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Old Convict Trail

Average Rating:    (4.57 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 7

First 2 km's is a gentle hill climb, nice and smooth. After that varying sections of walking track / fire trail and rocky drops and climbs. Nothing too major though. Some interesting convict plaques at the start of the ride make for interesting reading first time through. Ride as far as you want with the knowledge that the last 2klms is a sweet run down hill with heaps of mild waterbars for enjoyment
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Latitude
-33.37884926751323
Longitude
150.99231719970703
Trail Directions
From Windsor head out through Pit Town, past Riverside Oaks Golf Course and follow the signs to Wisemans. Once there go across the ferry and turn left. About 100mtrs on your right a large gate and large sign, Great Northern Walk or Old Convict Trail.
Trail Length
400 + klms you choose.
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Wisemans Ferry
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
January 30, 2011

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: T. White ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Also known as the Great Northern Road (according to maps), the Old Great North Road (according to the signs) and numerous variations, as well as "Wisemans", this is the ideal ride if you want some nice views, cruisy firetrail, fast downhills (Western Comsn Track) and of course the fun technical sections. One to avoid on hot days as it gets pretty hot up there. Definately better to go in July (which is when I went), and I still returned sweaty. It can be done at any pace depending on how desired. It was interesting learning about the track's history from the numerous signs and monuments along it, and the Buddhist Retreat is not the sort of place normally sighted along a bike track. The numerous ways of riding it can make your ride as long or short as desired.

I gave it a 4 star rating as it is a fantastic track along the ridgetop, but it requires an uphill at the beginning to get to the interesting stuff. Still, if I could, I'd rate it 4.5/5.

Recommended Route:
Classic Route (the way I did it): Park in the carpark, catch the ferry accross, and up Devines Hill, at the top of which things get interesting - Rocks, singletrack, technical ascents and descents and dropoffs, half of the fun consists of choosing the line. This continues for 8km or so until the Western Commission junction. If you go right, you'll go back to the start. Left takes you down a flat out descent, past the Buddhist Retreat to Ten Mile Hollow. Going left there moves you to Clare's Bridge 1km away, a nice spot for a snack. It is possible to keep heading north (though haven't done it myself) where it returns to being rocky and technical. Return to the Western Commission junction and head up and down for several kilometes before it descends steeply to the gate. Head right back to the ferry.

One of the interesting sounding alternitive routes consists of turning right (from Clare's Bridge) at the Commission junction, heading back the way you came, until a couple of km from the top of Devine's Hill, turn right for a technical descent to Shephard's Gully Road for 10km back to the ferry. On my list to try next time.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Coba Ridge Trail is a fair distance away, but is in the same vicinity, having eroded firetrail similar to the GNR, so if you're in the area, you can hit it as well.



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Review Date
June 1, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Owen , from Sydney

Summary:
Makes a great full day epic,the ridge riding is challenging without being too much 'hike the bike', you can maintain a steady speed along the ridge with enough technical sections to keep it interesting.
Its about 49kms to Mogo Creek, which includes a fast long descent on a graded road (watch out for 4wds/cars).Then its steady cadence along the creek road to St Albans,can easily maintain 25kph on this stretch , 20ks or so. At St Albans theres a pub and cafe to get a feed/drink.Then its a leisurely 21ks back to the Ferry on the bitumen. A full day ride with all the hard work at the start and some pleasant coasting at the end.About 93kms all up.Suitable for fit riders only. Start early so you can take in the sights along the way and have a decent rest stop.

Recommended Route:
Starting as described in the other rides at Wisemans Ferry,continue on the Old Convict Trail towards Bucketty,just before Bucketty take the trail down to Mogo Creek,then follow the creek road to St Albans, bitumen back to WF.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Start at Mangrove Mountain,join the Convict Trail to Wisemans , drop down to the Ferry via the Serive Road,then back up Devines, back onto the ridge,take Simpsons Track which loops around to the start. 64kms.(either the Serive



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Review Date
March 5, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: RichardF , from PennantHills

Summary:
NOT A GOOD RIDE ON A HOT DAY AS IT IS UP ON A RIDGE FOR A FAIR DISTANCE, YOU ARE EXPOSED TO THE SUN A LOT.

