Getting to the Woronora Pipeline trail requires you to negotiate gates that are designed to keep motor bikes out and sort of let bikes through. Here are the gates on the trails that get you to The Needles, a picturesque swimming hole. Its a tricky area to get around and never go there if there is any hint of fire danger. (Maybe try Loftus MTB Tracks)
Sutherland Station to The Needles
Now you have seen the gates, here is the lowdown of the ride. If you ride from Sutherland Station, there are some really steep ascents and descents. The trail down from the Woronora Cemetery is terrific but go easy as a lot of locals use it for walking. First climb from Woronora is The Cresent. No cars are allowed on this but its a normal good road. Perfect for hill climbing for road bikes. The bigger descent is from Kelton Place. Its really steep but the road is pretty good bitumen till you get to the gate at the bottom. This gate is easy to get around. Then the road gets bumpy. When you get to the Needles there is a trickier gate to get around. The climb up Illawara Rd is quite technical and slippery when wet. Very steep. The trail up the closed off Woronora Rd is fine and their a a gap in the gate for push bikes only.
The Connection from Barden Ridge to The Needles
Riding (up in my case) a dilapidated and bumpy Old Illawarra Rd was fun but a bit risky. Not sure it was worth the effort and it got very bumpy. Going down could be more than tricky. Didn’t ride to Woronora Dam as I didn’t want a equipment failure on the bumpy track by myself and there were many more gates to work out. See more on Woronora here >>
Its the red eBike trail on the map and Old Illawarra Rd is in black
A safe way to get to Loftus from Sutherland Station is to ride through the cemetery and out the gate at the southern end. Then follow the back road down to the station. To get to Loftus fire tracks, cross the railway at the station and go down behind the Tram Station. Cross the highway using the bike verge and then look for a mtb path in the bush to the left. Head left from there to get to the fire tracks. Ride the fire tracks first to get your bearings before diving into the single tracks. Maybe ask the mtb riders you see which are the best. Watch out for other riders and if you are going uphill, let the downhiller go past. Read more about the area here