248 trail

Popran National Park

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Overview

248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.

Where
Popran National Park
Distance
2.5km one-way
Time suggested
2hrs
Grade
Medium
Please note
  • If you’re mountain biking and you need to cross over a walking track (like Hominy Creek walking track to Emerald Pool), please dismount and carry your bicycle or leave it and continue on foot.
  • 248 track starts at Ironbark picnic area at the end of Ironbark Road. This area has a small dirt carpark and it’s not recommended for low-clearance 2WD vehicles.
  • You’ll need to bring drinking water as Ironbark picnic area only has tank water for washing hands.

Aptly named 248 trail because it's 248m above sea level, this is a fantastic trail for mountain biking, horse riding and walking. The ride is relatively short so it’s a great one for kids. If you need a break along the way, there are areas to rest and admire Ironbark Creek and the surrounding forests.

Starting with dry open woodland, it soon transforms into a forest of ironbarks and imposing blue gums. Keep your eyes open for wildlife among the trees – you are bound to catch a glimpse of some of park’s many glossy black cockatoos, or even a honeyeater.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


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Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/cycling-trails/248-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about 248 trail.

Getting there and parking

To get there, from Sydney:

  • Take the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and exit at Calga onto Peats Ridge Road
  • After 13km, turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road.
  • Continue a further 8km, and turn left onto Ironbark Road.
  • The trail starts 300m from the picnic area off Mount Olive trail

From Newcastle:

  • Take the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and exit at Peats Ridge Road
  • After 10km, turn right onto George Downs Drive.
  • Turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road, continue a further 8km, and then turn left onto Ironbark Road.
  • The trail starts 300m from the picnic area off Mount Olive trail

Parking

Parking is available at the Ironbark picnic area.

Best times to visit

Weather conditions are usually quite moderate in Popran National Park. In summer, however, in summer the temperature can climb above 30C. With its pleasant climate and year-round beauty, any time is a good time to visit Popran National Park.

Spring

Go walking along the Emerald Pool Loop to see fantastic wildflower displays.

Summer

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring the edges of the southern section of the park by boat, canoe or kayak to discover hidden fishing spots.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

23°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

42.9°C

Winter temperature

Average

17°C and 22°C

Lowest recorded

0.1°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February and March

Driest month

June and July

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

230.2mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Cycling safety

Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Permitted

Horses

  • Horses are allowed on multi-use fire trails, such as 248 trail and Mount Olive trail.
  • Tethering posts for horses are available.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

248 trail is in Popran National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for wildlife

Rocky outcrop in the forest, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

The increasingly rare, untouched freshwater streams and mangroves of the Hawkesbury river are a sanctuary for the many animals that live there. If you're an avid birdwatcher, you might catch glimpses of glossy black cockatoos and masked owls in the park's tall forests and wet gullies. You are unlikely to see the nocturnal yellow-bellied glider during the day, but you might be lucky to hear their distinctive growling call, it's been recorded to have been heard up to 500m away.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.

Outdoor adventurer's playground

A person enjoying the view from a lookout, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

Popran National Park offers an immense range of opportunities for recreation in a beautiful Australian bushland and river setting. Offering visitors expansive landscapes and gorgeous water views, it is one of only a few parks on the Central Coast that caters for horse riding and mountain biking. Both the 248 trail and the Mount Olive trail can be explored by horse or by bike, and you can enjoy a picnic or swim to relax after your efforts.

  • 248 trail 248 trail is a popular horse riding and mountain biking track which meanders through Popran National Park in the NSW Central Coast hinterland.
  • Horse riding adventures in Popran National Park Saddle up with Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures for an unforgettable horseback tour along scenic bushland trails in Popran National Park, not far from Sydney.
  • Mount Olive lookout Mount Olive Lookout is only a short walk from Ironbark picnic area in Popran National Park on the central coast and offers scenic views over Popran Creek.

Rich Aboriginal heritage

A view through the trees and over the mountains, Popran National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

When you visit Popran National Park, you'll see evidence of 11,000 years of rich Aboriginal heritage. From the earth to the waterways, animals and plants, each of these holds a special place in the hearts of the custodians of this land, and the park proudly protects these significant places so we can celebrate Aboriginal culture for generations to come. The park protects a number of Aboriginal sites, like rock engravings, sandstone shelters and foreshore middens. If you find an axe grinding groove in the sandstone, you might be able to imagine how you'd sharpen your tool to catch a meal for your family.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

Plants

  • Gymea lily. Photo: Simone Cottrell

    Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa)

    The magnificent Gymea lily is one of the most unusual Australian native plants, found only along the coast and surrounding bushland of the Sydney Basin, from Newcastle to Wollongong. In spring this giant lily shoots out spectacular red flowers that can reach heights of 2-4m.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)