Old Joe Hill has been on my bucket list of peaks to bag, since the first time that I rode in Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve. Today I finally bagged it.
This hill is probably the highlight of Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve due to it being the highest feature in the reserve (813m), whereby allowing you have the best views over the ACT and NSW, due to the trail running along the border.
The ascent is via dual vehicle wheel ruts and is not utilised very often, so is fairly rough. The trail climbs steadily from the turn-off from the Centenary trail and flattens out once it reaches the saddle Gooroo hill and Old Joe hill. Once you reach the saddle you traverse over to Old Joe and then the real climbing starts. It is fairly sustained climbing all the way up, with only one area that I can think of that gave you a small reprieve. In the last 100m, is where the pinch was and I must admit I walked this stretch of 20m. I could've done it, but just gave in.
I had to get a photo at the trig point as proof of making it to the top and then enjoyed the awesome views (albeit smoke reduced distances) and admired how steep the hill fell away Northwest.
The descent was a bone chattering experience on the fully rigid tourer, but I made it down safely and relatively quickly. Then I backtracked some more to explore another track that I hadn't ridden before. This turn-off took me around Sammy's hill and down to Horsepark Drive. There was a nice little open forest of Eucalypts, which you pass on the descent.
Soon, I was back onto Horsepark Drive and making my way to Old Well Station Road (known as Well Station Track). This dirt road takes you from Harrison to the Canberra showground. It them was a short ride back up a trail behind Watson and onto home, for a 27Km round trip.
Yep, it is official. This morning I did the last leg of my challenge to circumnavigate the Suburbs of ACT.
I had a reasonable ride. Nothing too fast, as I was feeling my legs from two days ago.
I saw some weird and wonderful wildlife spotted, including; Mangy Fox (Which I disturbed from its sleep), a totally black Rabbit and the obligatory Kangaroos. I nearly ran over the Fox, which had built a nest for itself, so it could hide and rest. Not sure if it was malting or dying, but felt sorry for it.
Low light of the trip was the cut in my tyre, which happen at, of all places Stromlo Forest Park Grrr. But wait I run tubeless, so why is it going down? Stopped at the start of Brittle gums and pumped it up and could hear the hissing. Dang, no Stans left in tyre. Well I could pull the tyre and insert a tube, but that is just silly. I know, pull the valve and pour in some more Stans! Did the trick, so pumped it up and off I went again.
On the final bit of bike track back to the car, I came across a cyclist named Nick. He was riding from Melbourne back to his home on the Central coast, via the Bicentennial National Trail. He was looking for some shops and a bike shop, so I pointed him to Lonsdale Street. Unfortunately I also pointed him to the wrong tunnel (Wrong in the sense, that I recommended that he ride on the South side of the lake). Oh well he gets the North side view, but still makes it to the same place.
View large map of the full circumnavigation. Use the magnifying glass to zoom in.
My name is Mark McIntosh, but everyone calls me Macr.