Archery Loop

Archery Loop Map

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

Archery Loop Videos

Archery Loop
Dunny to the Top Gate
Big Dipper
Down the Big Dipper
Spider Web
My quick Lickety
Behind myself on Lickety Split
Ali Goes Lickety Split
Kip licks Lickety

The ARCHERY LOOP can be ridden as an 11km or 15km loop. Either way, it’s a great ride.

All loops start out together from the car park, 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. At the other side, turn left, and just ahead is an arrow pointing right. It’s the first single-track, the Dunny Track.

You can’t miss 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 along, 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 the Big Dipper.

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

About 100m in, signs at an intersection point to two very different great rides. Eventually, though, they come together again, but one is 5km longer than the other.

The shorter of the two goes right on Blinky Bill, a link track to one of Sparrow Hill’s highlights – Lickety Split.

Well-named, Lickety Split is a flier — all down. Built around the contours of a long hill, the track is very fast, its wide, gradual corners with berms making the rider feel safe maintaining a high speed.

The alternative longer route down Big Dipper’s great downhill run leads you into Wonderland, with a fun set of bends, and about 300m along, another intersection sees the Long Loop heading off to the right. That’s where the Short Loop goes left.

Wonderland is a long, winding track of much variety.

As you exit Wonderland you enter an open grassy area, where two fire-roads converge. Check the view down the hill before entering Spider Web Pt1.

Spider Web Parts 1 and 2 are twisty, sometimes a little rocky, fast downhills. Part 3 does a gentle bit of climbing, but it has a nice feel. It runs into the short, flat Tom Thumb, which in turn meets

Clean little dam near the start of Broken Arrow on the Archery Loop at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

Clean little dam near the start of Broken Arrow on the Archery Loop at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra.

Bridge Loop.

Bridge Loop rewards you for your climbing, and gives it all back with a fun descent that sees you sprinting across a little wooden bridge. It spits you out on to a short fire-road, where you ride the road to Third Leg.

Third Leg is a gradual climb up to Rock Hopper, which is a roller-coaster across the contour until it meets the merging track for Lickety Split.

Now you join the speedy last 500m of Lickety Split, which takes you into Rigour Mortis for just a short way, before branching off to the right on the Archery course. This will take you diagonally to the corner of this compartment, and aim you at the Archery start, a fire-road with a farm gate.

Close the gate after you, and just ahead a red arrow points to the right at Broken Arrow.

On into Bulls-Eye, passing a scenic, clean little dam, you will climb easily through seven more linked tracks until Dunny Back Door returns you to the Dunny Track.

Here is where you have the option to either turn left and return to the car park, or turn right and join one of the other three loops. Taking the longest route from there, you could ride a total of 50km or more, but the length of your ride is still up to you. There are options along the way to shorten it.

It’s also a very appealing ride in reverse (you do have reverse on your bike, don’t you?).