Bruce Ridge consists of Hardpack and loose (gravely) singletrack in a small area with flowing sections and minor technical challenges (mainly logs). With some loose surfaces and some climbing. All trails a two-way and downhill riders are to give way.
Climbs: Pretty much all shallow switchback climbs on hardpack with a few steeper sections and a bit of loose stuff. You can stay away from climbing the hill by sticking to the ‘outside’ tracks.
Descents: Mainly shallow grade sections with flowing turns and wide switchbacks. Some tighter, steeper turns on one or two sections. The odd corner is loose due to pea gravel or small stones.
Tricky bits: Negligible or avoidable – occasional log to roll over and loose corner to negotiate. Single tracks at Bruce Ridge have considerable overgrowth and eye protection should be worn to avoid injury. Keep an eye out for recently fallen trees.
Guided tours: there are regular guided tours on Wednesdays and Sundays. Find out more details at The Berm events http://www.theberm.com.au/events. A Bruce Ridge trail map has been posted and signposts have now been installed at all intersections.
There are no facilities at Bruce Ridge but local shops are only 10 minutes ride away at O’Connor (plug Sargood Street into your GPS or A to Z). You can park at the shops and ride up to the Dryandra St entrance to the Ridge (see below). Not a bad idea – All Bar Nun is a great pub to come back to.
Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve is situated on the other side of Belconnen Way to Black Mountain Reserve (which has no legal singletrack in it but you can ride on the fire trails). The area is bound by Belconnen Way (south), Gungahlin Drive (west & north), and the bike path that runs from Dryandra Street to Gungahlin Drive (east). There are a number of entrance points into the reserve. A hill with two water tanks on top serves as the centre of the reserve and is a handy reference point if you get lost – keep the hill on one side and you’ll eventually get back to where you started from.
There is only one track that is designated one way – the descent trail: Daviesia Down that starts from the Western water tower and leads to the gully next to Belconnen Way.
The trail network has now been mapped with a series of signposts and trailhead signs to inform users of the various loops and interconnected trails. These comprise mainly of and outside loop and an inner loop with a number of other loops marked on the signposts. While relatively small, but it is possible to string together a good 15-18km loop on the outside loop singletrack (loop number 1). It doesn’t matter if you have to repeat the odd bit as the whole trail network is fun. Getting lost is common for riders who haven’t been here before or for a while, but that is in terms of not knowing which track you’re on rather than not knowing how to get home. It is, of course, much easier if you go with someone who knows the area (look out for any rides posted on The Berm!)
Bruce Ridge is not a race venue, but some events may pass through the reserve. Bruce Ridge drains very well and is likely to be drier than any of Canberra’s other trail networks after rain. However, weather can even affect the rideability of some of Bruce Ridge’s tracks throughout the year.
Mountain Bike Riders Code
- Wear a helmet and ride under control. Out of control riders are a danger to themselves and other park users.
- Downhill riders give way to uphill riders.
- Respect the rights of others. Other users such as walkers and runners have the same rights as you, so let them go about their activities without interference.
- If you meet walkers, announce your presence either by calling out or ringing a bell. This should be done well in advance. Slow right down as you pass, giving them right of way.
- Do not ride in large groups. Small groups are more manageable.
- Avoid skidding in the corners. Skidding can lead to erosion by creating braking ruts.
- Keep your bike clean. This will prevent the spread of weeds and plant diseases and help maintain your bike.
- Avoid riding in wet, muddy conditions. The tracks you leave behind channel rain water and lead to erosion. If puddles extend across the trail, ride through them rather than widening the trail by going around.
- Do not take short cuts or form new trails as you will disturb the native vegetation and critters.
- Leave animals, plants and rocks where you find them; each has its own place in the delicate balance of nature.
- Please take all your rubbish home.
- Take some drinking water with you.
- Take a phone or whistle for emergencies.
- If you meet other mountain bike riders who are not following this code politely explain to them that only by keeping to its guidelines can this ensure that mountain bike riding remains an accepted recreational pursuit in bushland and forest areas.
- FOBR strongly recommends MTBA membership which provides insurance for riders.