Sparrow Hill easily lives up to its reputation as a mountain biking venue that has tracks and conditions to suit everybody.
For the fastest of riders, the slowest, the most and least skilled, and for the most family friendly mountain biking in Canberra.
Parents can feel confident bringing their youngsters to Sparrow. The parking area is huge and open, the tracks well formed and maintained, with many kilometres of shady forest riding without dangerous obstacles or difficult riding. There are maps on this website, professional and accurate in detail, and you can print off a perfect A4 copy to take with you, or download it to your phone to access it from the tracks.
If you have keen little ones you want to get started, get them used to riding on dirt along the safe fire-roads near the car park. When they’re ready, the single-track is waiting, and it usually doesn’t take long for them to master riding on the narrow track.
From the car park there is a particularly family friendly Kid Stuff loop of 5km that is a great introduction to the thrills of riding forest single-track.
And before you know it, the youngsters are looking for more excitement on the longer tracks, most of which were designed around the land contours, avoiding steep climbs.
Out in the forest, it’s not unusual to encounter parents with two or three juniors, riding mother duck and ducklings style.
A mother and little girl arrived back at the car park looking quite fresh, only to report that they’d been right over the back past the dams via Lickety Split and Rigour Mortis, and returned on the fire-road. Wasn’t the first time, either. The smiling little charmer was eight!
Welcome to Sparrow Hill
For fast-flowing single-track, with some challenges, and great downhill runs, Canberra’s Sparrow Hill, in Kowen Forest, is hard to beat.
Only 11km from Queanbeyan on the Kings Highway, Sparrow Hill caters for all levels of social riding and cross-country racing on well-marked and maintained tracks.
Mums and dads with kids who have distance limits might take on the family friendly 5km Kid Stuff loop, while others with more developed skills and stamina can choose marked loops ranging from 16km to 40km-plus. The die-hards who just don’t know when to stop can put together a 50km run.
For those who like to mix-n-match or make their ride fit a time limit, it’s easy to set your own distance by taking advantage of the numerous links to a variety of loops. Or ride your choice of tracks by one of our maps. Maybe download a map to your phone, or print off an A4 copy.
How to get there
About 1km further on, Sparrow Hill Road dead-ends in an extensive parking area, and on the right is the entrance to the mountain-biking tracks, where you can pop your bike over the fence, or take it with you over the stepover.
A sign inside the fence welcomes you and details the marked loops you might take. But there are no limits – all tracks are two-way, and feel welcome to go anywhere you like.
• Public loo: Yes, 200m up the mtb track
• Mobile reception: Telstra 3G works most places. Others may be intermittent
• Camping: Sparrow Hill is mid-way between Queanbeyan and Bungendore – 10 minutes either way. Nearest camping is at the Queanbeyan Caravan Park, 41A Morisset Street
(02) 6297 4749, http://www.qbnriversidetouristpark.com.au/
and the Bungendore Showground Camping Area, Mathews Lane, http://www.caravancaravan.com.au/entity/bungendore-showground-camping-area/nsw
• Shelter: None
• Food and water: Queanbeyan and Canberra
. Hospital: Collett St, Queanbeyan. (02) 6298 9211
• Emergency services: Call Triple Zero