Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Lawson Ridge Trail

Unlike some of the other rides in the Blue Mountains, don’t expect a fantastic view at the end of this one as it is partly obscured by trees. Instead the reward for your efforts will be an unshakable grin as you barrel along fast flowing fire trail. This lesser known trail has a real feeling of remoteness and the first half of this ride looses 150m of altitude providing fun, fast cycling along a fire trail which deteriorates from well graded at the beginning to over grown single track toward the end. There’s no such thing as a free lunch however and you will have to pay for your fun descent with a climb back to the cars on the return leg.

Terrain

Ridge top fire trail which ranges from well graded at beginning to overgrown single track towards the end.

Traffic

Vehicle traffic for first section, walkers and other cyclists after that.

Access

Car: Take the M4 through to Lawson, turn right into Queen Street and park where the road changes from bitumen to dirt.

Train: Ride can be accessed from either Hazelbrook or Lawson train stations.

Food and Drink

No food or drink available at trail head. Shops nearby at Lawson or Hazelbrook.

Side Trip

Numerous overgrown fire trail branches can be explored.

 

More Details

Most of this trail follows a ridge line as it winds its way around gullies and cliffs before dropping down on to a saddle and finishing in a large open, rocky area. Here you are not rewarded with spectacular views, but don’t let the lack of a vista put you off, as the trail takes you through some picturesque bushland and the overgrown and eroded nature of the trail towards the end gives a sense of isolation that stamps this ride with a charm all its own. In terms of trail conditions Lawsons Ridge just about has them all in a single ride.

It begins with a well graded dirt road, then progresses to an eroded fire trail with a loose rocky surface and then degrades further into to a few hundred metres of overgrown single track. Generally the trail is in good condition for most of its length and this allows the rider to fully convert the 150m of altitude into fun fast cycling. Technically the ride should be no trouble for riders of all abilities; however absolute beginners may find the last third a little challenging.

Navigationally you should find it relatively easy and it’s mostly a matter of following the Lawson Ridge fire trail out to its termination and returning on the same trail, only having to navigate a few turns along the way. The large rocky platform at the end of the trail... ideal place to enjoy a packed lunch! Along the trail are a number of overgrown branches which peter out into eroded overgrown dead ends. These can be explored by the more adventurous riders.

At almost 20km in length most riders, especially those newer to the sport, will find this ride a near perfect length and a decent day out, however the more advanced may be left wanting more. If you are craving some extra kms there is a technical section of fire trail which runs under some powerlines which can be explored. This is found just before you enter the national park off to your left. No car? No worries, as this ride can be easily accessed by train from either Lawson or Hazelbrook stations.

If you wish to catch the train it is recommended that you alight at Lawson to begin the ride and finish at Hazelbrook station. Whilst it is possible to start and finish at Lawson, finishing at Hazelbrook allows a downhill run at the end of the day instead of an uphill climb. As with all rides in the Blue Mountains National Park you are entering a remote area, consequently riders should be prepared for all eventualities and be totally self sufficient.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start at the end of Queen St bitumen.
  • 0.6 Intersection. Take the trail to the right heading downhill. Note gate and sign indicating start of Blue Mountains National Park.
  • 1.1 Ignore trail off to the right and continue on straight around a gate.
  • 1.6 Ignore trail off to your left.
  • 2.2 Ignore Blue Mountains Trail off to your left.
  • 3.2 Ignore trail off to your left.
  • 4.2 Ignore degraded trail off to your left.
  • 5.0 Ignore Wentworth Creek Trail off to the left.
  • 9.0 Marks start of rocky descent and trail starts to deteriorate into single trail.
  • 9.5 Trail comes out into a large open rocky area. After a break return the same way.
  • 19.5 Back at Queen St.
  • Trail map

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    18.949 km / 11.774 mi

    Total Distance

    460 m / 1,511 ft

    Total Ascent

    460 m / 1,511 ft

    Total Descent

    723 m / 2,373 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    MTB Segment: flow
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 19.5
    Elevation Gain: 780
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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