Mountain Bikes

Best Mountain Bike Tracks In Canberra

Canberrans are action sports lovers and have turned the ACT into a paradise of adrenaline-fueled activities. The nation’s capital, and its surrounding areas, are home to several purpose-built mountain biking parks and trails for riders of any skill level.

Centenary Trail

The topography of this 145km loop is relatively benign, making it a good choice for families with children or those looking for a low-key ride. There is a mixture of bitumen in the urban areas, dirt fire trails, and singletrack. For Mountain Bikers the Northern Border and Murrumbidgee River segments will be of special interest.

Stromlo Forest Park

Man On His Bike At Stromlo Forest Park
Man On His Bike At Stromlo Forest Park

Mountain bikers will find that Stromlo is THE place to be in the ACT. Stromlo, a purpose-built MTB heaven, features a 50km network of singletracks for all levels. From double black diamonds (ultra-difficult) to green runs. Old Duffy descent is a good run for beginners.

The Scott 24-hour MTB Race, the National Championships and the World Championships have all been held at the Stromlo Forest Park. The park is located southwest of the city, off Uriarra Road. The trails are graded (blue double diamond, black, etc.). This park is suitable for all levels of ability and features around 80 km XC trails, a skills track, four cross tracks, and a World Cup-level DH course.

Get There: Stromlo Forest Park, located in Molonglo Valley is only 15 minutes away from Canberra’s CBD. The main entrance and care entrance is located on Dave Mclnnes Road, near Opperman Avenue. It can be accessed via John Gorton Drive. There is no direct train or bus service.

Tuggeranong Pines

This rocky pine forest, located in the southern part of the state, just a little bit beyond Tuggeranong, is a network of singletrack gravity trails that are both challenging and unknown. They are suitable for riders from intermediate to advanced. These tracks are not sanctioned by the government. So don’t go. Forget it.

Majura Pines

A Man Riding His Bike Majura Pines
A Man Riding His Bike Majura Pines

The 20km trail network is the oldest in Canberra and is maintained by a group of mountain bikers who are dedicated volunteers. The trails are divided into beginner, intermediate, and expert runs, as well as areas with dirt jumping. On weekends, however, many trails are clogged with horse riders, walkers and joggers.

The Majura Pines is one of the oldest and best-known mountain biking trails in Canberra. These trails were closed between 2012 and 2014. This was to allow for the construction of the Majura Parkway and the extensive thinning out of the trees. These works destroyed many old trails or made them very difficult to find.

Majura Pines Trail Alliance has contributed more than 1000 volunteer hours to building new trails and restoring old ones, as well as adding an excellent dirt jump park. Majura Pines has over 20km of marked and signposted trails.

Get There: You can park at Majura Road or Lime Kiln Rd.

Cotter Pines

Cotter Pines, a new addition to Canberra’s mountain biking scene that only began trail building in 2018, offers a variety of cross-country trails in an attractive location. The track is a bit more relaxed than Stromlo and it’s located a little farther out.

Bruce Ridge 

Bruce Ridge is located between the suburbs of Lyneham & Bruce, almost in the middle of Canberra. Friends of Bruce Ridge, a local MTB group, has been working hard to build a solid relationship with the ACT Government to formalise the trails in the nature reserve. FoBR has more information about Bruce Ridge.

Biker Riding His Bicycle Bruce Ridge
Biker Riding His Bicycle Bruce Ridge

Around 18 km of top-grade single track is available at the Ridge. This area is ideal for riders of all fitness levels, as there are few hills to climb. Most trails can easily be tackled by riders of beginner or intermediate skill levels. The trails are fun for all levels because they have a twisting and looping style. If you ride at full speed, the area will provide an intense ride for riders of advanced levels.

Get There: The most common way to reach the ridge is by bike. You can easily access the trails from the Belconnen Civic Bike Path that crosses the area. If you need to park your car, the best places are at the back of Canberra Stadium and off Dryandra Street in O’Connor.

Sparrow Hill East Kowen

Sparrow Hill MTB trails and East Kowen are both located in the Kowen Forest, 12km east of Queanbeyan. Two excellent riding areas are available with many marked trails and several loops from 7km to 27km.

Sparrow Hill has good grooming, is fast and wide, with moderate climbs, and is suitable for riders of all levels. Orchard Road is a bit rougher and has a lot more climbing. The longer loop is best for riders who are at least intermediate in fitness.

Trail faeries Alan & Paul have built and maintained trails to a high level in both areas.  Sparrow Hill trails have marked signs and can be found behind the parking area.

Get There: The carpark for both areas can be found on the Kings Highway, between Queanbeyan & Bungendore. It is approximately 12km away from the “Red Rooster Roundabout” Queanbeyan. At the sign for Kowen Forest, turn off the highway. Continue on this road for another km until you reach the car park.

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