With 20kms of dedicated mountain bike trails, plus a skills area featuring Australia's biggest pump track and a jump track, Hollybank, just 20 minutes outside of Launceston, offers a lot for mountain bikers in Tasmania.
Hollybank offers a 4.5km easy 'green' trail which basically circles the reserve, and off this there is another 3.6km intermediate 'blue' grade circuit. Finally, for those who are really here to ride, there's a 10km descent (the Juggernaut) with the option of the double-black diamond "Ginger Ridge" and "Reverb" tracks near the top.
Juggernaut is unlike anything else we've got to ride in Tasmania at the moment, and for those who can put a shuffle together and who like rollers, jumps, drops, rocks and their downhill fun then they are going to find this track their own little bit of paradise. For updates see the LMBC facebook page.
If coming from the south, head north out of Launceston as though you're heading towards George Town or Lilydale on the East Tamar Highway (A8). For those coming into Launceston from the Southern Outlet this is the road you're already on so just keep going straight ahead.
About 4kms out of the CBD, take the right turn onto the B81 towards Lilydale. A further 2.8kms along this road make sure you don't miss the turn off to the right just past the Black Stallion hotel. This is signed to both Lilydale and Hollybank Adventures. From here just follow the Lilydale Road until you see the signs to Hollybank Tree Top adventure (approx. another 12kms from the black stallion hotel). It's approx 750 metres from where you turn off the highway onto Goullees Road to the mountain bike park carpark.
If coming from Lilydale direction, just keep travelling towards Launceston until you see the signs to Hollybank (about 6-7 kms) then follow the signs into the reserve.
As you come into the reserve you should see the skills park on your right (about 650 metres down Hollybank Reserve Road) and if you're just here to ride, turn in and park near the buildings.
If you are here to do a Segway or TreeTop tour you just need to continue down into the reserve.
There are (very basic but free) public toilets both at the main trail head (the McNeill buildings) and also in the centre of the reserve (called the cricket pitch picnic area which has a signed entrance on your right a few of hundred metres down the hill past the entrance of the park) and of course Hollybank Adventures are on site. Otherwise the nearest services are back in Launceston or in Lilydale.
ROUTE OPTIONS (CAR SHUFFLE)
The routes themselves are fairly self explanatory and are described below.
If you want to drive (or ride) to the top of the Juggernaut track via the road, then you'll need to head back out of the reserve the way you came in and then when you get to Goullees Road (which is the road you turned off the highway onto) instead of turning right to get back onto the highway, turn left instead (reset your odometer to zero here if you want to follow the distances below) and drive up this road. You'll soon find yourself on a gravel road (if using a GPS you may notice Goullees Road becoming Excalibur Road but don't worry about this), continue on and you will pass a recently harvested area on your right. Near the end of this plantation (4.4kms from where you reset your odometer) make sure you follow the main road around to the left (don't continue on the minor road that goes straight ahead). There are a few minor junctions on the way after this, but just follow what looks like the main road and you'll be on the right track.
At 6.0kms you will cross over the Juggernaut Trail (this is described below) and just beyond this you'll see some large yellow rocks on either side of the road marking where a gate used to be. There's a junction just past here with the right fork heading into a logged area. You need to carry on up the left fork (not into the logged area). It starts getting a bit steeper here. 9.8kms from the start you'll come to another junction with a fairly new road heading off to the right. You want to go left again here, continuing on up for another 300 metres where you need to turn right onto an obvious road and follow this for a final 200 metres, looking out for a distinct piece of singletrack heading into the bush on your right. This is the top of the descent trail. This road finishes in a further 200 metres, and if you're in a big vehicle or have a trailer you'll probably find it easier to turn at the end of the road where there is a bit of a turning circle.
You'll have gained about 400 metres in altitude over the 10.5kms, and in a car it's a 12-15 minute drive.
This route is shown by the pink line on the map, and is included in the GPX and KML files which you can download at the bottom of this page to follow when you're out there.
Down in the main reserve, stick to the mountain bike trails as Segways use the walkways and they move fast and it could be a dangerous encounter.
There are several creek crossings once you leave the green trails and Juggernaut can throw a few surprises your way, so take it easy the first time and get to know what's there. There are also several spots on the trails where there was no Telstra mobile coverage so make sure someone knows where you are.
As always, this is Tasmania, so watch out for snakes and fallen branches on these trails.
"No Sweat" - Easy Green Loop (4.5kms)
If you're just here with the kids or want an easy, scenic ride then you can have a really enjoyable time just riding around the 4.5km easy grade "No Sweat" green loop and maybe challenging yourself in the skills park. Even if you're an experienced rider, don't skip the green loop. It's a great way to warm up and there's a few nice features which you don't want to miss.
This loop is one way and to be ridden in a clockwise direction only. It is shown by the green line on the map.
"Tall Trees" Blue Intermediate Loop (3.6kms)
If at the end of the green loop, you find you want a bit more of a challenge then the 3.5km "Tall Trees" loop heads off from the top car park pretty much at the start/end point of the green loop behind theMcNeill buildings. This loop is a noticable step up in difficulty, though still very much intermediate riding.
Again this loop is one way and is to be ridden in a clockwise direction. There's lots of nice berms as you head down to the first creek crossing before climbing and switchbacking your way back up to the highest point on the circuit (approx 2kms in) where the Juggernaut Track comes in. From here it is a nice fast run back down to the creek and then a final switchbacked climb back up to where you started.
Juggernaut (Blue Intermediate- 10kms each way)
Approximately 2kms into the blue loop, you will find the turnoff for the 10km Juggernaut track (so it's 20kms out and back) heading off to your left.
This track is bi-directional and you can ride (or in my case, push) up this track and fitter riders will probably enjoy the challenge, but if you can arrange a car shuffle to the top (follow the pink line on the map which shows the road, details above in Route Options) you can avoid all the suffering and just enjoy the ride back down with fresh legs.
You could also ride the road all the way to the top (11.4kms) which although a bit boring is a lot easier to ride than going up the track, but you'd also miss some of the joy of the blue loop.
If you're not sure what to do, I'd suggest giving the ride up the Juggernaut track a go. You'll drop out onto a road about 4.1kms from the trailhead (at the 6.0km mark on the road as described in Route Options above) and if you've struggled up ths bit, now is the time to turn left and follow the road the rest of the way to the top (details on this in Route Options), but if you're enjoying the ride up the trail ... keep on going up (but it does get steeper and those rollers do not stop).
If coming in from the top car park, you'll have a short (150 metre) section which takes you to the top of a rocky knoll and then the descending begins. Just as you come off the top of this rocky knoll, watch out for where the Juggernaut switchbacks and heads down the hill with the double black diamond "Reverb track" continuing straight ahead. The Juggernaut track seems to have more berms, drops, rollers and rock obstacles on it than all the other tracks combined in Tasmania (OK, I exaggerate a bit)
This makes riding up the track quite difficult as you need to either keep the momentum high, or you'll find yourself having to put in endless spurts of energy as you crawl your way up the backs of these rollers. It makes riding down it rather awesome.
Ginger Ridge (Double Black Diamond/Extreme 1km)
I confess I haven't ridden this trail. Accordiung to Dirt Art (and heck they built it so they should know): "Ginger Ridge is an existing trail that we have given a little love. Built some years ago by local Rob Potter the trail is a frenzy of steep rock chutes, drops and turns. Suitable only for advanced riders this hand-built trail offers a truly challenging descent suitable for all mountain and downhill riders. The trail connects back onto Juggernaut via a 2km commute, or may be shuttle independently using Juggernaut as a lead-in from the summit with a pick up at the trails end.