Government to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with ‘iconic’ trail network

Lachlan Roberts 28 March 2019 57

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman plans to install an “iconic trail network”. Photos: Supplied.

The ACT Government has revealed plans to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with an ‘iconic’ trail network that will traverse across the city.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman announced that planning and design work has begun on a new “iconic mountain bike trail network”, as he opened a new pump track out in Majura Pines on Wednesday morning (27 March).

The Government has called on Canberrans to help develop its plans for a territory-wide mountain bike trail, inviting people to send in their ideas for the trail or to attend workshops that will be held in the coming months.

Mr Gentleman said Canberra is home to a strong and growing mountain biking culture and plans to provide a unique diversity of trails that cater for everyone from professional mountain bike riders to first-time riders.

“The trail network will showcase our unique landscapes and improve connectivity between our mountain biking hubs,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This project is a key component of the ACT Government’s Cycle Tourism Strategy that has the ambition to establish Canberra as a cycling destination of choice.

“We’re inviting trail users to have their say in a series of community workshops that will help shape the concept plan and identify priority trails.”

The trail will be suitable for all mountain-bike riders, from beginners to professionals.

The ACT Government said they are currently undertaking stakeholder consultation to gather ideas and develop a draft ACT Mountain Bike Concept Plan, and expects a full public consultation period to be undertaken from August to December this year.

The plan is expected to be finalised early next year before the detailed trail design will start by June 2020 at the latest.

Mr Gentleman said he is interested in hearing from a range of individuals including trail users of all ages and recreation types, competitive cyclists, tourism and cycle businesses, Instagrammers, photographers, artists, cycle tourists and nature lovers.

“We have a strong and growing mountain biking culture in Canberra and are encouraging people to contribute to the further development of our trails network,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Sustainable trail design is a key objective of the project and we will consider the fragility of local ecosystems and the value of parks and reserves to all users.

To have your say and learn more about the ‘best of Canberra mountain bike experience’ project, click here.

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57 Responses to Government to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with ‘iconic’ trail network
Daryl Blain Daryl Blain 1:33 pm 30 Mar 19

Renee Ker Richie Bates both Brisbane and now Canberra are doing a mtb strategy. IIllawarra Escarpment has 35k of trails fast tracked, and Creswick Victoria have 100k planned. All of these places are following the example that has been set by Derby, with a small investment, bringing tourists in from all over the country. We have a much longer mtb pedigree and better climate than all of these places.

Leon Arundell Leon Arundell 10:47 am 30 Mar 19

How much is an ACT government “plan” worth?
In 2012, ACT Labor committed to 10.5% of journeys to work by public transport in 2016, and 16% in 2026.
The 2016 census recorded only 8.3% – up from 7.8% in 2011.

Harold Schranz Harold Schranz 10:49 pm 29 Mar 19

Wow. After decimating some of the best part of Majura with the Parkway ...

Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:30 pm 29 Mar 19

How much will the people who will use this contribute to the establishment cost and maintenance of this exclusive for mountain bikes, tax-payer funded project?

My guess is the same as the number of people that reply to my post to confirm it will be zero.

Very few people participate in this “sport” so the tourism factor will not really help Canberra’s economy. Anyone who says it will please put forward the cost benefit analysis t prove it.

    Simon Kean Simon Kean 11:46 am 31 Mar 19

    Most mountain bikers are rate payers who ready subsidise a whole range of other sports and activities they may not partake in. That is the nature of being part of a society that caters for it’s members. Great to see mountain bikers are beginning to get more equitable treatment.

    Most riders are in the 25-55 age group and on average have higher incomes. They also are more likely to travel and spend more per day and stay longer than an average tourist which is why tourism organisations globally are spending more and more on mountain bikers.

    More people mountain bike than many other sports considered mainstream by the old guard. Mountain biking is mainstream.

    If you Google you can find endless studies confirming everything I have just said that have been produced in the last decade. Tasmania, Victoria, New Zealand, Canada and USA have some good data.

Monica Lindemann Monica Lindemann 6:21 pm 29 Mar 19

Great news!

Elvis Goh Elvis Goh 4:00 pm 29 Mar 19

Matt Koerber thought you would be an ideal consultant

Lorraine Welling Lorraine Welling 8:43 am 29 Mar 19

While walking on the path from Hall to One Tree Hill yesterday my group was almost knocked down by a speeding mountain biker. No bell, no warning, just a sense of arrogance and intention that we, all in our 60’s should get out of her way! Not uncommon, either on this path or on any path in Canberra. This path that goes all the way to Bonner SHOULD NOT allow bikes. In many places it is narrow and these Lycra-clad speedsters appear from nowhere and refuse to slow down, expecting pedestrians to get out of their way.

My brother, also in his late sixties, was hit by a speedster on the path around Lake Tuggeranong. He suffered four broken ribs, one of which ended up perilously close to his spinal cord, a punctured lung, bruised lobe and a pneumothorax! I am fed up with hearing about laws to protect cyclists - we also need, urgently, laws to protect pedestrians. Starting with a requirement for cyclists to give proper warning when approaching a pedestrian and a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT for them to slow down to 5kmh when passing pedestrians or recreational bike riders eg a family on a bike ride. If they want a bike trail from Hall to Bonner build them a separate one!

    Tim Coleman Tim Coleman 9:23 am 29 Mar 19

    Is that what you do in your car every time you pass a cyclist? Blast your horn and slow down to 5km/h?

