Short Loop

Short Loop Map

Large Short Loop map.
Want to print it? Get the A4 high-res PDF map here. (2MB)

Short Loop Videos

Dunny to the Top Gate
Big Dipper
Down the Big Dipper
Ice Dam
Dog Stirred
Tail of the dog
Fun House
Creek Run

The SHORT LOOP, about 16km, should take an average rider one hour 15 minutes to one hour 30 minutes – a fun loop with nothing too hard or too technical.

Just follow the red arrows and look for the SHORT LOOP signs at intersections.

All loops start out together, straight up the fence-line for about 300m, where they meet the Kings Highway.

On the right corner is a public loo.

Looking towards the highway, you may notice a biggish gum tree with a pine tree growing between its two main trunks. This might actually be a pinegum tree!

Turn right past the loo, then left under the highway through the small underpass. On the other side, turn left, and just ahead is an arrow pointing right on to the first single-track, the Dunny Track.

You might see the bathroom feature a little way in, but it’s like an illusion, see, not a real one.

Higher up is the Kid Stuff Intersection, where the sign advises that you can go left or right and end up in the same place. Lower McGinty’s goes left with Kid Stuff and McGinty’s goes right, working around the hill on higher contours.

Lower McGinty’s parts company with Kid Stuff further up, and later rejoins McGinty’s for the last 200m to the Top Gate.

Near the start of Lower McGinty’s is an optional diversion. Following the A Line sign tests you up and down the Lower McGinty’s rock garden. The B Line sign takes you around it.

If you had decided to take the right turn on to MCGINTY’S for the gentle climb to the Top Gate, you would have ridden the same distance, on an equally appealing parallel course.

After passing through the Top Gate, go right, then immediately left into Big Dipper.

Chicane on See-Saw at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

Chicane on See-Saw at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

About 100m in, signs at an intersection say go left (Big Dipper) to go on the Short Loop. To the right is Blinky Bill, which belongs to the longer loops.

Speeds in excess of 40km/h are common down parts of Big Dipper.

The great Big Dipper downhill leads you into Wonderland, with a fun set of bends, but about 300m along, another intersection sends the Short Loop off to the left, across a fire-road and into the short Left & Right.

At the end of Left & Right, turn right and fly down the fire-road, around the corner and turn left into Ice Dam. There’s some good riding here, including another flying downhill, then over the dam wall before crossing another fire-road into See-Saw.

See-Saw is fast, with many exciting corners, but be cautious at the chicane rock garden near the start.

You eventually cross another fire-road into Pig Hollow, for a flat and flat-out cruise to a new intersection announcing Short Loop to the left and Heavy Cow Loop to the right (another one for the Long Loop).

Going left on Pig Hollow will bring you to another fire-road (Block 9 Rd) and into Dog Stirred, which is beautifully fast and curly.

Block 9 Rd, being well into the ride, is often the site of small gatherings of riders taking the opportunity for a break.

As you cross Block 9 Rd, should you decide you need to get back to the car the quickest way possible, turn left on the fire-road and be prepared for (mostly) a great downhill ride home.

On Dog Stirred you should enjoy some fast, easy riding with lots of fun curves.

Stay on the Short Loop, ignoring the Nutcracker turnoff, and Dog Stirred will take you to the small gate, close to the Top Gate, which you passed through earlier.

Through the Small Gate are more signs – Short Loop to the left, 6km to go, and Long Loop, to the right, 16km to go.

Short Loop takes you into the left-right-swooping downhill called Fun House.

Then it’s into the short, slightly roughish Gutter Bypass, at the end of which you turn left on to a quick bit of fire-road for about 75m, then follow the arrow right into the short Brown Water Link, before merging with Brown Water.

Wooden bridge near the end of Brown Water at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

Wooden bridge near the end of Brown Water at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

Brown Water is great riding. It swerves and swoops until it crosses a wooden bridge over the creek, then it swerves some more, finally finishing beyond the black stump.

Back near the end of Gutter Bypass there is a track to the right. This track gives you a chance to ride the whole of Brown Water, not just the end bit. It adds only about a kilometre to your ride, and is well worth it. This track emerges on a fire-road up the hill, with an arrow pointing left. Ride up the fire-road for about 200m to start Brown Water.

Beyond the black stump, across an open fire-road triangle, ride 50m up the road to enter Barney’s.

Barney’s is all fun, nice and curly, lots of downhill, and at Barney’s end you join Waterside Way, to take you back to the Kings Highway, with dam wall crossings one after the other, a couple of neat little bridges, on or off the dam walls, and lots of exciting, fast runs, sometimes bordered with rocky outcrops.

You end Waterside Way facing the Kings Highway, and go through the big underpass.

Then follow the road briefly left, and sharp right down the hill and over the little plank bridge at the creek. Be careful down the gravelly hill!

Straight up the other side, take the left turn down Creek Run. It’s a rapid pace to the car park, diving through the creek bed, catching one bridge at a corner exit, then aiming straight, at speed, for the last.