West ACT: riding on gravel

It has been said there is good riding in the ACT. Namadgi National Park and behind that Brindabella National Park are close to Canberra. That makes them interesting, however, none of the rides are short. The ACT Environment website provides information about the management trails.

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Piccadilly Circus calling

There is a good gravel, publicly accessible road there, as well as a nice picnic area with facilities close by. In winter you may find snow. Paradise and bliss! It is one of the most civilised, high up places in the ACT at the top of a 600m continuous rise. What is not to like?

Admittedly, fitness may be a problem. The round trip from Stromlo Forest Park is around 73km and it’s a total climb of around 1700m. Here is a little information about getting there.

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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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Namadgi National Park: website update

The Namadgi National Park website of the ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, for short ACT Environment, has been updated. They have even provided a rather nice map and updated the walks page, too.

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Popular walking trails re-open in Namadgi – Canberra CityNews

Namadgi National Park has not been mentioned much yet on canberra.bike. After the fires, it has remained closed. The northern and southern tips of the park are now opening again.

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Mount Rob Roy: alone but not forgotten

Mount Tennent, Honeysuckle Creek and Mount Rob Roy belong to the great hill climbs in the south. Mount Tennent, south of Tharwa, is usually walked but it can be run. Honeysuckle Creek is a popular road ride (the road is currently closed), and Mount Rob Roy a gravel ascent on Banks Steep Track management trail.

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Lanyon to Apollo Road: green and lush

Leave Canberra and follow the Tharwa Drive south to the Tharwa Bridge. Mount Rob Roy is to the east and Mount Tennent directly ahead. Continue to the Namadgi National Park and Visitors Centre. The Namadgi National Park is currently closed but it is a pretty trip to Apollo Road. There is no bushfire damage and, after the rains, it is green and lush.

Lanyon Homestead is now open again after the COVID-19 closure.

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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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ACT Environment’s advice to cyclists

The ACT Environment is very accomodating. I think it’s worth noting their advice to cyclists. I will highlight interesting information from ACT Environment in the coming weeks. 

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