Western Australia is home to some fantastic mountain biking trails, many of which are well-suited to families.
Trails WA has a comprehensive listing of some great trails across the State. As a starting point, try any of the trails listed as ‘easy’. These are typically on old railway lines or wide, well-maintained paths with little elevation change or technical elements – basically a great way to take a leisurely spin in the bush.
However, don’t be scared off trying some of the ‘moderate’ trails. These tend to include narrow ‘singletrack’ trails that wind, dip and climb through beautiful bush. They will give you a taster of the ‘woo hoo!’ of mountain biking.
Many of these are very achievable for beginners, but you need to be a bit more selective. These trails are usually divided into ‘green’ beginner trails, ‘blue’ intermediate trails and ‘black’ advanced trails. When selecting a trail, considering choosing ‘green’ trails to start, then graduate to ‘blue’ as your family’s confidence grows.
In the section below, we have listed a few of these ‘moderate’ trails that are well in the ability of most beginner riders.
Before hitting the trails, make sure at a minimum you have:
- Suitable helmet
- Eye protection
- Suitable hydration
- Spare tube, pump and tire leavers (optional, but potentially handy!)
Also be aware that many trails are meant to be ridden in one direction only. They will be signposted as such - please obey these signs and give way to faster riders.
The Goat Farm is known for its rugged downhill tracks, steep rock gardens, jumps and weaving cross-country trails. Do not be deterred! It is also home to a great little skills park and a junior cross country loop where beginner cyclists can hone their skills. Watching the more experienced riders on the bigger trails will provide inspiration for the kiddies and strike fear in the hearts of their mums and dads!
Trail route suggestions:
- ‘Goat Farm Skills Park’ offers berms and tabletops of varying sizes.
- Once you have mastered these, try the ‘Junior Loop’ cross country track, a 500m flat trail following the creek.
If you are ready for some fast and flowy singletrack trails with no major climbs, keep Langford Park in mind. Trails vary from 0.5 to 4km length and can easily be combined to create 10-12km loops. Afterwards enjoy a well-deserved lunch at the cafe, pub or local winery in Jarrahdale.
Trail route suggestions:
- Set off on ‘The Spine’, a 500m easy trail that provides access to and from the trail loops. For an easy route through the forest, continue on to ‘Lovers Lane’, along an old 1.4 km fire trail takes loop, perfect for beginners.
- If you are feeling slightly more adventurous, hang a right at the trailhead onto the 4.4km ‘Woodley’s Loop’ trail. It is a relatively tame ‘blue’ trail with a fantastic mix of free flowing trail and easy climbs.
- ‘The Fox’ (4.1km) is another fun ‘blue’ option for those feeling enthusiastic. It starts at the furthest point of the easy ‘Lovers Lane’ trail.
With over 40km of fully signed singletrack, the Kalamunda Trails area is the most popular mountain biking destination in WA. It is only a 40-minute drive from the centre of Perth, and is situated in both picturesque National Park and State Forest.
Trail route suggestions:
- Warm up on ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’, an 800m long beginner skills loop.
- Cross Paulls Valley Road and follow the easy, two-way ‘Camel Farm’ trail for about 1km to the Black Stump car park.
- Have a go on the ‘Pump Track’ - a fun little loop of rollers and berms, suitable for all levels. To improve skills, try to ride it without pedalling, using just gravity and momentum.
- From Pump Track, head onto ‘Gottysnobble’, then follow a short fire trail to ‘Tangaroo Kick’. Return to the carpark on ‘Gottysnobble’ and ‘Camel Farm’ trails.
- If the family is feeling really energetic, tack on about 3km extra on the back of ‘Tangaroo Kick’ by continuing on the green trail ‘Flaccid Ashback’. Be aware this trail is one-way only and you must connect back to ‘Gottysnobble’ using the fire road that runs adjacent to ‘Flacid Ashback’.
Bonus: There is a café and a camel farm at the carpark, so you can get your caffeine hit and amuse the kids all in one place. Warning: if you do not plan to let your offspring ride the camels, it is recommended you set your position on this pre-arrival to avoid the inevitable whining and begging that will otherwise follow.
For families looking to get involved in bicycle touring, the famous Munda Biddi Trail offers an off-road cycling trail from Mundaring to Albany running for over 1000 km.
The name ‘Munda Biddi’ means path through the forest in the Noongar Aboriginal language and there are few places left in the world where a 1000 km track could be built through an undeveloped natural corridor.
Western Australia's lack of mountains provides relatively gentle terrain, and with the exception of the hottest months of summer, offers great year-round cycling weather.
Sections of the trail vary in terms of their difficulty and terrain and in many places it is easily accessible by car. Free campsites are available at different points along the trail and detailed maps of the trial are available and can be purchased from the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation website
The trail is run by the not-for-profit Munda Biddi Trail Foundation.