If you are a family who loves to mountain bike, then you really can’t go past Hidden Vale Adventure Park near Grandchester! Only half an hour from Ipswich, or an hour from Brisbane, this property has over 100km of tracks set in 12,000 acres of bush land. The best part is that there a ton of tracks that are suitable for kids.
The tracks are open to the public every day except when they have a race event on – there are five events each year, so check on their website before heading out. Besides those weekends, the park is open to the public for a small fee which gives you access to all the trails for the whole day. Annual memberships are also available.
To get to the trails, take the service entry next to Spicers Resort and follow the signs to the new HVAP parking area. When you sign in and say g’day to Hayden, the park manager, he can give you a map and some advice on where to ride. We also recommend using the Trailforks App.
If you don’t have mountain bike, you can hire one from the HVAP Headquarters. When we last rode at HVAP, our eldest son was having maintenance issues with his bike, so we hired a really nice Norco dual suspension MTB for the day. If mums or dads think they might have trouble keeping up with the kids all day (who doesn’t?), you could consider getting an extra boost by hiring an electric assisted e-bike. It’s a bit like getting a push up the hills.
From the office, we headed straight up the access road to the top of the hill. Here there’s a skills park with logs, see-saws and other obstacles for practicing advanced technical skills. Our boys rode along the log bridge, but none of us were keen on trying the see-saw!
Green Tracks (Easy)
With kids, you can have a ton of fun by just sticking to the green tracks, and there are more than enough options to keep you busy all day! Some of our favourites were:
Plane Sailing – This is a flowing track that takes you past the plane wreck (hence the name). It is a nice fast track has a slightly technical section about half-way. It has some good berms, and it’s not too hard. Heaps of fun, and this one was our boys’ favourite.
Almost There – We rode this track uphill and it would be great downhill as well. It’s a nice flowy track that takes you up to Ripple Effect.
Ripple Effect – This is one of the premier tracks in the park and it’s rated green, so it’s great for the kids. It’s heaps of fun and it’s a fairly long track, so it feels like it goes for a long time. It has nice berms and some jumps on the way down. Another favourite for us, highly recommend!
Happy Gilmore- We saw heaps of kangaroos while riding along this trail, as we rode this track back to HVAP headquarters in the late afternoon. As we came past the dam, we just had to stop when we saw a big kangaroo having a bath. Very cool!
There are so many more tracks to explore. The hardest tracks in the park are rated Blue (Intermediate) and they are more cross-country rather than downhill tracks. Some of the blue tracks have technical features such as big jumps and drop-offs so families are best to stick to the green tracks, or get advice from park staff about which blue tracks would be advisable to attempt.
With the amazing variety of tracks here, it’s no wonder that elite racers come back time and time again to ride and train here.
And for families …. definitely plenty of adrenaline to go around and keep the kids busy!