MANLY DAM: ENHANCEMENT
THE BUSINEST TRAIL IN SYDNEY NEEDS WORK
Whist it might by the area's busiest trail, Manly Dam fails to live up to it's potential, and falls short of delivering the quality of riding experience the community deserves. The vast majority of the main loop is made up of fire trails, management tracks, and legacy trails that predate mountain biking. In fact, there is probably less than 200m of trail profesisonally designed and construced for the purpose of mountain biking. As a result, the limited sections of formal singletrack on offer suffer from alignment, erosion and drainage issues.
In 2104, Warringah Council engaged IMBA to conduct an audit of the Manly Dam trails. A copy of the report is available here. That report points out a wide range of issues, and suggests a wide range of trail realignments, additional singletrack options, and maintenance plans. Unfortunately, Warringah Council declined to adopt those suggestions which would have materially improved rider experience, favouring options involving resurfacing of fire roads and the like.
In the short term, the riding experience at Manly Dam is saved by various unsanctioned trails, for example the popular Possums, Daisy Duke and Mistress trails which connect Manly Dam to NPWS trails Gahnia and Serrata at Banrty Bay. Indeed, those unsanctioned trails are widely regarded as providing a more sustainable and higher quality example than the sanctioned trails. However, we cannot safely assume that those trails will be allowed to continue into the future.
TrailCare is committed to working with the newly formed Northern Beaches Council towards enhancing the riding experience at Manly Dam. We believe that there is sufficient demonstrated trail design, construction and maintenance experience within the local community to deliver exceptional results at minimal cost to Council. And we firmly believe that singletrack can be constructed without causing environmental impacts of any real significance, especially when compared to social, health and economic benefits.