    Lorraine Welling Lorraine Welling 10:15 am 29 Mar 19

    Tim Coleman no I give them heaps of room as I pass! Because I am responsible- are you?

    Locky Gould Locky Gould 4:43 pm 29 Mar 19

    Lorraine Welling that really sucks and I have totally been there. However I think you need to be careful about brushing all cyclists with the same brush. Because you have had a traumatic incident I understand that naturally you will naturally move into a fear state as a form of protection, but this just limits your perception. Cycling culture is important for the region and it is important to work towards being more inclusive rather than exclusive

Kingsley Newman Kingsley Newman 8:39 am 29 Mar 19

Duane Toohey you're a professor of bikiology right?

    Duanosghali Twoee Duanosghali Twoee 9:28 am 29 Mar 19

    Kingsley Newman not wizard level.. what's on your mind?

Thommo Tomtom Thommo Tomtom 7:21 am 29 Mar 19

Murray Farrell get among it!!!

Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 10:45 pm 28 Mar 19

Thredbo is better

Melissa Flanigan Melissa Flanigan 10:29 pm 28 Mar 19

Ryan Walsch .. this would be your dream come true !!!

Jane Lloyd Jane Lloyd 9:48 pm 28 Mar 19

Thomas and Jodie - you have to visit now!!

    Jodie Walters Jodie Walters 5:01 am 29 Mar 19

    Jane Lloyd would love to see your smiling face anytime 😘🤗☺️xxxx

Kris Johnston Kris Johnston 9:36 pm 28 Mar 19

Great idea. Excited to hear the feedback

Sarah Dee Sarah Dee 9:11 pm 28 Mar 19

More ACT money thrown at bike enthusiasts

    Greg Peterson Greg Peterson 9:56 pm 28 Mar 19

    Sarah Powles it'll bring a good return.

    Dee Sis Dee Sis 7:42 am 29 Mar 19

    Sarah Powles have a look at how it has turned life around for aces like Derby in Tasmania. It brings tourism. 🤘

    Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson 9:14 pm 29 Mar 19

    Dee Sis too true however if this plan does not factor in some manner of strong focus toward gravity or gravity XC riding similar to derby/ blue tier then people won’t come. We already have some excellent mtb venues and the already amazing centenary trail ringing Canberra. Putting another XC traverse across Canberra seems like duplication and will benefit those of us who live here rather than those who might travel here to ride. That said it is great to see investment and thought being done!

Emily Nguyen Emily Nguyen 7:55 pm 28 Mar 19

Lap Nguyen this would be awesome! 😎

Bob Rycroft Bob Rycroft 7:40 pm 28 Mar 19

Stand up for your rights good for one good for all

Leon Kotzur Leon Kotzur 6:58 pm 28 Mar 19

Nick Hepple when can you ride?

    Nick Hepple Nick Hepple 7:07 pm 28 Mar 19

    Leon Kotzur when can you get a hold of a bike?

    Nick Hepple Nick Hepple 7:08 pm 28 Mar 19

    I can ride now, have been out a couple of time to test it out, felt good

    Leon Kotzur Leon Kotzur 7:15 pm 28 Mar 19

    Nick Hepple brillant. No idea. I’ll try find a good one as aren’t any good ones out home!

Anna Gurnhill Anna Gurnhill 5:47 pm 28 Mar 19

Charles Anthony Christo others.....

"expects a full public consultation period to be undertaken from August to December this year.

The plan is expected to be finalised early next year before the detailed trail design will start by June 2020 at the latest.

Mr Gentleman said he is interested in hearing from a range of individuals including trail users of all ages and recreation types, competitive cyclists, tourism and cycle businesses, Instagrammers, photographers, artists, cycle tourists and nature lovers."

You can participate in one or more of the following ways:

Send your ideas for an iconic Canberra mountain bike trail network to us.

Request an invite to attend one of several stakeholder workshops happening in 2019 to develop the draft concepts.

To contact our team, email

Thanks Jasmine!!

Eric Kordt Eric Kordt 5:21 pm 28 Mar 19

Erik your chance to make Canberra’s bike tracks awesome as well

Reuben Viles Reuben Viles 5:02 pm 28 Mar 19

With the amount of money that has been spent at Stromlo and Majura, Canberra SHOULD already have this. Both of those places are pretty average at best by comparison to riding destinations that mountain bikers love. Canberra had it's chance 10 years ago and squandered it...

    Andrew Remely Andrew Remely 5:17 pm 28 Mar 19

    The problem is the way Stromlo is managed. There is no board and direct involvement from the MTB community. So have flimflam.

    Reuben Viles Reuben Viles 5:27 pm 28 Mar 19

    Andrew Remely yeah fair call. I travel to canberra for work once a month for about a week and always bring my bike. I'm now of the opinion that stromlo sucks. No maintenance of trails, poor directional flow at most trail junctions. Complete lack of trail maps once you leave the car park. Most people ride the same loop, if you try and deviate from that you end up riding fire road to link back to anything. Don't even get me started on the state of Vapour Trail! My local trails are illegal yet are maintained by many people and are in great shape. Nobody in canberra thinks to donate their own time because what you have has been given to you, not hard earned.

    Alan Vogt Alan Vogt 7:07 pm 28 Mar 19

    Reuben, I think you'll find the amount invested at Stromlo was not all that large and the spend on Majura was tiny in contrast to what is invested elsewhere. I actually think they got a great result for the amount spent at Majura, though I agree that Stromlo is below par compared to destinations elsewhere in Australia and overseas. Stromlo and Majura represent a small part of what we have and of what we could have across the ACT.

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