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Best of Canberra callout – bike paths

By Gabrielle Kneipp - 9 February 2016 34

bicycle path

To continue with all things fitness related, let’s take a look at Canberra’s best bike path for Best of Canberra this week.

This town is the cycling capital of the nation with a great network of cycle paths and off-road trails. Whether it is recreational or used as a mode of transport, Canberrans love their cycling!

You probably have a few favourite trails, but if you’re new to Canberra or to cycling, you may be looking for ideas for where to head.

Pedal Power ACT includes some useful links to bike path maps of Canberra and the region, including the ACT Government’s Canberra and Queanbeyan Cycling and Walking map, here.

You can also find bike trails by scanning through those used regularly by cyclists using apps like Map My Ride (see a selection of most-used routes here).

There’s even a book, Cycling around Canberra by Bruce Ashley, that features suggested routes. It was published in 2011 but Ashley publishes updates on his website here.

Let me know your favourite track to turn the legs over in the comments below. I’ll visit the two most popular bike paths and decide the verdict in next week’s article.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Best of Canberra callout – bike paths
1
Ezy 12:29 pm
09 Feb 16
#

Dig this one.

So if a cycling buddy is visiting from interstate – it has to be the Lake Burley Griffin loop – it is flat, it gives riders a lot of choice to peel off for food or other places such as the Arboretum. If there was a section that I prefer, it’s from the Governor Generals to Weston Park. If they are craving more ‘roadie’ stuff, then the Cotter/Uriarra loop is a must.

Behind the Woden police station is a path – whilst not a long section, it runs parallel to storm drains. These storm drains showcase some brilliant street art (all legal) and is home to feral cats who bask in the sun in the morning.

Another small section is a path that runs parallel to Yarra Glen/Adelaide Ave – it circles the outskirts of Curtin. In autumn, all of the trees look amazing.

If off road is more your thing, the Northern section of the Centenary Trail is a must. Starting just behind The War Memorial, heading out to Hall via Watson, Mulligans Flat and One Tree Hill is brilliant. More off road stuff can be had around the base of Black Mountain – it’s hard to think you are in the middle of a city at times. Another good off road ride is the green belt from Cooleman Ridge, Mount Taylor, Farrer Ridge, Isaacs Ridge to the back of Mugga Lane then Red Hill.

A good resource to see what paths get used the most is via Strava. They put their data to good use to create ‘heat maps’ – check it out here: labs.strava.com/heatmap/

2
Kim F 12:32 pm
09 Feb 16
#

Would have to be the Lake Burley Griffin circuit including the Dam and the Jerra wetlands

3
Nilrem 4:18 pm
09 Feb 16
#

Love the Sullivan’s Creek path from Dickson Shops to the City. Through plenty of Canberra’s urban forest, quite a bit of shade, past a couple of wetlands in Lyneham, O’Connor (x2), lots of coffee/refreshment options, including the Sly Fox on the path near Macarthur Avenue. Lots of traffic light crossings and pedestrian crossings. Only downside are a three less than optimal crossings at Condamine, Masson and Moore Streets, all in Turner. Given there’s lots of motor traffic and bicycles at these (close to the city), consideration should be given to putting in lights or pedestrian crossings.

4
Spherical 9:13 pm
09 Feb 16
#

Favourite is the path between Dryandra St O’Connor and AIS.
It is the remnant of the old Weetangera Rd that used to wend its way from Civic to Holt district.
It roughly followed the west side of Sullivan’s creek, beyond O’Connor shops, Boronia Dr, Scrivener St, then over the ridge (where the cycle path now winds). Belconnen Way then through Higgins, Holt and along Stockdill Dr.
It’s not much but it is what little history we have.

5
Nilrem 8:31 am
10 Feb 16
#

Spherical said :

Favourite is the path between Dryandra St O’Connor and AIS.
It is the remnant of the old Weetangera Rd that used to wend its way from Civic to Holt district.
It roughly followed the west side of Sullivan’s creek, beyond O’Connor shops, Boronia Dr, Scrivener St, then over the ridge (where the cycle path now winds). Belconnen Way then through Higgins, Holt and along Stockdill Dr.
It’s not much but it is what little history we have.

I’m confused. There’s a trail called Old Weetangera Road that runs roughly parallel to Macarthur Avenue through Bruce Ridge, and then on the other side of Barry Drive continues across the back of Black Mountain Reserve. It’s sort of perpendicular to the bike path to the AIS.

