Ingledene Forest loop

Locked gate on Sunshine Road, Ingledene Forest, ACT.

ACT Forest likes mountain bikes and radiata pines. You may have ridden Kowen Forest, Majura Pines or the tracks behind the zoo. The Ingledene Forest is being planted south of Tharwa and we can ride there, too.

Both Sunshine Road and Angle Crossing Road were closed on 16 August 2020 due to flooding. Smiths Road has a good bridge.

ACT Forest

“The 200,000th tree has been planted in the first stage of the return of the Ingledene Forest, south of Tharwa… The ACT government has earmarked $1.73 million for the project.. Thousands of radiata pine seedlings were germinated and planted as part of a two-year program which will cover 490 hectares with something like 500,000 trees.”

Green shoots at freshest ACT forest as 200,000th tree planted, Steve Evans, The Canberra Times, 14/8/2020, accessed 16/8/2020
Cattle grate, Smiths Road intersection, ACT.
Cattle grate, Smiths Road, ACT.

Getting there

Tharwa does not have a bus service but there is a bus to Banks (Bus 80) from Tuggeranong. From there it is a 7.7km flat run to the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre is only 4.4km from the loop with a bit of backtracking.

Smiths Road crosses Gudgenby River over a new high-level bridge. Sunshine Road also crosses the Gudgenby River but over a low-level crossing which floods. The area can be approached from the Monaro Highway via Angle Crossing Road. The low-level crossing over the Murrumbidgee River also floods. Both Sunshine Road and Angle Crossing Road were closed on 16 August 2020 due to flooding.

Gudgenby River, Smiths Road bridge, Ingledene Forest, ACT.
Gudgenby River, Smiths Road bridge, Ingledene Forest, ACT.

The area

Ingledene Forest, ACT, is approached from Smiths Road north of the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre. Ingledene Forest lies between Gudgenby River and Reedy Creek, beside Mount Tennent, south of Tharwa. Smiths Road is a public gravel road that runs through the middle of the Ingledene Forest to the Murrumbidgee River.

The loop can be viewed on OpenStreetMap. Mount Tennent 1375 m (left), visitor centre (top), Smiths Road (yellow).
Gigerline Boundary Fire Trail runs beside Reedy Creek, Ingledene Forest
Gigerline Boundary Fire Trail runs beside Reedy Creek, Ingledene Forest

The route

There is a gravel loop around the edge of Ingledene Forest. The roads in the area are basic two spur, dirt roads. In low areas, they can get muddy after rain. The Ingledene Forest loop is only 11.8km and flat (climb 282m). The fire trails are gated on the public roads to keep cars out. As the gates are chained and locked, you will need to lift your bike over the gate. There are no step throughs either, but the gates will not be too difficult to climb over. Stile for walkers and bikes would be great but nobody thinks of such things.

Smiths Road, west gate looking east, Ingledene Forest, ACT.
Smiths Road, west gate looking east, Ingledene Forest, ACT.

Gigerline Boundary Fire Trail runs beside Reedy Creek and a stone’s throw from Murrumbidgee River, along the eastern edge of Ingledene Forest. This trail ends in the south on Angle Crossing Road/Smiths Road intersection. Angle Crossing Road is one of the few Murrumbidgee River crossing points into the ACT.

Locked gate on Sunshine Road, Ingledene Forest, ACT.
Locked gate on Sunshine Road, Ingledene Forest, ACT.

Another unnamed fire trail runs along the western edge of the forest, starting at Sunshine Road, just up from the s Road intersection. This trail ends on Smith Road in the north, pretty much where Gigerline Boundary Fire Trail begins.

Sign at the entrance, Namadgi Visitor Centre, Namadgi National Park, ACT, after the fires in 2020
Sign at the entrance, Namadgi Visitor Centre, Namadgi National Park, ACT, after the fires in 2020

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s