“Why don’t we ride to Diana’s Bath via some horse trails?” I cheerfully suggested. “It could be interesting.”
After riding them, I think we now have a lot more colorful adjectives with which we could describe the Mount Mee Horse Trails.
As with many of our previous adventures in this area, we started with a short steep grind up Chambers Road at Mount Brisbane. It’s a rude way to start: no warm-up, just one big hill with about 15% gradient for about one and a half kilometres.
At the top, we followed the ridge south towards Byron Creek, hoping to try a new track.
Instead of riding down Byron Creek Road like we have numerous times before, this time we decided to follow the Mount Mee Horse Trail west.
Overnight rain had made the surface slippery, but Adam’s big fat tyres gripped the ground flawlessly as he rode down…
The rest of us decided to play it safe, and clambered down on foot.
Do horses really ride through here?
We followed the trail down a ridge with steep drop-offs either side, through lush forest dotted with grass trees.
As we descended, the forest grew thicker.
Piccabeen palms lined its banks, but the creek was dry. Its stone bed a cobbled road which was easy to ride on big tyres. I’d like to come back here after a good downpour to see this creek flowing. I think it would be spectacular.
At this point we could have easily rejoined Byron Creek Road, but we were curious about a trail we hadn’t ridden before and decided to see where it went.
It went up. The gradient was so steep it was almost impossible to walk. We slowly scrambled upwards, hauling our bikes with us.
And I thought to myself again, “Do horses really ride through here?”
The horse track eventually emerged on the infamous “A-Break” – one of the steepest tracks in this section of the forest.
Our curiosity for new trails satisfied, we took a short break at the top and decided we wouldn’t want to climb that hill again. We also thought it would be too dangerous to ride down.
From here it was a long way downhill to Dianas Bath…
We rode the bikes as far as we could, then parked them under a tree to continue our trip on foot.
It took us about ten minutes to walk the final 600 metres.
Although the water levels were lower than previous rides, the water looked inviting.
We chucked off our sweaty jerseys and jumped in.
I love summer rides. There are lots of places to swim and cool off.
With the swim over, we reluctantly donned our sweaty gear and made our way back to the bikes.
Dianas Bath Road is steep. What had been a long fast descent on our way here was now a slow steep climb.
I was surprised how quickly Adam and Calum pedaled those big bikes upwards.
We crested the hill then enjoyed another brisk roll down to Byron Creek.
Byron Creek Road is beautiful. We followed it through thick green rainforest, under towering palms, and by mossy fallen logs.
The road gently climbed past fern-clad slopes towards the top of the range.
This was the final ascent of the day. It had been a short but tough ride.
The last section of our journey followed one more steep horse trail back down the hill to the cars.
We skidded downwards, rear tyres fishtailing over waterbars, backsides back as far as they could go, with grins from ear to ear.
Max elevation: 431 m
Min elevation: 107 m
Total climbing: 1262 m
Total descent: -1273 m
Average speed: 11.55 km/h
Total Time: 04:49:49
Note: Dianas Bath is on private property. The owner currently allows walk-in access only. Please treat it with respect, clean up any mess you make, take all litter with you, and be courteous towards anyone else who is using the waterhole.
We rode about 23 kilometres in almost five hours. During that time we climbed 1,050 metres in vertical elevation and I burned about 2,200 kcal.
We think this ride rates about 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. Those horse trails are steep. The one east of “A-Break” is probably best avoided.
Thanks Adam, Calum and Simon for another fun day on the bikes!