Mount Stromlo to the Murrumbidgee River

A rideable corridor to the Murrumbidgee River came up again with the release of “The best of Canberra mountain bike experience” report this week. Here is the proposed route. 

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Murrumbidgee River flood: Ingledene Forest

South of Tharwa, the level crossing on the Murrumbidgee River was impassable. With a break in the rain, canberra.bike visited Ingledene Forest. The Gudgenby River was also in flood but can be cross on Smiths Road over a high-level bridge. The conditions are muddy and wet underfoot.

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Ingledene Forest loop

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.

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Denman Prospect and Stromlo West

A gravel ride from Denman Prospect shops, to Stromlo Forest and across its western slopes. The route winds its way over hills and across creeks, with uninterrupted views of the Murrumbidgee Valley and the Brindabella Range. The ride is 25.7km, a 500m rise, hilly, and with no locked gates. A mountain bike is recommended.

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Tharwa: a small country town in ACT

Tharwa is a great idea for a day out and there is a lot to see in a small area. You could consider riding there south through Canberra, or if you are keen then try the loop ride from Stromlo Forest Park south through the suburbs to Tharwa, where you cross the Murrumbidgee River and return to Stromlo Forest Park on the other side of the river via Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Cotter.

The Namadgi National Park, including the visitors centre, and Lanyon Homestead are currently closed (as of 6/6/2020). Please check before departure.

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Molonglo and Murrumbidgee views: Stockdill Drive

A sunset ride on Stockdill Drive is one of the best things you can do. The road suddenly ends, which discourages traffic. Apart from a farm or two, nobody lives there. You will pass the Woodstock Nature Reserve and Shepherd Lookout along the way – a lot to see in just 3.4 km.

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West of Stromlo: ride on the far side

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.

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Federal environment law and cycling in Canberra

The new Molonglo Valley estate development has stumbled over Federal environment law. Finally, the hard work is done. The Molonglo Valley will be two developments on either side of the Molonglo. Crossing the valley is difficult, not least for the cyclist.

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