Majura Pines to Kowen Forest

What you can do and cannot do on a bike in Canberra. This is a note of what belongs to good territory planning.

There is a long list of missing links: route and tracks that could be opened for recreational biking. We can thank the Canberra Centennial Trial for opening a lot of the ACT commonwealth land for recreational use. The ACT is landlocked and surrounded by private own land for large lengths of the border that generally prohibits trespassing. The only way to ride in NSW is on a road and, for reasons of personal safety, you better choose your road carefully and be off it before nightfall unless you have very good lighting. Recent deaths of ACT riders have illustrated this point. But there is another type of obstacle and going around it means adding large distances to the ride.

Map 1: Majura Pines to Kowen Forest

I always fancied riding from the Majura Pines parking area on Majura Parkway to Kowen Forest. Kowen Forest is known for mountain biking but out of the way, as it lies in the ACT but on the NSW border. It is unfortunately not possible as any such route would cross the Majura Military Training Area (not accessible to the public). This area has recently been updated on OpenStreetMap. I knew the Majura Military Training Area was a large, but I find the actual size surprising, nevertheless. Interestingly it includes a fair chunk of the Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve on the top ridge and easily visible from pretty much anywhere and is another one of those places that a person living in Canberra is not likely to have been.

This posted is part of an ongoing survey of semi-urban and semi-rural land that could be available for mountain bike and recreational use in Canberra.

Due to the abundance of commonwealth land in the ACT and the governments relative relax attitude to access such land (even in the national parks), means that Canberra is ideal for recreational biking if one only knew where. The absence of sign posting means good maps and navigation are prerequisite currently but that could be changed with little investment.

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