Recommended Route:
Ridden this once and it is great. For a fit beginner or intermediate rider it is a blast. It has a few technical spots to keep you interested but generally it is pretty easy riding. We rode for about 4 hours all up and it made me feel great.



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Review Date
February 18, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: snuffmaster , from Sydney

Summary:
Great track. Long, 30-40km. Get lots of water with you. Two bottles emptied pretty quickly. Half a bottle was used to wash off the blood from my wound as I was going fast jumping over some rocks with more rocks ahead. Camelbak recomended, first aid kit recomended too as there are some unexpected drops and rocky sections. Admitedly I am not a very very experienced ridder. Great fun though, combination of distance and variety. Please do not follow the tracks inscribed around some sandy sections. The track is widening too much at places.

Recommended Route:
Yeap, start near the ferry, avoid finch's lane by going left instead as one of the other reviewers mentioned.



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Review Date
January 9, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Please Select

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Reviewed by: scott , from logan city Queensland

Summary:
i drove to wiseman's ferry a tiny town on the hawksbury river -it's quite pretty with big sandstone escarpments surrounding it- i stayed in a 4 star
resort with a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool etc for $70 a night. the next day i went on the ferry to the start of the "old great northern
road" the day when i stared the ride was wet and miserable- i had visions of having to turn back because of the imminent downpour - but as it happened
the day turned into a brilliant sunny day - i still have the sunburn to
prove it. http://www.npws.nsw.gov.au/culture/north_road/ its a section of the original road from sydney to the hunter valley built by convicts in 1825. the section is closed to all traffic except mtbers and walkers. it has
a lot of original stonework, butresses, culvets and bridges that was built by the convicts as well as convict graffiti scratched into the rock and
stone store houses and stockades etc. as well as a sandstone cave that was converted into a gallows- another spin on the concept of "hanging rock"
- they went to a bit of effort to make the gallows cave/rock as homely as possible with a bench seat and nice steps carved into the stone as well -how thoughtful of the colonial authorities. there were loads of big dropoffs and interesting riding along the road and the first section "devine's hill" was insanely steep - but i rode it all -
gotta love climbing up steep hills on a bike- the guide book to the area says there are not enough gears to be able to ride that hill- humbug! there
are lots of areas where you can see the convict pick marks on the rock -those guys must have worked real hard- and in chains! lots died apparently.
riding this road kinda gave you the feeling that you had no civilisation round u - it was an isolating experience- i was very concsious of a broken
collar bone if i botched a drop off so far from anyone- i guess it was a feeling that a lot of the convicts woulda felt 180 years ago. my aim for the ride was to get to clarkes bridge - the oldest bridge in mainland australia - on the map near the bridge was marked "wat budda darma" i didn't know what to make of this but it turned out to be a commune for unreconstruced 50 year old hippies with a temple and various A frame erections etc dotted in the bush - i said hello to the buddists - they invited me to lunch which was to be served about an hour
after i arrived - this gave me time to go and see the bridge. and what an interesting structure it turned out to be! it was like a giant lego construction without any morter/concrete just a pile of stones standing there really - but i bet after the sydney harbour bridge is long gone it will still be there! more solid than a brick shithouse is a convict built
stone bridge! after marvelling at the bridge for awhile i went back to the temple and had a brilliant vegetarian lunch with the buddists and discused reincarnation
(after what they said - with all my sins- i think i'm comming back as a warthog) and the greater and lesser vehicle- which was interesting - they were sincere and gentle people- the buddists said there are lots of convict ghosts in the area and they have ceremonies which help the ghosts into their next reincarnation. hanging out with them was a plesant end to that section
of the road. then i rode back down their service road and back to wisemans ferry - a round trip of about 42 kms.

Recommended Route:
Start on the bitumen at the ferry drop of point turn right and ride for two kilometers until you come to the entrance of the "Old Great Northern Road" its well sign posted- start the climb up Devines Hill when you get to the top of the hill avoid the turn for Finches lane- stick to the left track, this will take you alone a rocky road with lots of dropoffs, eventually you will get to a fork in the road the left branch will take you to Clares Bridge- past a Buddist temple- the right hand fork is the road I took to take me back to Wiseman's Ferry



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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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