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Four of Canberra's best mountain bike trails

Updated 21 Mar 2024

Get ready to explore four of the best mountain bike trails in Canberra

This quick guide to four of the capital’s favourite mountain bike spots will have you eager to get on your bike before you can shout “weekend.”

Mountain bike rider at Stromlo Forest Park

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA STROMLO FOREST PARK

Just 15 kilometres from the city centre, University of Canberra Stromlo Forest Park (UC Stromlo) has over 50 kilometres of cross-country riding tracks, as well as dirt jumps and dedicated trails that cater for all skill levels. Best of all, Dynamic Motivation offers a shuttle bus service that runs on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays to get you up the mountain again and again, leaving more time to enjoy the fun of the downhill ride. The forest is also home to a 2.5 kilometre running track, a 1.2 kilometre criterium cycling circuit and equestrian trails.

You can also hire a mountain bike to enjoy the ride. For everything you could possibly want to know about mountain biking in Canberra, from maps and courses to clinics and events, the team at the Canberra Off Road Cycling Club can help you out. 

How to get there

It’s a quick and easy drive from the city centre along the Tuggeranong Parkway, turning off on Cotter Road, and driving into the heart of the Molonglo Valley.

Afterwards

Grab some fuel at Handlebar cafe in the carpark at Stromlo Forest Park, get some pub grub alongside fun-and-games at The Alby, or enjoy a coffee at Fox and Bow Cafe.

What’s nearby?

Mount Stromlo Observatory, the National Arboretum Canberra, and the National Zoo & Aquarium.

Sunset at the entrance to Mercure Canberra Hotel with cars parked out front.

Shred Stromlo: Exclusive Mountain Biking & Accommodation Package

Mercure Canberra and Dynamic Motivation have partnered to bring you the ultimate package for your next mountain biking adventure in Canberra. An accommodation package loaded with savings and exclusive inclusions, so that when you book the Shred Stromlo package, you receive everything you need to take on the mountain!

After an adrenaline filled day shredding Stromlo, return to Mercure Canberra to relax and enjoy free secure parking, free secure bike storage, and breakfast daily.

BOOK NOW
Three kids riding bikes on an outdoor trail with trees in the background.

COTTER PINES

The thrilling trails of Cotter Pines connect a network of 11 tracks across 12 kilometres, offering a great mix of cross-country trails that suit all rider levels. The trails are mapped and sign-posted, but Trail Forks is your go-to for help finding your way around. Located northwest of the Canberra city centre, past Stromlo, Cotter Pines Mountain Bike Trails are the result of a collaborative effort between the volunteer-based trail builders Kowalski Brothers Trailworks, Iconic Trails, Pedal Power ACT, and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service.

Amidst the construction process, as of January 2024, certain sections of the Cotter Pines Mountain Bike Trails are closed until further notice, so be sure to plan ahead before your trip (as there is not much reception in this area) and adhere to all signage onsite.

How to get there

Cotter Pines is accessible off Brindabella Road. The most direct route is to drive to Cotter via Cotter Road and turn right onto Brindabella Road shortly after crossing the Cotter Bridge. 

Afterwards

Drop back down Brindabella Road at stop for post-ride barbecue at the Cotter Avenue Recreation Area or explore the Cotter Dam Discovery Trail on a guided tour, located adjacent to the Cotter Dam carpark.

What’s nearby?

Cotter Dam, Cotter River and Casuarina Sands. You’re on the doorstep of many-an-outdoor-adventure to be had!

Mountain bike riders admiring the view form One Tree Hill

CANBERRA CENTENARY TRAIL

The Canberra Centenary Trail is one big loop around the edge of Canberra that links natural and urban environments around the nation’s capital. A total of 145 kilometres, the trail is best experienced in sections so that you can stop off and explore the attractions across the reason. Some trail lengths include routes like Parliament House to Watson (16.5 km), Forde to Hall (20 km), Hall to Black Mountain (20 km), and Black Mountain to Stromlo Forest Park (20 km) – just to name a few.

The trail is enjoyed by cyclists, walkers, runners, and horse riders and it has various lengths broken up into hop-on-hop-off portions, so you can choose your ride length and dive right in!

How to get there

Check out the Centenary Trail maps for details of where you would like to start.

Afterwards

You will have earned your dinner (or lunch) tackling any length the trail. Check out Canberra’s best new eats and bars to satisfy every craving.

What’s nearby?

Everything! Plan the rest of your adventure today. 

MAJURA PINES

Majura Pines is home to 20 kilometres of mapped and sign-posted trails for mountain bike riders of all abilities. You’ll find everything from short beginner loops to cross country trails, flow trails,  double black diamond descents, pump tracks, and dirt jumps. If you’ve got kids still gaining confidence on bikes or are just starting out in the world of mountain biking, the Beginners Trails (The Flash and Crazy Crab Walk) are ideal places to start.

How to get there

There are two ways to get to Majura Pines – via the suburb of Hackett off Blue Metal Road or off the Majura Parkway using the Majura Winery turn off or Tambreet Street exit.

Afterwards

Need some fuel? Try Capital Brewing Co and Brodburger, Three Mills Bakery, or some Mount Majura Vineyard winery to take home and enjoy.

What’s nearby?

Treetops AdventureMount Majura VineyardThe Truffle FarmBlocHaus Bouldering, and the Canberra Outlet Centre.

Discover more with Trail Towns

Watch two biking legends discover Canberra's best mountain bike trails on Trail Towns, available to watch now on SBS On Demand. Discover their favourite paths at the National Arboretum Canberra, Majura Pines, Stromlo Forest Park, and more.

WHERE WILL YOUR BIKE TAKE YOU?

Our shuttle fleet

Dynamic Motivation Stromlo Shuttle Bus

Outdoors and nature experience guide cover

UNCOVER MORE GREAT OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Want to know the local's recommendations on the best lookouts, hikes, cycling trails and native animal spotting opportunities? This guide to the capital's great outdoors has you covered. 

Download Nature Lovers Guide
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