6
Nilrem 8:43 am
10 Feb 16
#

Nilrem said :

Spherical said :

Favourite is the path between Dryandra St O’Connor and AIS.
It is the remnant of the old Weetangera Rd that used to wend its way from Civic to Holt district.
It roughly followed the west side of Sullivan’s creek, beyond O’Connor shops, Boronia Dr, Scrivener St, then over the ridge (where the cycle path now winds). Belconnen Way then through Higgins, Holt and along Stockdill Dr.
It’s not much but it is what little history we have.

I’m confused. There’s a trail called Old Weetangera Road that runs roughly parallel to Macarthur Avenue through Bruce Ridge, and then on the other side of Barry Drive continues across the back of Black Mountain Reserve. It’s sort of perpendicular to the bike path to the AIS.

http://au.geoview.info/old_weetangera_road,38132302w

7
Postalgeek 10:57 am
10 Feb 16
#

I’d say old Jerrabomberra Ave. It’s not a bike path but it serves well as one, and it allows me to bypass the Hindmarsh/Monaro interchange. Only problem is 50 meters of overgrown single track and a rocky hump separate it from Monaro Hwy. Fine for commuters and MTBs but not so practical for road bikes.

8
Holden Caulfield 10:57 am
10 Feb 16
#

I would happily second all three of the nominations so far, only adding to Nilrem’s suggestion that its quite enjoyable to keep following Sullivan’s Creek through to the ANU, rather than going into the city.

(Oh, I’ve never found those crossings in Turner to me a problem, but I’ve never ridden through there at peak traffic times.)

If you’re going by mountain bike, a nice introduction to a pretty easy trail is to start from the end of Stirling Avenue in Watson and follow the dirt trail through to Campbell, or the back of the Australian War Memorial. You take in Watson, Hackett, Dickson and Ainslie with nice views across the city interspersed along the way.

9
Avy 12:24 pm
10 Feb 16
#

I miss the pine forests around Scrivener dam! That path was so beautiful. Does anyone know if there are any photos of how it used to look?

10
Maya123 12:26 pm
10 Feb 16
#

Ezy said :

Dig this one.

Behind the Woden police station is a path – whilst not a long section, it runs parallel to storm drains. These storm drains showcase some brilliant street art (all legal) and is home to feral cats who bask in the sun in the morning.

Sadly it is now illegal to do street art here. I passed by it the other day and the great art has now been removed. But it the banners of this artwork thought they were going to get ‘lovely’ bare concrete they should have thought about that. There is now bad graffiti, even worse, boring (large tags mostly) that now cover the storm water walls.
Tell me, what was the idea behind removing good artwork and having it replaced by bad graffiti?

Re a good bike path, I would nominate the Majura Parkway bike path. I do see people parking their cars beside it and offloading bikes to ride it. Tourists? The bike way is lovely at present, but I have seen grass pushing its way thought its edges in a few places, so how the condition will last in the long term is a question. Unfortunately, Canberra paths are not usually built to the standard of roads, or paths I have seen in other parts of the world, and even other places in Australia.

11
Ezy 12:49 pm
10 Feb 16
#

I will add to this – if doing the Lake loop, duck into Black Mountain Peninsula and Weston Park – the main loop bypasses these areas, but they are both really nice to ride through.

12
Rollersk8r 3:01 pm
10 Feb 16
#

Strange as it sounds, Canberra bike paths have been a huge part of my life. They’re deeply ingrained in my childhood and teenage memories – and I still use them daily! In my younger teens we would basically challenge ourselves to ride as far as possible on bike paths. We’d ride from Weston Creek and would end up at the far ends of Tuggeranong, Woden, Belconnen and even Queanbeyan. And this was well before mobile phones. We didn’t even have any equipment to fix flat tyres!

Anyway. My absolute favourite ride a kid was the pine tree sections at Scrivener Dam and the GG’s house, which are sadly no longer there.

My current favourite – and also my daily commute – is from O’Connor, up through the AIS and through to Lake Ginninderra. The section from O’Connor up to the stadium is the scene of so many memorable times, particularly walking to games with Brumbies supporters in the early 2000s.

