Membership for the Mill Creek Trail Association is now open!
The Sutherland Shire of New South Wales has had a long history of mountain biking and has one of the largest mountain bike participants per LGA. Due to being wrapped and intertwined with National parks, this has been and is still an ongoing struggle and some may say, battle, for access to sanctioned mountain bike trails.
But there is one place that has grown and shone over the past several years thanks to its location and the mountain bike community, and that is the Mill Creek MTB Trails.
The folks at Mill Creek MTB Trails have created the Mill Creek Trail Association to act as a voice for mountain biking in the Sutherland Shire, it’s bigger than just the trails at Mill Creek and will take a “Shire wide” approach to all things MTB trails and access. By joining the club, your joining fee of $30 will go towards supplies for building and maintaining trails, volunteer trail days, and trail advocacy work for the Sutherland Shire.
A Brief History
Menai is a suburb in Southern Sydney, 29 kilometers south of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire, and was a very popular area to ride during the ’90s and 2000s. There were the usual cross country trails but also some legendary freeride features, of which these tales are told today around campfires by burly men with beards and plaid shirts with a far-off look in their eye… No, but seriously, they were legendary.
Unfortunately, the trails were shut down due to land management issues at the time. (Read a more comprehensive history here). Fortunately, a group of local riders worked tirelessly writing letters to relevant parties involved with the management of the land, and this eventually paid off. Through many negotiations, a new trail network was born and this has seen the return of mountain biking to Menai in the form of the Mill Creek MTB Trails.
To build and maintain the trails requires muscle and dedication, and this is how the Mill Creek Trail Building Crew formed. Originally formed by the Sutherland Shire Cycling Club, but has since grown to a larger community of riders who meet regularly to build and maintain the trails. This has provided a sense of trail ownership and land care that has seen the trails grow and flourish. So much so, the trails at Mill Creek experience incredible amounts of traffic and have become an iconic area for local riders as well as attracting riders from far afield.
To cut a long story short, the Mill Creek MTB Trails has a long history but is now at a very positive place with the landowners and management bodies. The trails are one of only a few in Sydney that are sanctioned and maintained regularly, offering a riding experience for beginners to intermediate riders. The Mill Creek MTB Trails have been a true success story for Sutherland Shire and are now progressing to the next level of trail care and development with the Mill Creek Trail Association, and this is where YOU can now get involved and become part of this growing community.
What is the Mill Creek Trail Association?
The MCTA (Mill Creek Trail Association) was created to be a voice for mountain biking in the Sutherland Shire, it’s bigger than just the trails at Mill Creek and will take a “Shire wide” approach to all things MTB trails and access. MCTA wants to see Mountain biking and trail access grow in the Shire and although what currently exists now is great, there is much more to offer the MTB community.
Why Join the MCTA CLub?
If you ride trails in the Sutherlandshire area and want to see more sanctioned trails, then joining the club will help provide a stronger voice for mountain biking in these areas. By joining the club, your joining fee ($30) will go towards supplies for building and maintaining trails, volunteer trail days, and the general running of the club. The club is run by volunteers so nobody is making a profit. The funds go entirely back into the upkeep and maintenance of the trail networks.
As a member, you will also receive invitations to attend members-only social rides and events, and also participate in the member’s annual survey (guiding what projects the club pursues), and be kept up to date with inside knowledge on local MTB projects and news.
To have a voice with landowners and stakeholders, MCTA needs member numbers, and to create more trails, funding is needed. As an incorporated club MCTA can accomplish both of these items with your support! If you ride the trails at Mill Creek, The Royal National park, or other areas of the Shire then MCTA needs you!
MCTA has chosen to adopt a financial model where members (or anyone) can contribute to specific larger projects as much or as little as they wish. Previous projects, like Hit The Turps, were largely crowdfunded and MCTA intend similar projects to be supported and delivered in the same way.
Put simply, the more members MCTA have, the better they can represent the entire local mountain biking community, and the better the collective chances are of partnering with landowners to deliver facilities for mountain biking in the Sutherland Shire.