The Kuitpo Forest Mountain Bike Park, also known as Prospect Hill is a great place for mountain bike riders of all abilities. We have taken a number of primary school aged kids riding here, most of whom have never been single track riding before. They have enjoyed the challenge of learning to mountain bike, and intermediate riders are spoiled for choice in the great range of trails in the park. The trails aren’t signposted so keep a copy on your phone of the park inset from the map below.
The Kuitpo Forest Mountain Bike Park is suitable anyone from confident beginners and above. Once kids can ride confidently, stay straight and turn well they will be fine. They just need to be quite stable and able to steer well, as they need to navigate the narrow single trails. The park has one main beginner trail that takes our 5-7 year olds about 15-20 minutes to complete. There are some challenging sections for very new riders but they have all managed fine once they give it a try. The trail is relatively flat so there’s not any/much uphill that leads to kids having to push. The track is single track (less than half the width of a normal footpath) and winds through the pine trees so while care is needed, most riders will be able to make it around Dad’s Loop. Many novice riders have enjoyed riding this trail multiple times in both directions which is a great couple of hours entry into mountain biking.
If you want to move onto the next level, check out the Ludercrous trail to the right of Gate B9. It’s slightly more challenging, but our 5-10 year olds can still manage it with the occasional slip. Again, it’s a nice single track winding through the pine forest and very enjoyable. The Ludercrous track also descends more than Dad’s Loop, which means eventually you either need to ride/push the bikes up the relatively steep fire tracks, on continue on to join up with the Escalator which is a series of switchback trails heading back up to the top of the park. Again, confident beginners should be ok, but it’s definitely a step up from Dad’s Loop, and the uphill section can put some kids off.
Intermediate riders really have the pick of all the trails. Our more confident kids have enjoyed trying out all the trails, some with larger jumps, humps, fallen trees to navigate and other fun. The Kuitpo Forest park is a great day or half day riding and a great place to start out for those new to mountain biking – definitely go the Dad’s Loop first to test the skills!
More info – Kuitpo Forest is open only during daylight hours. It is a high fire risk area so is closed during the highest fire risk days and not recommended on very hot, windy days in summer. There are no toilets, drinking water or bins in the area, but all those can be found back at the Avenues Picnic Area on the main road about 5 mins drive. You can even plan to spend the day at Kuitpo and take a picnic to have afterwards, or visit one of the nearby wineries – we love Lazy Ballerina for families. There also are a number of great bakeries and cafes in Meadows about 15 minute drive away to heed off the post-ride hangries!
Directions – coming from Meadows, take the park entrance onto Christmas Hill Road, around and up a very steep hill, turn left on Brookmans Conner Road and there is a small dirt carpark on the left opposite Gate BG9 (the entrance to the mountain bike area). The carpark is located at the Prospect Hill MTB pin as dropped on our map below so head straight for that on Google Maps 🙂 For a better map of the whole Kuitpo area download this one from the ForestrySA site.
Trails – the trails are not signposted so we recommend keeping a copy on your phone of the park trails map here (on the Adelaide MTB Trails website). If you enter at Gate BG9 from the carpark noted above, the beginner trail Dad’s Loop starts just in front of the gate to the left side of the fire track. The intermediate trails start from front right. While the trails aren’t signposted, if you use the map to find the start, you should be find once you’re on the track as it’s clear where the trails run.
Note – while you’ll generally only see other bikers on the bike trails, the fire tracks and other areas are also used by walkers and horse riders. Cyclists must give way to pedestrians on trails and both must giveway to horseriders. Remember, horses are not keen on bike riders silently zooming up on them from in front or behind so be sure to slow down, ring your bell and call out from as far back as possible to give the horse warning that you’re coming by.
Kuitpo Forest is home to HEAPS of other walking and riding areas – see Map 1 below. In other areas of the park you can park and walk or ride along the forestry/fire tracks all over the park. Our picks of these areas would be:
- Balance bike/novice – try the Chookarloo Trail starting at the car park at Avenues Picnic area on Black Nursery Road. It’s only 1km but it’s a good shared path for getting out in the forest.
- Beginners – try the Forest Trail starting at the car park at Avenues Picnic area on Black Nursery Road. It’s a relatively flat 3km return trail used by walkers, bikers and horse riders.
- Longer – The 10.8km Onkeeta Trail follows the forestry tracks through the forest. It’s an easy ride or walk, but the terrain is undulating so beginners may need to push in some uphill sections. More info and a map/photos of the loop can be found here on the Walking SA website.