Mountain bike route from Torrens to Belco?

longshanks 11 January 2011 8

Hey folks – I’m hoping for some help/advice from any keen and knowledgeable mountain bikers out there.

I live in Torrens and work near Belconnen mall. I’m trying to find a mountain bike route to work, avoiding roads and bike paths as much as possible. The first bit is easy – along Mt Taylor behind Torrens, Pearce and Chifley, down under Hindmarsh Drive, up and over Oakey Hill behind Lyons, then along the trails behind Curtin to the Cotter Road.

After that it gets complicated. Does anyone know if the crossing over the Molonglo River at coordinates -35.309627,149.069125 is publicly accessible? And what about the track under the Parkway at -35.300869,149.06669? And what about the roads/tracks through the aboretum?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.

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8 Responses to Mountain bike route from Torrens to Belco?
Aubergine Aubergine 12:09 am 12 Jan 11

Hi guys

-35.317822,149.052565 (Clo’s Crossing) is usable, despite being piled high on the upstream side with an amazingly dense mass of trees and rubbish. There is plenty of room to cross on the downstream side of the causeway after you clamber over one large tree trunk. Watch out for washaways on the gravel road on each end of the causeway. As post 6 says, ride west on the riverside bike path from the far end of the horse park off Cotter Rd, under the Parkway, then just at the corner with the sewer vent (Poo Corner) leave the path and descend a rocky track to a small bridge over Weston Creek, then cross Clo’s Crossing. On the north side head through the Arboretum on one of several options. Watch out for construction equipment Mon-Sat (technically it’s closed but if you’re sensible and wave to the workers they don’t seem to mind you passing through).

The underpass at -35.300869,149.06669 is indeed open too. You need to cross the river at the dam and then backtrack south along the fenceline between the Zoo and the Parkway. Halfway along the track dips steeply and crosses a drain that is now full of mud = get out and walk if you don’t want to kill yourself. Say hi to the smelly llamas as you ascend, turn right and go under the Parkway into the Arboretum. Many of the tracks in the forest between the Parkway, Zoo and river are now inaccessible as the Zoo has put up a fence for their expansion area.

I haven’t tried -35.309627,149.069125 recently but it should be OK now the river’s back to normal; lots of sand on the south side though. After crossing you may have to go left along the river and under the Parkway – the abovementioned Zoo fence may stop you getting to the underpass near the Zoo.

The concrete causeway at -35.31875,149.047206 used to be another good option but with the construction of the Molonglo sewer main it is currently inaccessible from the south side. Not for long I hope.

You should also still be able to ride north across the grassland from Cotter Road, just east of the Parkway interchange, to the bike track just east of the Molonglo Parkway bridge. Note the track visible at the north end at -35.314048,149.06434 – it shouldn’t be too hard to follow the fenceline to there.


s-s-a s-s-a 1:04 pm 11 Jan 11

Whoops I mean SHOULD be able to cross!

s-s-a s-s-a 12:33 pm 11 Jan 11

The first location you list is a publicly accessible crossing and you shouldn’t be able to cross provided that Scrivener isn’t releasing water. It is usually muddy on the southern side, but you can get across. The block of forest it leads into doesn’t have many easily mtb-able routes heading towards Belco tho…

Which brings me to the underpass at your 2nd location. Last time I tried riding around that area the underpass was blocked off. Not sure if totally, but substantially enough that I didn’t bother trying to get through. Also there is a block of forest adjacent to the southern boundary of the Aquarium that has been fenced off in the last year or so (for their extension I think).

In theory the Arboretum is closed for works from Monday to Saturday, however I have ridden thru occasionally and got nothing more than an occasional wave from work crews.

If the massive load of trees that washed down to Clo’s Crossing (-35.317822,149.052565) has been moved since the Dec floods, another option would be crossing to the western side of the Parkway either using the pedestrian access off Oakey Hill or Heysen St, then use a bit of bike path leading towards the river from Cotter Rd, there is a dirt track that heads off and down to the crossing. The crossing may not be rideable due to massive washout on the southern side in the floods, but if the trees have been removed then you would be able to get across into the Arboretum.

carnardly carnardly 9:06 am 11 Jan 11

you can go to cotter road, down through equestrian park in curtin (ie towards the woolshed), being courteous to horse riders (horses can spook at silent deadly things coming up behind them), and down to the river causeway where the horses cross (behind forest park riding school). Up the other side, and straight ahead into the Green Hills forest, and then turn right, or turn right, go down behind the zoo, and you’ll see an underpass under the tuggie parkway. You can turn right here and cruise through the arboretum. its a mostly uphill wander and you’ll pass the bottom of dairy farmers hill (known otherwise as the big lookout). keep going either past the himalayan cedar plantation, or up and over DF hill, and down gunbarrel hill to the cork plantation. That brings you out on william hovell drive kind of near where the old caswell drive used to be.

kambahkrawler kambahkrawler 9:06 am 11 Jan 11

Mate, ask the question on the mountain biking forum for Canberra –

Kramer Kramer 8:58 am 11 Jan 11

I reckon from Torrens you could head towards Kambah BMX track to start with some fun. Then follow the dirt trails parrallel to the parkway. There are some good tracks on either side. There is an interesting section on the West side of the Parkway where they have carved out rock/earth for future duplication of the road near Western Creek.

Given the earth works happening at Weston end of Stromlo, I would drop very briefly and carefully onto the Parkway at Cotter Road, cross the Molonglo, and then exit into the Arboretum ASAP. Crossing the molonglo at the ford near the zoo is an option, but probably a bit dodgy with the recent rains.

borizuka borizuka 8:50 am 11 Jan 11

Yeah, I think the way out of the Arboretum on the north the Tunnel is your best bet. (it’s near the cork oaks) To get in, I think with the road works you might have to go for a ride with a google map print out.

There is a nice bike path that runs through cook into belconnen too, better then riding on Bindubi st.

Ah, I remember how nice that place was before the fires got to it! Ah well. Atleat we have Stromlo, but it’s still so open and without nice trees.

PURSUTE PURSUTE 8:25 am 11 Jan 11

I use the Arboretum many times when I ride to SFP from home (Belconnen).

Unfortunately the access at the southern end is all screwed up by the works at and around Deaks Forrest. I’m not really sure at this stage what access is available, but i will be checking it out on Sunday. Once in, you can get across the Molonglo (at two places I think), and you can then follow the trails all the way to Glenloch Interchange. There is a tunnel under Parks Way at the north east corner of the Cork Plantation, which joins you directly on to the cycle path that leads over the hill at Bindubi Street to Belconnen.

For the most part it is a really nice ride. Great views etc and the firetrails are generally in good condition.

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