the dam wall in flood


Blue Mountains mtb rides
Lake Woodford


For many years most of Lake Woodford and the surrounding tracks have been catchment, closed to public access, ostensibly to protect our water supply. As a source of water, it was decommissioned in the 90s (I believe), and in 2009, access for walkers and bicycle riders was restored - but only to the firetrails, not to the dam itself.

What was previously catchment area is now legal for riding and walking - no dogs or motor vehicles. The legal stuff is all firetrail, and shown on maps currently hanging on some gates. You're still not allowed in the dam, which is a pity, because I reckon it would be tops on a hot summer's day. Nonetheless, it's a welcome improvement, and a big win for those campaigning for increased access.



new catchment

Warning: It's not entirely clear to me if we're allowed to ride the track beside the dam. The map shading suggests that some of the track is OK, and some isn't, but the text says "Walkers and cyclists can access the management track that links Winbourne Road and Clearview Parade." The only track shown joining these roads is the track that runs past the dam. Also, the map legend (see larger picture) shows the track colour as being OK to ride. I'm hoping that means the map isn't drawn that well, and the text is correct. However, you should check with the SCA or NPWS - just because I think it might be OK to ride doesn't mean it is. The SCA and NPWS web sites haven't helped me decide. (larger pic)

Update (10/09/09): I rode down Winbourne Rd to the "management track that links Winbourne Road and Clearview Parade" to investigate. There are no signs at any point indicating no access until you get to the water. Signs then appear approximately every 50m between the edge of the road and the dam, quite clearly indicating that it's the dam and its edges we must avoid.

I ride out here quite a bit now, and often meet walkers and other riders.



Lake Woodford - Mountview jumps

Now it's legal, I've started to explore, and have ridden Winbourne Rd to Clearview Pde, Clearview Pde to Woodford Ave, and Mountview Avenue to Woodford Avenue, plus a few other management tracks. There are more management tracks/firetrails than shown on the signs, and they are still outside of the new exclusion zone. As they're outside of the exclusion zone, and are firetrail, I assume they're OK to ride. I could well be wrong.

In the past we've gazed from the heights of Linden Ridge at the dam, pondering the track we could see beside the water, and only wonder what it would be like to ride. Signs warning of $11,000 fines put me off finding out.




It's possible to put together a few loops, but expect your ride to have some steep descents and some steep ascents, which you get to walk back up after enjoying the descents - I do, anyway. The dam's at 470m, the surrounding ridgetops are mostly over 600m. 131m lost in one rapid km, and soon after, 131m gained as I rode (OK, mostly walked) up a different one km hill.

Now we have access to these places, remember that we want to keep riding them. Ride responsibly, be aware of other users, stick to the track and take your bloody rubbish OUT with you!! All of it! Don't ruin it for everybody!

lake Woodford elevation chart
Lake Woodford elevation chart - Hazelbrook shops (Winbourne Rd) to Woodford (Woodford Ave)

3.5 fat hippies - quite a variety of firetrail to keep you entertained - would score more if we could swim!

one fat hippyone fat hippyone fat hippyone fat hippy

All rides are now rated in Fat Hippies - one means grab a slice of pizza and stay on the couch, two means not bad, three means well worth a ride, four means a great ride and five means stop looking at your computer, go ride it!

Distance as long as you like
Difficulty easy to very hard - may need to walk some uphills and downhills. Surfaces often loose and rocky.
Time variable
Trains Hazelbrook, Woodford
See also... the not secret tracks
Interest Lake Woodford, bushwalks, waterfalls,
Ridden January 2015
Reviewed January 2015

fAt  hIpPy productions
another fAt hIpPy production