Isaac's Ridge - Canberra

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Work is still on going. Its not open yet, give it another couple of weeks
Thought I’d revive this thread, since I’ve just moved into the area. These trails are now open and legal (have been for a year or so).

https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/recreational_activities/isaacs-ridge-recreation-area

There are a couple of downhill tracks (diamond and double diamond) which are steep and rocky near the top, and a bit more like the Majura Pines course near the bottom. There’s also a flowy green level trail near the botto which is good fun, although short and shared usage.

The downhill tracks are accessed by a fire road to the top near the telecommunications aerials.

While good fun, the downhill stuff is a bit too intense for my bike (and skills) at this point. Am thinking of getting a longer travel bike this year to get more out of these.

I’m wondering if the organisers ever broached the topic of a more relaxed descending trail to complement the black diamond options? I have read that some local residents expressed concerns about the trails being legalised, so I’m not sure if there would be local appetite for expansion. I don’t think it needs much, just a longer more accessible green/blue descent trail. I note the government website linked above suggests this is not under consideration. However if there’s been no negative feedback from residents since the trails became legal, I wonder if it might be considered?

I’d be happy to help out on any maintenance days, if they happen?
 

droenn

Eats Squid
I've posted about Isaac's somewhere on this forum, but can't find where...

I've ridden there a bit, but not for a few months now (its on opposite side of town for me). Its a pretty great spot, but its really only those two trails with the more flowy bits at the bottom, and an XC trail that runs off back down to the bike path.

Typically push up the trails, session some of the rock gardens, and then do a full run. I've not hit any of those A lines because some of those drops... yeah, nah.... way above my pay grade. Bs and Cs I get through sketchy enough as it is! When its wet its even crazier.

Doing a couple runs of each track gets you pretty tired if you're pushing up too.

Maybe we should have an RB ride day there?
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Yeah, why not? I’ve only done it twice, and walked lots of rocky sections that, looking back up at, I should have been able to clear. The fire trail climb isn’t too hard.

A flowier descent trail would be great there because there’s quite a lot of vertical.
 

slimjim1

Likes Dirt
This place is my backyard and I'm always rolling around here.

The southern DH corridor (the one outside the pines) is quite flowy IMO, specially from the old road gap fireroad down.

The downhill runs seem fairly under-utilised IMO. I think the climb puts a lot of DH fella's off.
 

bjhall78

Likes Bikes
I walked up the southern DH track the other day. I was not expecting it to be that wild and steep. The 'C' lines are wild enough for my skills. Maybe the odd b line.
The northern DH track i had more brakes on than off. I don't think i have ridden through so many rocks with a MTB trail somewhere.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

Martin105

Cannon Fodder
Thought I'd revive this thread again to see if there was any possibility of getting more trails for issacs.

I just moved nearby so have been riding there a little bit. The DH trails are pretty serious, some decent technical lines there. The shared use XC spine track is good fun, but pretty short - so just wondering if there is any scope for extending the XC type trails. I remember in the 90s and early 2000s there were a fair few trails on the hill.

Isaacs is never going to be another stromlo of majura but would be great if there was more of a fun little hand build local loop.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
I'm in complete agreement here, but as I mentioned in my post at the top of the page, the local residents weren't pleased with the process when the current trails were formalised. I would hope that their concerns haven't been realised, and I do feel that the trails don't get much use.

A blue grade descending trail would be a nice addition as there's plenty of vertical to play with here and not a lot going on.

Not sure if anybody involved in the build are on the site?
 

droenn

Eats Squid
A blue climb would be nice as well!

However, the bad news is that:

There is no intention to build any further mountain bike trails at Isaacs Pines either through the volunteer group or with a paid contractor. The ACT Government will monitor and review the trail network at Isaacs Pines. Any future recreational planning in Isaacs Pines will involve extensive consultation with the community.
https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/recreational_activities/isaacs-ridge-recreation-area
 

Martin105

Cannon Fodder
Yep a blue extension of the spine and climb/descent would be great.

Interesting about the local residents being opposed. Looking at the trail upgrade consultation report only about the 20-30% of dog walkers and walkers who responded, who are likely to be local residents, were against the trail upgrade.

Over 70% of the people who responded to the survey said they used the area for mountainbiking, with horse riders, who seem to be most against more trails in the area, only being about 5% of the responses. Even then under half of the horse riders were actually against more mtb trails, and there was overall support across all users of the area.

Going off the voluntary responses to the survey, the community opposition to it seems concentrated. Would be interesting to see what the wider community felt about it now the trails have been formalised for a while, and as the consultation was in mid-2015 - three years ago.

So is this just on pause now? Does CORC or Pedal Power have any interest in advocating for trails here or are there any other groups?
 

slimjim1

Likes Dirt
Would be interesting to see what the wider community felt about it now the trails have been formalised for a while, and as the consultation was in mid-2015 - three years ago.
Suspect most residents wouldn't even know the difference to before the trails were formalised.
 

Martin105

Cannon Fodder
There are a few other trails there.... you just need to know where to look
Sounds like I need to explore more.

And even less of the wider community would care enough about the issue to have an opinion.
So if no one in the wider community knows/cares, then surely there is opportunity to see if more trails can be built/formalised. A lot of the concerns from the last consultation seem to be about horse/bike conflict on firetrails and the speed of DH riders crossing firetrails, all problems that xc trails in the forestry blocks shouldn't have.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
So if no one in the wider community knows/cares, then surely there is opportunity to see if more trails can be built/formalised. A lot of the concerns from the last consultation seem to be about horse/bike conflict on firetrails and the speed of DH riders crossing firetrails, all problems that xc trails in the forestry blocks shouldn't have.
Makes sense. Why hasn't it happened then?

Honest question.
 

Martin105

Cannon Fodder
Makes sense. Why hasn't it happened then?

Honest question.
I dunno - maybe after the anti-trail feedback that came through the consultation, even though this was the minority and focused on the DH trails, more trails of any type were put in the too hard basket by gov and the land manager etc.

Anyone here who was involved with CORC or in the last Issacs trail process have any info on this? Anyone know if CORC has any interest in pushing for more trails at this point?
 
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