Maitland / Ashtonfield

Belhamel

Squid
Hi everyone. Just started riding.

Saw guys going into the back of Heritage garden nursery on mtb's so thought I'd check it out. Low and behold, i found some tracks. I've only gone twice, but as a newby loved it.

Only thing is, someone told me it is private property and they actively persue trespassers!

Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

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c3024446

Likes Bikes and Dirt
From a month ago on facebook:

"Heads up... Ashtonfield trails are off limits to MTB riders.
Now I know this is has been said before and debate rages about whether it's all the tracks or just some etc. But here's the latest...
The land owner has contacted one of our coaches and HMBA representative directly and spoken about the issue. He needs to stop all mtb access to the land and is using Strava and other means to track riders/groups going in there (and even from where they park such as the Gardens and Maccas) in preparation to take legal steps to prosecute. This is likely to include cameras, signage, fencing and patrols for enforcement if necessary.
We are still gathering info on all this but it is clear that it's time to stop riding the Ashtonfield trails. Please pass it around any riders you know."

It's land owned by a mine, who I'll assumed don't want to be sued from a MTB accident on their land......
 

pink poodle

Our man in Japan
Trails down there have been bad news for ever. There was similar around Thornton, Beresfield, East Maitland, Metford once upon a time. Some were demolished by land owners, others just chased you off, and some called the cops.

There was also some trails around the tip...if you don't mind the filth.

Best to get a DJ bike and slay the bmx track or skate parks if you want something to ride around the area.
 
Risotto was delicious, thanks for asking.

I'll preface with a little bit about myself, not to blow my own horn but just to lend some credibility to the discussion... I'm an avid mountain bike rider who lives in the local area, I'm also a member of the local mountain bike club being the Hunter Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) and am currently active on the club committee, so all of the following is first hand information and not just whispers and rumours.

From a month ago on facebook:
"Heads up... Ashtonfield trails are off limits to MTB riders.
Now I know this is has been said before and debate rages about whether it's all the tracks or just some etc. But here's the latest...
The land owner has contacted one of our coaches and HMBA representative directly and spoken about the issue. He needs to stop all mtb access to the land and is using Strava and other means to track riders/groups going in there (and even from where they park such as the Gardens and Maccas) in preparation to take legal steps to prosecute. This is likely to include cameras, signage, fencing and patrols for enforcement if necessary.
We are still gathering info on all this but it is clear that it's time to stop riding the Ashtonfield trails. Please pass it around any riders you know."
It's land owned by a mine, who I'll assumed don't want to be sued from a MTB accident on their land......
Here is the link to the Facebook discussion https://www.facebook.com/groups/1786400291642166/permalink/2091501164465409/

Unfortunately the vast majority of the Ashtonfield trail network resides on land that forms part of a mining lease, HMBA was approached just over a month ago by the land owner who as mentioned above needs to stop all unauthorised activity on the land with immediate effect and just to clarify unauthorised activity in this case is not limited to mountain biking but also includes basically any recreational activity such as trail running, bush walking, horse riding, motor bikes, etc. The Ashtonfield trail network on has existed in one form or another for decades and previously a "blind eye" has been able to be turned by the land owner to the unsanctioned recreational uses but the recent social prevalence of the trails through things like Strava and Facebook has exponentially increased the traffic through this area meaning that this activity could no longer be ignored. An attempt to formally recognise the existing trail network was made and whilst some concessions were granted regarding mountain bikers being a legitimate user group unfortunately there are no available avenues to pursue this further. What all of this means is that Ashtonfield is most definitely off limits and the further we can purvey this through the mountain bike community and the more we can show compliance with this order the more legitimate we can be seen as a desired user group to future land owners in different potential areas and the less likely it will be that the Ashtonfield land owner will feel the need to actually prosecute somebody as a show of how serious the situation actual is.

Moving on to something more cheerful.

As part of our maturing relationship with Forestry Corporation the HMBA committee was asked to investigate the viability of establishing a sanctioned trail network in the Wallaroo State Forest area, recognising that the amount of riders displaced from the Ashtonfield closure will ultimately increase pressure on existing trails in Awaba, Glenrock and Dungog HMBA are actively pursuing this opportunity with a high priority. In saying this it is only early days yet but we are hopeful that in the not too distant future we will gain permission and sufficient funding to begin construction of a brand new sanctioned trail network which would be set to rival some of the best trail centres in the country. If you're interested in becoming a part of this then please feel free to contact the club for further details, I will stress again that it is only early days so please don't go all cart before horse and start digging in Wallaroo just yet, the respective plans of management for both the State Forest and National Parks areas allow mountain bike access to the existing fire trail networks only.
 

flamin'trek

Likes Bikes and Dirt
There is so much land owned by mines in the area it would be near impossible to price it. Slowly I see more and more fences put up to keep 4wd and dirt bikes out, but it is so much harder to stop something that can easily be lifted over or pushed around a fence.

It’s a pity that the insurance companies want the land owners to stop access , but it’s a reality and going to be very hard to stop.
 

Belhamel

Squid
Thank you for that detailed response @cokeonspecialtwodollars.

That is a shame, since it's so close to where I live, but if it means traveling to Awaba, Killingworth or Glenrock then thats just how it is.



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Tread carefully around Killingworth, be discreet if you choose to ride there.

Also have you considered Dungog? The trail network at the common is nice to throw in every now and then just to mix it up and keep things fresh.
 
It’s a pity that the insurance companies want the land owners to stop access , but it’s a reality and going to be very hard to stop.
I agree that it will be hard to stop as the amount of riders in there has reached a critical mass of sorts but the land owner will use escalating means to enforce this including prosecution if it comes to it, what we're trying to achieve here is a little bit of self regulation within our community as a show of faith and to hopefully avoid anyone coping a fine or ending up with criminal charges.
 

c3024446

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I think it's only sanctioned for official events. Holmesville is another good place to ride too. Check out the Port to Port Stage 2 map.
 
I thought Killingworth was ok to ride in?

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Not technically, it's also private land but the land owner is not actively trying to stop unauthorised activities for the time being. The club did have a lease agreement of sorts to hold events there but it was rather cost prohibitive and coupled with the issues around the access road we chose not to renew that agreement this year so the club won't be holding any further events at Killingworth.
 
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