Lithgow is surrounded by a variety of excellent mountain biking opportunities.
From the completion level trails maintained by the Central Tablelands Mountain Bike Club to meandering single trail, remote wilderness epics and pleasant fire trail outings.
Lithgow is encircled by National Parks (NP), Wilderness Zones (WZ), State Forest (SF) and Crown land (CL). Each of these bodies have different rules and management systems set up to deal with off road cycling which should be double check before heading out.
Being nestled in between other great riding areas like Blue Mountains and Central West makes Lithgow the perfect hub for an extended trip.
Central Tablelands Mountain Bike Club maintains a state level Downhill trail with in Hassan’s Walls Reserve and a popular Cross Country trail within the Lidsdale State forest at Rydal.
They have a healthy race scene with the laid back attitude hacking back to the early days of the sport. For more information on the club, trails or route option in the area visit www.ctmbc.net
Hassans Walls Reserve (CL)
With stunning lookouts Hassan’s Wall Reserve offers both fire trail and single track riding. The main road up is a popular fitness route for walkers, joggers and riders alike. There are numerous trails in the area that skirt off the main roads which offer a variety of challenges as they descend back into the valley. The Central Tablelands MBC’s Pony Xpress (DH) trail is found within the reserve. Please check with the club for restrictions on using this trail. https://www.facebook.com/CentraltablelandsMTB
Bicentennial National Trail (NP, SF, CL)
The Bicentennial National Trail is Australia’s premier long distance, multi-use recreational trekking route, stretching an extraordinary 5,330 kilometres from Cooktown in tropical far north Queensland to Healesville in Victoria.
The National Trail was originally conceived as a route for the long distance horse trekker but is now enjoyed by cyclists and hikers as well.
Section 9 passes through our area and offers some great riding long the Great Dividing Range through Wollemi National Park, Lidsdale and Hampton State Forests and into the Blue Mountains National Park.
Capertee Valley (NP, SF, CL)
With stunning views of Wollemi and Gardens of Stone National Park the Capertee area offers rides around the Blackmans Crown and Pearson’s Lookout as well as down in the valley itself.
Long Swamp/Ben Bullen State Forests/ Gardens of Stone (SF, NP)
Pleasant fire trails and some steeper tracks with excellent views and stunning rock formations. Plenty to explore though navigational skills are required
Newnes Plateau (SF, NP, WZ, CL)
Newnes Plateau offers some excellent opportunities for cross country, all mountain and adventure riding on both single trail and fire trail. The area is quiet extensive and mobile phone coverage is poor. Navigational skills and topographic maps are a must for the adventurous heading out to the more remote areas.
Longer rides include
- Glow Worm Tunnel Road/Coach Road to Newnes (55km one way or approximately 90km for the round trip out through Wallerawang) from Lithgow or the same ride along the Wolgan Valley Wilderness Railway Trail from Clarence:
- Mayingu Marragu (Blackfellow’s Hands) and Sunnyside Ridge fire trails are also popular options for rides.
Logging and mining operations take place within the area and it is popular with 4WDers and motorbike riders so care is needed around the busier sections.
Sunny Corner is home to the annual motor bike rally and thus has plenty of opportunity for the adventurous mountain biker to get out and explore.
Rydal (SF, NP, CL)
The Central Tablelands Mountain Bike Club run XC and Endurance races on the trail network which stretches out north into the Lidsdale State Forest from Rydal Show Ground. A series of relatively easy loops spread out beside the Bicentennial National Trail. These can be linked together in various ways to create a longer loop.
For longer more challenging rides a network of fire trails and 4×4 tracks lead out through the state forest which can lead down to the Cox’s River and back waters of Lake Lyell or across towards Mt Walker and the Marrangaroo National Park.
Hartley/Mt York (CL)
The convict roads linking the Mt York peninsula to Hartley Vale are currently maintained by Blue Mountains City Council as multiuse trails. Built in the 1800 and early 1900s the road were obviously never intended as cycles route, however they have over gown and evolved into fantastic mountain bike trail with natural flow and plenty of challenges.
Berghoffer’s Pass offers a pleasant ascent/descent with stunning views.
Lawson’s Long Alley has some pleasant single trail winding along the public easement within private property before the sharp climb to the top.
Cox’s Rd is steep and technical and a favoured descent among more serious mountain bikers.
Lockyer’s Trail is a true mountain bike trail offering a bit of everything from tough pinches, sweeping single trail and technical riding.
Reasonable technical abilities and fitness levels required to link the trails into a longer loop.
Water Works Gully
A pleasant ride through a shady gully, the old cobbled causeways through the water crossing can be tricky but otherwise a straightforward ride.
Many of the smaller rural villages offer nice riding along quiet dirt roads through pleasant scenery where you can break up your ride with a good old fashioned pub counter lunch.