Words: Cameron McGavin                                                                              Photos: Phil Warring
World Trail Director Glen Jacobs is a busy man. So busy we’ve had to bring our interview with him a day forward and squeeze it in over an impromptu evening meal. Tomorrow he’s jetting off to meet with the Tasmanian government to talk turkey about various developments in that state. He’s got new projects stacked high on his desk that he can’t tell us about. Time is of the essence.
There’s one project, however, that Australia’s top trail-building guru and only MTB Hall of Fame inductee is just itching to share with the wider world – the upcoming Wangetti Trail.
Wangetti Trail isn’t the only new wilderness mountain biking experience on the Australian scene or Jacobs’ plate. World Trail’s 44km wilderness trail from Blue Tier down to St Helens on Tasmania’s east coast is nearing completion and will be up and running this year.
But Wangetti Trail has a special significance for Jacobs. When completed in 2023, it will trace a path through his own backyard, the stunning coastal and hinterland scenery of Tropical North Queensland.
The Big Reveal
World Trail released its detailed design for the Wangetti Trail alignment in April ahead of the build and other commercial tendering processes kicking off. The finished trail will span 94km – 15km longer than originally envisaged – between Palm Cove north of Cairns and Port Douglas, and Jacobs says it’s going to blow visitors away.


“We’re sandwiched between two World Heritage sites, we’re bang in the middle,” he says. “Some parts you go along and you think you’re on the top of the Grand Canyon, you’re looking down to coconut trees on the beach and up there are big rock bluffs. Hartley’s Creek at Wangetti Beach itself is special, it’s just beautiful.”
Jacobs is on a roll now describing the many delights that are in store for riders.
“A hell of a lot of lookouts, a hell of a lot of features, beachside stops, suspension bridges, big gorges, huge stuff.” he says. “And all the critters, the Cassowarys, kangaroos, just everything. There’s a waterfall called Spring Creek and it just drops away towards the ocean and there’s Port Douglas in front of you. Nobody knows it’s there, there are no walking tracks to get to it, and now here’s this trail coming.“You know that whole sense of arrival, that big reveal kind of thing? That’s gonna happen.”