There is a dense network of trails criss-crossing the Kate Reed Reserve and it really is best enjoyed by pointing your wheel down the main trailhead and just exploring. For those looking to push themselves there are some dedicated tracks available and families with kids could equally enjoy riding down to the duck boarded area and just exploring. Basically get in there and enjoy yourself. This park has something for all levels.
The Kate Reed reserve is just over 10 minutes drive (south) of the Launceston CBD, and there are a few entry points to the reserve.
If you don't know Launceston then the easiest entrance to find is from the Kings Meadow turnoff off Launceston’s Southern Outlet. Basically if in Launceston get onto the Southern Outlet and head out of town looking for the turn off to Kings Meadows. Head onto this turn off and park your car in the parking area under the highway underpass. If coming from Hobart then just look for the Kings Meadow entrance as you approach Launceston and as above, just park your car under the highway underpass.
The Reserve Entrance is on the western side of the highway and is well signed. This entrance also has the advantage that it’s generally downhill to your car at the end.
The main entrance is however from the Silverdome, and the route description assumes this is where you start.
To get to the Silverdome from Launceston, head south on Wellington Street as though you were going to Hobart, but keep an eye out as the road splits a couple of blocks past Coles. You want to be in the left lanes continuing up Wellington Street (signed towards West Launceston/South Launceston). A further kilometre up this road turn right onto Westbury Road towards Prospect. Follow this for another 2.4km until you will come to the roundabout signed to the Silverdome. Take the first exit down Oakden Road signed to the Silverdome.
If coming up from the South, the easiest way to get there is to take the Bass Highway exit signed to Devonport just before heading down into Launceston, follow this for 2kms and then take the exit signed to Prospect. At the roundabout at the top of this exit, continue over the overpass towards Prospect and then about 2.7kms from this roundabout you'll come to another roundabout where you'll want to take the third exit towards Silverdome.
From this roundabout it is about 600 metres to the front gate of Silverdome which is frequently locked. This is probably the best place to leave your car - just park on the right hand side of the road and head off on your bike from here. Also note that even if the gate is open, there is a fun network of trails in the section of the reserve in the bush on your right which is worth exploring if you have the time.
Otherwise drive or cycle across the overpass and then follow the road around to the left through the car park until you circle around to the back of the Silverdome. Head into the obvious top carpark and at the back you will find the main trailhead into the Park. It is signed and there is an information booth and trail map just down the track.
With all the trail building in the park over the last two years, the most accurate maps of the park are those available at the trail heads.
That said it can still be useful to download the maps from the Parks and Wildlife Site (Maps 5 & 6 are the most useful) which show the official and unofficial tracks and then just give yourself time to explore. Be aware that not all of the proposed tracks are built, and not all the closed tracks are closed.
Another good way to get to know the trails if you've moved into the area is to contact the Launceston Mountain Bike Club who run semi-regular events here.
If parking in Silverdome, be aware that they may lock that gate whilst you are there.
The Launceston Mountain Bike Club in conjunction with the Parks & Wildlife Service are in the process of establishing an official network of MTB tracks in the park, and this includes closing down some inappropriately located trails. Don't ruin it for everyone else by ignoring the good work being done and stick to the legal trails.
It's a good idea to visit LMBC's facebook page and website as they give good updates on trails to stay off.
The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service encourage riders thinking about riding these trails to check out their facebook page or to contact them directly on 03 6336 5397 (open 7 days, put the number in your phone now while you're thinking about it) to find out if any trails are currently closed. Launceston Mountain Bike Club also regularly posts trail status updates on their facebook page, and Tassie Trails also publishes some trail and track updates in our news feed. Main thing is, don't ride the trails if they're closed. That just ruins it for the rest of us and breaks the trust we need with landowners to get more tracks built in the future.
As you enter the trail from the Silverdome car park, you will almost immediately see the signed Berm track heading off to the left of the main trail, jump onto this and you are on the first mountain bike trail.
From here you can probably just follow your nose around the park, but if you really want some guidance to get you going, follow this track for about 2.2kms until it is joined by another track coming in from your right (The Rock Drop Track) continue straight ahead until you cross a small bridge and come out at a T junction. Turn left here and this will take you towards the lower car park area. You should be about 2.6kms from the start (100m from the T Junction) you will see another park information sign and more importantly you’ll see the boundary track loop continuing on around the park.
Continue around this loop. There’s a small black diamond detour (which I’ve included in the route distance) but it’s mainly easy, fast fun riding around this section.
About 4.3km from the start you will see a pretty significant junction off to the left. I’ve highlighted this route in red in the map. This is an obviously well used route that connects with the top part of the park avoiding a bit of out and back. It is not however within the park or shown on any of the bike park maps, but nor is it closed off. Your call if you use it, but obviously if closed signs go up in the future, don’t use it. The out and back is actually pretty fun and is what I’d recommend.
So, ignoring this route continue straight ahead ignoring a couple of small turn offs to the right (both of which just lead back to the lower car park area as shown by the green lines and are good alternate routes) and you will come out onto a short duckboard section (4.6km from the start) which is a good place to slow down and take a break.
Once across the duckboards, you’re back onto a trail for a while. Turn left on this trail and head slightly uphill for 300 metres until another turn off onto single-track at 5.0km from the start. A further 200 metres on you’ll come to a junction (5.2km). Head left and follow this lovely sandy track (The Highway Track) as it wends its way out to the far corner of the park. You’ll pass a small, dilapidated jumps section at about 5.7km from the start and beyond here there are plenty of small tracks leading off to the left and right. Most of them come together. The only one to be careful of is a turn to the left about 6.5km from the start – this will take you off onto the red route described before.
Otherwise, at about 6.6km from the start you will come to the top of the park and can follow the track around a little top loop and back down the way you came until you get back to the junction you came through at 5.2km from the start. Once back here, continue to your left and follow the single track down along the highway until you emerge back out onto a 4WD trail 8.5km from the start.
Turn right down this trail for about 250metres, then turn left up the first major junction and follow this trail as it climbs back up the hill ignoring a turnoff to the left 100 metres up this hill. 9.1kms from the start you will come back to a junction and a fenceline with a single track trail head heading off to the right of the trail. This is the top of the Rock Drop Trail which is a great piece of singletrack. It's about 1.1km long and joins up with the bottom of the Berm Track. It can be ridden both ways.
For those happy to just head back to the car park, continue up the trail you're on for about 450 metres until you drop out onto a T junction at the top of the hill. The way back to the carpark is to turn left onto the Main Track and follow this the last few hundred metres back to the start, however you can turn right and drop back out onto the Berm Track.