I also nominate Majura Parkway!! The road and path are both awesome for riding. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a road to nowhere. I found it a bit dicey riding on the road (at the very top of Horse Park Drive) so I could come down the hill. And correct me if I’m wrong – but your only option is to ride on Fairbairn Ave once you hit the airport end? However, it’s more than worth it for the vast areas of open space and sky!

13
Spherical 5:17 pm
10 Feb 16
#

Nilrem said :

Nilrem said :

Spherical said :

Favourite is the path between Dryandra St O’Connor and AIS.
It is the remnant of the old Weetangera Rd that used to wend its way from Civic to Holt district.
It roughly followed the west side of Sullivan’s creek, beyond O’Connor shops, Boronia Dr, Scrivener St, then over the ridge (where the cycle path now winds). Belconnen Way then through Higgins, Holt and along Stockdill Dr.
It’s not much but it is what little history we have.

I’m confused. There’s a trail called Old Weetangera Road that runs roughly parallel to Macarthur Avenue through Bruce Ridge, and then on the other side of Barry Drive continues across the back of Black Mountain Reserve. It’s sort of perpendicular to the bike path to the AIS.

http://au.geoview.info/old_weetangera_road,38132302w

Yeah,
This looks like someone attached the name to a a track.
In the 1960s I used to ride my bike along Weetangra Rd and turn off to Copppins Crossing.
Route through O’Connor is from someone who used Weetangra Rd in the 1930s-40s

14
joingler 7:17 pm
13 Feb 16
#

I’ve always enjoyed riding from Belconnen to Gungahlin. I’m not really sure why but perhaps nostalgia. It was the first path I rode when I first moved to Canberra and it was a ride I ended up doing very frequently as I was living at UC and working in Gungahlin at the time. The view of Lake Gininderra early on winter morning with the fog was always great.

The inner north path from Dickson shops through Lyneham, O’Connor and Turner is the best one to do as a family. Plenty of rest places and good places for lunch at either end. Umbagong District Park in Latham is also great to do as a family with some surprisingly good views and play areas.

For most adults, I’m guessing that the Lake Burley Griffin Circuit would be the path of choice in Canberra.

My personal favourite place to ride in Canberra is the Forde-Hall track but I think the requirement is for sealed pathways only.

15
wildturkeycanoe 8:09 am
14 Feb 16
#

Ezy said :

Dig this one.
If they are craving more ‘roadie’ stuff, then the Cotter/Uriarra loop is a must.

Please, please, please do not add to the Olympic wannabes that infest this road. It is narrow, with few overtaking lanes and the speed limit is between 80 and 100 with many blind corners. Putting bikes and cars together on such a road is asking for trouble and the only ones that will be hurt are the cyclists. That goes for Tharwa Road out to Namadgi National Park as well.
Think about it, you are going there for the scenery, right? What do think the tourists are doing when they drive out to the Cotter River on a Sunday morning? That’s right, they are gazing around at the beautiful hills, trees, cow paddocks and such. They may not have 100% of their focus on the road ahead and if a couple of bikes doing 20km/h pop into view at the last second as they round a bend, whilst another tourist with attention deficit syndrome comes the other way, it may quickly change the pleasant view into a horrendous scene from an apocalyptic zombie movie.
For a driver that loop can be something like this. Cruising speed….100km/h…happy, enjoying the Sunday cruise…oh, cyclists riding 3 abreast! Braaaaakes. 15km/h….no overtaking, oncoming vehicles….100m, 200m, 300m…no overtaking…turn the music up…overtake! Speed up again, then 500m later – cyclists. Braaaakes! 20km/h, no overtaking…100m, 200m, 500m, 1km. Overtake! Pedal to the metal, 70, 80, 90km/h. Cyclists again. Braaaakes! And so on and so forth for five more kilometers. Fuel consumption went from 9L/100km to 16L/100km. Relaxed and carefree demeanor turned to raging bull ready to kill. Blood pressure maxed out and patience worn through. Next bunch of cyclists didn’t get the same treatment, no slowing down, just crossed to other side of the road and planted it for 500m to get around the lot of ’em. Says cyclist riding along the center divider to his 2 mates next to him “Check out that idiot, what’s wrong with him?”
If you want countryside, there are Highways going north, south, east and west with room on the verge for cyclists so that cars can maintain heading and speed without the need to slow down or swerve into oncoming traffic.

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