The next Molonglo River crossing disappears

Molonglo River, Coombs, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

The Molonglo Valley floods regularly and one of the river level crossings has been washed away – again. This leaves the Molonglo with one less rideable crossing and fully intact cycle path. This might be the first, but it is not likely the last.

The Molonglo Valley featured a few river level crossings that were popular with walkers, gravel riders and mountain bikers. Unfortunately, without regular maintenance, none will survive the destructive force of floods. Now that the Molonglo River Reserve is under the control of ACT Environment, it will be stamped with their management style: the limited funding to be directed towards the preservation goal. The consequence is that the flood plain will return to its natural state. The features that are not natural will have only heritage value and are likely left as monuments of days gone by. In our opinion, the level crossing featured in this article has no future. Having said that, we’d love to be proven wrong.

Journey from Coombs

There was a time when there was a good river level crossing at the end of the Coombs Peninsular. This was a shortcut for gravel riders and mountain bikers to ride to the National Arboretum. Having crossed the river, this excellent gravel road climbed the hill with a minimal gradient and finally straightened out to run over a series of low ridges, through a pine forest, over a distance of about two kilometres to reach the Arboretum. This route was very fast, fun and family friendly and recommended for consideration of the CBR Cycle Route C10 Coombs to Civic.

The old gravel route was 6.6 km long. With the crossing lost, the detour is now almost 3 km further. The Molonglo River has few crossings, which makes the loss of any existing crossing most noticeable.

Coombs river level crossing. © Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Coombs to C5 gravel ride. Map: Leaflet, © Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Coombs to C5 gravel ride. Map: Leaflet, © Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Coombs to C5 by bike path. Map: Leaflet, © Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Coombs to C5 by bike path. Map: Leaflet, © Komoot, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

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