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What are your favourite Canberra walking trails?

By Lisa Martin - 21 May 2015 21

mount taylor

Canberra is blessed with a multitude of walking trails – some only minutes from the city centre offering spectacular views.

I’m a big fan of hiking and I’ve spent many an afternoon after work or weekend morning hiking the trails of the mountains around Canberra. I love being able to enjoy the great outdoors while also getting in some exercise – especially when it’s a beautiful sunny day.

Most of the time there aren’t many people around on my hikes so you get to enjoy the fresh air, views and quiet to yourself. You might even spot some wildlife.

One of my favourites is Gibraltrar Peak in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. I recently went up Mt Taylor (pictured) for the first time and really enjoyed the walk – spending a fair bit of time up there on a sunny Sunday morning going up a few of the trails. I went up there via the Waldock Street carpark but it looked like there was a lot of other trails from various locations on the southside. Looking at one of the information boards at the summit, I realised there’s a lot of mountains throughout the Canberra district that I have yet to try.

I’d like to know what is your favourite walking trail or hike in the Canberra district? What mountain should I hike next?

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
What are your favourite Canberra walking trails?
Pork Hunt 7:05 pm 24 May 15

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Molonglo Gorge. Hard but scenic. Try to go when the steam train is running on the other side. I have yet to make it to Blue Tiles but maybe next time. Also get thick ice on the river on frosty mornings.

rosscoact 9:49 pm 23 May 15

bikhet said :

I enjoy walking the streets, walking paths, and shared paths of the suburbs around where I live. Sort of like a flâneur. Gives a much better appreciation of the area than passing through in a car, or even on a bicycle. It’s particularly good in spring or autumn when you can appreciate what is going on in the gardens. Or after rain when you can smell the plants.

Not as adventurous as the trails around the hills and mountains, but it has it’s own attractions.

Great post, you made me smile and feel that I should slow down and appreciate stuff more.

bikhet 11:54 am 23 May 15

I enjoy walking the streets, walking paths, and shared paths of the suburbs around where I live. Sort of like a flâneur. Gives a much better appreciation of the area than passing through in a car, or even on a bicycle. It’s particularly good in spring or autumn when you can appreciate what is going on in the gardens. Or after rain when you can smell the plants.

Not as adventurous as the trails around the hills and mountains, but it has it’s own attractions.

Aragornerama 11:37 am 23 May 15

Camel’s Hump at Tidbinbilla. Not an easy walk, but spectacular scenery. There was a riotact story on it last year: http://the-riotact.com/camels-hump-almost-walk-review/122335.

wildturkeycanoe 6:44 am 23 May 15

Long ago I was camping at the Cotter camping ground and discovered a trail on the other side of the river. I followed it, with it’s neat little bridges and things to make access easier, to eventually find it led to a cave. Although the cave has been barred to prevent entry, I was surprised to find it even existed and the information board explained the history of the site and the area nicely. Apparently there are more caves as well, not accessible, and even old tracks from the mines visible. It’s a decent walk and very picturesque.

ghutch 3:52 pm 22 May 15

Gee whizz tuff one. Have alook at some of our walks
http://melbashed.com/?page_id=1924
Yes I like Mt Ainslie it gots heaps of options. If you can find the 2 quarries you know you made it walking around Mt Ainslie. For Mt Majura youve got to find the Majura Stone Wall. Black Mountain you have got to find its quarry. Red Hill youve got to find the Stone Circle

Ezy 1:37 pm 22 May 15

1967 said :

Get out there and enjoy those hills.Most other city folk in Australia would kill for something like this.
The tracks and roads on Waniassa hills are my local (and almost daily) outing.
I can be on the summit of Mt Waniassa and back home in an hour and forty, and get that sense of remoteness and spectacular views almost from the time I walk out the door.
Of course, just at the moment, it’s best not to be up on the hills between, say 5pm and 7am, and certainly not dressed in anything that could see you mistaken for a macropod……

But that’s another story.

Ha! Part of the reason for my ride last weekend was to do a bit of a scout for possible mid week camp spots (leave home at 9pm, ride to camp spot, set up camp with a nice whisky, sleep, make some cooked oats + camp coffee and continue into work the next day), Wanniassa Hills was high on the list of potential spots… until I saw the sign that alerted me of the shooting going on.

The scouting continues.

1967 1:09 pm 22 May 15

Get out there and enjoy those hills.Most other city folk in Australia would kill for something like this.
The tracks and roads on Waniassa hills are my local (and almost daily) outing.
I can be on the summit of Mt Waniassa and back home in an hour and forty, and get that sense of remoteness and spectacular views almost from the time I walk out the door.
Of course, just at the moment, it’s best not to be up on the hills between, say 5pm and 7am, and certainly not dressed in anything that could see you mistaken for a macropod……

But that’s another story.

ChrisinTurner 9:18 am 22 May 15

Yerrabi Track in Namadgi National Park is my favourite. Google for brochure.

KB1971 9:33 pm 21 May 15
KB1971 9:32 pm 21 May 15

If you want a challenge, Mt Rob Roy.

Also, so a search on this site, there was a link to a site called Johnny s walks or something similar. Quite a bit of detail on local walks.

John Moulis 10:48 am 21 May 15

I have written about the Mt Taylor walking trails on Wikipedia (uncredited): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Taylor_%28Australian_Capital_Territory%29

Ezy 10:28 am 21 May 15

Last saturday I was dropped off at Stromlo for a quick MTB ride and then I had to ride back to where I am living at the moment in Gilmore, I would say 95% of that ride back was on dirt trails.

– Cooleman Ridge walking trail has a lot of options leading off the main firetrail. You can even hop on and do a section of the Canberra Centenary Trail. Great views out to the Brindabellas can be had here.
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/494958/Cooleman-Ridge-Nature-Trail.pdf

– Mt Taylor, as mentioned is a gold mine for walking trails. Obviously you can head up the hill, but there are a number of smaller tracks around the base. More so closer to the Parkway side.

– Farrer Ridge, quite a small pocket of trails – the section close to Yamba Drive has some beautiful native gum trees. After or before you can grab a nice coffee at Fox and Bow at the Farrer shops.

– Isaacs Ridge, quite steep if you are wanting to hike to the top. You will get views of the Woden Valley but also out towards the airport etc. Some dense pine forest in parts will make you forget how close to civilisation you are.

– Wanniassa Hills, I haven’t explored too much of this area, but from what I have seen so far it is quite nice. A lot of rabbits though.
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/390604/cnpmapwanniassahills.pdf

Kambah Pool to Pine Island or Tuggeranong is a point to point walk, you can even extend it to Point Hut Crossing.

We aren’t short of places to get away from it all. It is beautiful out there.

Dame Canberra 9:50 am 21 May 15

Mount Taylor is a favourite of mine too.

I’m also a fan of the Gibraltar Peak trail, the Mount Painter track at the back of Cook (really great views of Canberra), the Cooleman Ridge fire trail along the top of Chapman and the trail from Kambah Pool to Pine Island (there’s a really nice point somewhere in the middle, Red Rocks Gorge, which is stunning).

I’ve been looking for some more walking trail inspiration recently, so hopefully this thread can provide a few new routes 🙂

tiliqua 9:24 am 21 May 15

I always enjoy the Square Rock walk in Namadgi NP (http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/404603/Square-Rock-accessible.pdf), but there’s so many many more.

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