Denman Prospect and Pipe Flat

Denman Prospect from Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

A gravel ride starting at Denman Prospect shops and riding towards the Murrumbidgee River after crossing Butters Bridge. Return along the same route. The ride is a maximum 17km return, 150m rise and mostly flat. Magnificent views of the Molonglo River along the route. Ideal as a family ride.

This ride is currently not possible due to the Butters Bridge closure.

Namarag Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve construction works have resulted in the closure of the Butters Bridge at its north end. Bridge access is possible from the south end (Denman Prospect) just for the view. 🙂

Getting there

Getting to the starting point at Denman Prospect shops is described in Denman Prospect base camp. The route is shown below and the GPX file can be downloaded from Komoot. If you have a smartphone, install Komoot directly on that.

The route

Pipe Flat runs within the Molonglo River Reserve. The Whitlam estate can close Pipe Flat at times but it is currently unlikely. There is a private property at the end of the road. The signs remind you in no uncertain terms not to enter and to go back. No locked gates will need to be crossed along the route. Kama is part of the Molonglo River Reserve and passed along the way. There are no locked gates between Pipe Flat and Kama but we cannot ride in Kama reserve.

Gravel ride - Denman Prospect and Pipe Flat, Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Gravel ride – Denman Prospect and Pipe Flat, Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Start the ride at Denman Prospect, seen below from Butters Bridge. Mount Stromlo can be seen behind Denman Prospect.

Denman Prospect and Mount Stromlo, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Denman Prospect and Mount Stromlo, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Butters Bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Butters Bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Pedestrian stile on the approach to Butters Bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Pedestrian stile on the approach to Butters Bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

Along the way, you will ride between a graveyard of boulders and dead trees. This is building material for the Namarag special nature reserve planned for this area.

“These residential estates will provide open space amenities such as parks and playgrounds, irrigated playing fields and picnic facilities. Namarag is not be an urban open space. Instead, the design of the reserve aims to reinstate natural reserve values with high quality, innovative and best practice landscape, restoration and preservation techniques.”

Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve (Namarag) Development Application
Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Tree graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

View of Butters Bridge as you approach Pipe Flat.

Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

Look back across the river to see the management trail that forms the tail end of the Denman Prospect forest loop.

Denman Prospect forest, Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Denman Prospect forest in the distance, Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Denman Prospect forest, Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Management trail cut into the hill, Denman Prospect forest, Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

From Butters Bridge turn left onto Pipe Flat. The turnoff is shown below. The road is well maintained as it is used by trucks at times for the construction of the Whitlam estate.

Pipe Flat continues right, left to Butters Bride, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Intersection Pipe Flat and the approach road to Butters Bridge. Pipe Flat continues right, left to Butters Bride, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Bolder graveyard, Butters Bridge, Molonglo River, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

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