We check out the compact Sugar Bag Road network on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Words: Hayden Wright
Photos: Gerard Lagana
During our Sunshine Coast Adventure one riding destination stuck out among the rest. In a region which was previously known for its tight twisty tracks and modest trail heads lies the entirely contradictory and sometimes controversial Sugar Bag Road Trail Centre. Lying a mere 4km from the beautiful Moffat Beach is what was once a small, disused piece of bushland that is now packed full of trails rated from Green to Double Black. When it comes to Sugar Bag Road the name of the game is community. Home to Caloundra Off Road Cycling Association (CORCA), one of the most active and engaged mountain bike clubs we have ever seen, Sugar Bag has something to challenge everyone from beginner to expert. You may not be wearing out your brake pads with the modest 45m of elevation available, but their combination of unique trails, accessibility, and user facilities are second to none in South East Queensland.
Thanks to the efforts of CORCA and the welcome financial response from local governing bodies this area sees investment above and beyond what you would expect such a small land area would garner. That is not to say that this funding is going to waste, with careful focus being put on its distribution to creating an all-inclusive mountain bike hub for the local community. With current developments including an asphalt pump track, kids playground, café, toilet and shower block, BBQ area, dual slalom track and a new black diamond jump trail all slated for completion this year, it is easy to see the fruits of this financial backing and the hard work of the local club members.
While this area does have some critics, who say that the money could be better spread across other trail areas on the Sunshine Coast, it is hard to argue with the result of the funding put into Sugar Bag. Reminiscent of Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra, it is obvious to us that there is a place for a well-supported and highly accessible trail centre within a suburban area otherwise devoid of mountain biking. Accessibility like this means more residents get outdoors and get active more often.
As it says on the tin, these trails are located on Sugar Bag Road, Caloundra. An easy 60-minute blast up the Bruce Highway from Brisbane, there is no excuse as to why you haven’t checked out these trails if you live anywhere in South East Queensland! Upon arrival you will be greeted by an asphalt parking lot and a variety of amenities as mentioned above to ensure you are covered both on the bike and off. Best to remember to pack your beach towel too, with Moffat Beach being only a 5-minute drive up the road.
Technical, yes… but not in the way you expected. The area best known as ‘the playground’ has some north shore features that you would expect to find hidden somewhere in British Columbia, not on the sandy shores of Caloundra. Combine that with the technical trail features seen on Bees Knees and the all new jump trails and you might find your tyres spending more time on timber and in the air than on dirt. Leave your clip pedals at home, this is a place to hang out, session features and work on your skills!
A bike and a water bottle will do. You’re not likely to burn the candle to the point where you need litres of water or hands full of riding snacks to keep you moving. Instead, pack a GoPro. You might just capture something spectacular for the right or wrong reasons.
Sugar Bag currently contains 11 listed trails with a total distance of under 15km, however that number is constantly growing. Best to check our Trailforks or the CORCA website before heading there to ensure you area across the latest and greatest developments in the area.
CORCA are one of the most active and engaging trail groups we have ever seen. Be sure to check out their web site and get in touch before your visit if you have any questions, it is full of great information and is a great example of how mountain bike clubs could develop their web sites to help make their trails more easily understood. If you see anyone riding around in a blue and green jersey, that will be a local CORCA member, they will be more than happy to help you out.
BEST TIME OF YEAR:
These trails are tree laden and easy to climb, so any day is a good day at Sugar Bag.
WHILE IN THE AREA:
Check out the many beaches, café’s and restaurants that this beautiful part of Queensland has to offer, all within a very close radius to the trail head.
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS:
Hit Bikes, literally on the outskirts of the trails themselves on Mark Rd E, Caloundra West.
The CORCA events calendar is full of events, be it kids rides, women’s rides, social rides – you name it! Rocky Trail are also planning one of their ever popular Shimano MTB GP events here in August, being backed up by Single Speed Nationals the following day.
Want to check out more places that rock? Click here.