Located 35 minutes from the Brisbane CBD, Castle Hill in Ipswich offers a series of great mountain bike trails. A quick pinch climb up the main fire road will reward you with short, fast and exciting descents. Most of the trails start from one central location making it easy to navigate your way around and explore the area. Due to the loose and rough nature of the trails we recommend these for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers. Beginners can find trails to ride here although will likely have more fun at other locations with a wider variety of trails until their skills have progressed. As usual, all riders new to the area should take an easy lap down each track they ride for the first time to look at any technical features before taking them on at pace.
Access / Facilities
There is a large dirt car park on Mary St for riders to park at or ample space alongside the road. Drinking water is available from the tap in the field next to the car park before you head off on your ride.
Castle Hill is full of great blue trails, even for the advanced rider some of the best rides here are on these blue trails. 'World Cup' has been around for about fifteen years now and has even hosted state champ events. Although not steep it offers good speed, turns, rock gardens and jumps, everything you need to have a good time. Right next to world cup is 'Roweys', like World Cup this has a bit of everything although has some stand out features on the track. A series of fast rock steps half way down into a loose right hand turn will get the heart rate up. Followed shortly by a rocky step down which will require some speed and precision, have a look at this one before taking it on to avoid a nasty surprise.
Although only blue rated the high speeds and loose terrain can make tracks like 'Roweys' and 'World Cup' challenging for advanced riders when they push hard looking for more speed. However, there are a few black level trails that are worth a look at, in particular 'Phils'. 'Phils' makes the most of what elevation Castle Hill has to offer with some tighter, more technical turns before picking up the pace near the finish with some fast, thin single track.
The below 'quick view' of the Devinci Spartan was filmed at Cast Hill and gives you a look at some of the great features to ride on the many MTB trails there.
The Bike of Choice
There are a number of bikes fit to take on the trails at Castle Hill but here are two FTR favourites that we recommend for if this is your local lap. Due to the rocky and loose nature we suggest a mid or long travel trail bike that enables riders to smooth out the terrain and hold better traction and speed. This makes the 2020 Giant Reign a great match. 146mm of rear travel paired to a 160mm fork provides ample suspension to make sure riders can attack the trails with confidence, holding maximum grip on the loose terrain. Available in a carbon and aluminium frame option starting at $3999 there is a Giant Reign 29" bike to suit a wide range of riders. See the 2020 Giant Reign 29" range.
For those who are willing to invest more heavily in their mountain bike the Yeti SB130 is worth a good look. Offering 130mm rear travel paired to a 150mm fork (option to go to 160mm) this trail bike will inspire confidence on the fast descents yet offer a nimble, playful ride. The 'Switch Infinity' linkage sets Yeti apart from the competition with remarkably capable descending characteristics but also backs it up on the climb with an amazing pedal platform. Frames RRP $5,290 and completes from RRP $8,490, talk to our team and they can help you get the right SB130 for your needs.
There you have it, our mini 'Ride Guide' for Castle Hill, one of our favourite local mountain biking trail networks. Just a short drive from Brisbane its well worth a ride and we encourage all intermediate and advanced mountain bikers to check it out. If you liked this ride guide check out Where to Mountain Bike Brisbane - Gap Creek.