Mount Stromlo Forest is a large reserve on the slopes of Mount Stromlo. West of the mountain, many creeks run off undulating hills into the Murrumbidgee River, and have cut into the clay to form deep creek beds.
You are permitted to ride Mount Stromlo Forest on the management trails. This is generally true in all Canberra nature reserves with few exceptions. Mount Stromlo is famous for the network of “single tracks” on the east side at Stromlo Forest Park. These trails are specifically meant for mountain bikes but do not be surprised if you find walkers there too.
A hardtail mountain bike is recommended as maintenance of the management trails is poor. The management trails at Stromlo are better than most other Canberra nature reserves. The management trails are mostly gravel roads with a well-compacted base. Some fitness is required as the hills can be long and quite steep.
The name Mount Stromlo Forest is misleading. There is little natural forest as it was hit by a searing bush fire in 2003, which destroyed everything including the ANU observatory on the mountain peak.
The west side of the mountain is largely forgotten and much prettier than the more popular east side. The Brindabella Range is visible in the distance. Horse riding is permitted in the area and the paddocks are to the south on Uriarra Road. Most horse riders do not ride north of these paddocks.
Deep Creek, at the back of the mountain, is spectacular but very steep. There are many other surprises for those that like a rural landscape. This is a hot tip for the gravel grazer in Canberra, with its long hills, sweeping turns, and a well-compacted surface that is far better than found in most Canberra reserves. As it is quiet you will see many animals.