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.
My name is Mark McIntosh, but everyone calls me Macr.