About the Royal Albany Trail
The Royal Albany Trail is generally grade 3-4 (red in UK) so it will be most enjoyed by riders with intermediate to advanced riding skills. Very fast riders might complete everything in under two hours, but most riders will take longer. If you find every piece of trail, it is just over 20 Km long (at the end of 2012), however regular users will find that it tends to grow from visit to visit.
There are a number of opportunities for shorter loops, and there are "out" or "exit" trails marked at various points. Generally "out" means the direction of the cellphone tower. But not always. Signage will be improved in due course, or so it is rumored.
Bush Rd entrance and parking
On Sundays only, a few vehicles can park in the driveway to the right of the photo, but keep clear of the gates which open outwards.
At other times, you may be able to park at the easternmost end of the student carpark. If it is full during term time the best bet is in the Bushlands subdivision on the other side of Bush Rd.
Chuck your bike over the gate, cross the stile and head up the 4WD track.
First trail start - top of Wasp
As you get to the part of the track where the paddocks end and the bush is on both sides, you will see a well-used entrance to a trail which runs down the fence line.
This is the route taken by the rider in the front page video, and is situated pretty much where the yellow biker is in the header image above.
It isn't the official start, but it's at the top of one of the longest hills and leads right into the heart of the trail network, so it will be the entrance of choice for impulsive, impatient, ADHD types who can't wait to get started. Like me.
Beware of the kamakazi Tui, which can be seen approaching from the right of the photo.
Second trail start - top of Zodi
About 30 meters further on, a pile of gravel over the fence marks the start of another trail. If you look closely at the middle of the photograph, you will see an arrow marking the track direction.
If you have never ridden single-track before, and have no idea what you are getting yourself in to, this is the place to start.
You should complete the loop, back to the top of Possum, in around 30 mins.
Main trail start - official beginning of Royal Route
If you want to do the track properly and start at the beginning, continue down the hill and up the other side towards the cellphone tower.
At the top of the hill, another pile of gravel and a gap in the fence marks the official start/finish. Note the keen trail builder with the wheelbarrow in the background. Since the photo was taken, a section of fence has been removed so you can ride through.
About two-thirds of the network is to the east of the tower; when you get back to it you'll find the start of Westy, which leads to the final third.
The "END" marked on the map where two trails join should be ignored.