See & do
5 family-friendly BMX and mountain bike trails on the Gold Coast
Helen Stubbs | April 15, 2021
The Gold Coast is one of the best places for families to ride bikes. Taking the crew out for a ride is a great way to build fitness and breathe some fresh air. Trails can be found all over the Gold Coast, both in the city and up in the hinterland.
For families, safety comes first. Helmets are a must for bike riding, and consider using safety gear like knee pads and gloves. With safety sorted, read on for a list of bike parks that families will love. There’s likely to be one not far from where you are!
For young ones and people looking for a relaxed cruise on their bikes, Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve at Elanora has smooth easy-riding paths. This is a large flat reserve ideal for kids to ride their bikes. Shady trees provide pretty spots for picnics, and there’s an off leash dog area and a dressage arena for horses. Fourteen thousand koala habitat trees were planted in the area in 2020, and the lake and islands make for pretty sunsets. Access the reserve by parking at Guineas Creek Road or Casuarina Drive.
Toolona Park at Tugun is another easy option, with bitumen paths with some hills. There’s a grassy park with a playground, sports field, picnic tables and big shady trees. Trails through the park head north under the old Pacific Highway to Currumbin, and south into Tugun Hill Conservation Area. The conservation area is home to rare vegetation, and is part of the Currumbin to Cobaki wetlands habitat corridor.
Tugun Hill Conservation Area also has paths with steep pinches and stairs, so not all of the paths are easily accessible to bicycles. Enter these two parks via Murray Street or Illawarra Crescent.
(Photo credit: @malschulstad)
(Photo credit: @malschulstad)
Heading north, Coombabah Lakelands Reserve at Coombabah offers easy riding for all the family. It’s a great place to get kids out for a ride, with grassy areas, dirt roads, asphalt roads and boardwalks along the river. This flat conservation area is home to koalas, kangaroos and wetland wildlife like fish and crabs. The gates are open from 6am-6pm daily. To access the tracks use Rain Tree Glen or Myola Court, Tea Tree Boulevard and Tiger Drive.
If BMX is your thing, Upper Coomera Adventure Parklands has a great BMX track where riders of any age and ability can start on small rollers to get a feel for BMX riding, and enjoy pumping through the rhythm section. Confident riders start high on the hill and build up speed and momentum, jump the double jumps and table-tops, and burn ’round the berms. Behind the BMX park is a short mountain bike trail to explore, up a forested hill of soft dark soil. It’s a lot steeper than the tracks described above. Other Gold Coast BMX parks can be found at Nerang, Ashmore, Varsity Lakes, Deodar Park at Burleigh, and many more.
NERANG AND ADVANCETOWN
When the family is confident on their bikes, trips out to the Casuarina Grove Circuit at Nerang National Park and the Family Loop at Peter Hallinan Mountain Bike Precinct at Hinze Dam are in order. A ride in the mountains requires more planning and preparation. Although the Hinze Dam is only 15 minutes from the motorway, when you leave your car ensure you carry plenty of water for everyone, as well as food, a map or map app, a first aid kit and a phone.
To reach the MTB trails, park at the Hinze Dam Visitor Information Centre and ride about 2km along the top of the dam wall, which is quite high up, with beautiful views over the lake’s blue waters to the hinterland. The MTB park is very well signed and the Family Loop starts with a steep ride upwards.
On the morning I rode there it was fairly cool due to the shady forest and large lake. I saw a bush turkey and lots of pretty plants and butterflies. The trails were quiet on a weekday, but the trails were very well kept. This precinct is used for the Gold Coast Mountain Bike Club’s events.
After your ride you can enjoy some refreshment at the View Café, open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Enjoy the view!
For tips and hints on keeping you and the family safe out biking in the forest, read our article The Best Mountain Biking Trails for Beginners. To learn more about local mountain biking read The Gold Coast Guide to Mountain Biking.
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