradient?


There are many resources for helping answer these questions. 


In this first article in the series, we will introduce AllTrails and the NPWS site.  In later articles in the series, we will introduce Epic Ride Weather, Trailforks, Komoot and RidewithGPS.  Each of these (apart from NPWS) has an app, of course.



When I’m trying to find a new gravel or MTB trail, one that I haven’t ridden before, or when I’m trying to open up some new possibilities, I usually turn first to AllTrails (

AllTrails website



AllTrails has an enormous library of opportunities.  It is astonishingly thorough, usually with photos and reviews from people who have used the trail already. 

Using the map, you can pinch in and out to explore various areas and narrow down where you would like to go.


AllTrails - Perimeter Trail

You can see a map for each trail, detailed information and its profile.
AllTrails - Perimeter Trail Map


Note that AllTrails is also used by hikers and runners, so it’s a good idea to select cycling as your ‘Activity’.


Conveniently, you can save routes into folders.  If your trail takes you out of phone range, you may want to purchase the pro version so that you can download the trail to your phone.

Have a play!  I hope you find it as useful as I do.


National Parks website


The National Parks and Wildlife Service has many off-road cycling trails and publish useful information about them on their website

NWPS Trails Info 


To find cycling trails in a particular area, click through relevant links or type a place name into ‘Search in or near this location:’.


Here’s one example, the Pennant Hills West Pymble fire trail.  Note that the site gives you a map and ‘Local Alerts’ that tell you whether it is open.  Any trail inside National Parks might be closed for maintenance or repairs, or otherwise difficult to ride on because of recent floods, fires or rain. The Local Alerts is where you find out.

NPWS Trail Example 


I’d be very interested to hear what other tools you use, and if you’ve got any particular thoughts about the tools we have looked at here. When our new website is launched, we will be able to share these comments through the forum functionality.


Stay safe out there!

When riding, take care. Remember that actual riding conditions might be quite different from what the resource is showing, especially if it has been raining recently.


Ride with other people or tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.  Take a well-serviced gravel or mountain bike with at least 40mm-wide tyres.  Take a first aid kit, food, water and spares and tools you might need.  Remember that phone reception will be weak or non-existent in many areas.  Myself, I always carry a PLB (personal locator beacon) when I’m going into remote areas.  Always ensure you are self-sufficient and know how to get yourself out of trouble.

Oh, and don’t forget to check whether the trial is actually open!


See you out there!

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