Cycle Adelaide, Mountain Bike & Kid Friendly Ride, MT Crawford Forest Ride 2

This ride is tougher, with one long, hard climb and numerous short ones, a couple of fence crossings and some steep descents. Climbing up to a fire spotting tower, it continues along the ridge to the southern end of the forest, then returns back down for a flat 3km spin through tall pines and a gentle downhill run to the finish. It’s a great ride through plantation pine and native scrub, with the highlight undoubtedly at the top of the climb - 360 degree views over the Barossa Ranges, Gulf St Vincent and the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Mt Crawford Forest Reserve bike rides provide the opportunity to see a working forestry operation, along with great views and a bit of local history. The bike ride starts from the Forest Headquarters and Information Centre, off the main Williamstown to Birdwood Road, so access is easy and facilities are available. There are hundreds of kilometres of paths within the forest and eight marked trails, including the long distance Heysen Trail (walking), Mawson Trail (cycling) and Kidman Trail (horse-riding). Ranging from flat, graded forestry roads to steep, rocky single tracks, there’s a path for every age and fitness level, so it’s perfect for a family day out – or a weekend away, camping out under the stars and forest pines at one of three campsites. And forest reserves are dog friendly, so you can take canine family members as well – just keep them on leads and away from wildlife.

Access

From Williamstown, head east on Mount Crawford Road and then Warren Road towards Birdwood. Mount Crawford Forest HQ and Information Centre is 11kms from Williamstown on the left.

Food and Drink

Rainwater is available at the Information Centre but there are no shops or cafes nearby. There are picnic sites throughout the forest, so pack a portable feast.

Side trip

These rides cover just a few of the forest tracks, so grab a map and create your own route. Note your path carefully, however, as many tracks are not signposted. Alternatively, stow your bike and take a hike along the Heysen Trail. Mt Crawford Forest Information Centre, open 9- 11am 7 days

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Leaving the carpark, turn left onto Warren Rd. Traffic travels at 110kph, so ride on the gravel shoulder.
  • 0.4 Carefully cross the road and proceed up Tower Rd on the right.
  • 1.1 Ignore the track to the right, signed Sailor’s Gully Picnic Area.
  • 1.6 With Chalks Rd to the left, continue up the hill on Tower Rd. Where a locked gate blocks car access, lift your bike over and continue the climb.
  • 2.7 At the intersection with Ridge Rd on the left, turn right and continue along Tower Rd.
  • 3.1 The tower and the top of the climb. Reward yourself with the 360 degree views, then head back down the track.
  • 3.5 Back at the intersection, take Ridge Rd straight ahead and lift your bike over another locked gate. Ignore the steep track to the right and continue along Ridge Rd.
  • 3.7 The first of many minor tracks. Ignore them all and stick to the main graded gravel road running along the ridge.
  • 3.8 Steep descent with loose rocks – take care.
  • 4.0 At the bottom of the descent, ignore all minor tracks and continue along Ridge Rd.
  • 5.1 Speck Gully Rd comes in on the left. Continue up the hill along Ridge Rd.
  • 5.3 Turn left and continue climbing.
  • 5.4 At the crest is a signpost for Ridge Rd, with WG2 to the right. Descend straight ahead.
  • 5.6 Ignore the track to the left and continue around to the right.
  • 5.9 WG3 Fire Track goes off to the right. Follow Ridge Rd down to the left.
  • 6.3 The road appears to fork. Take the path around to the right.
  • 6.9 A gate marks the intersection of two major forest roads. Turn left and head down the graded road. From here the ride has vehicle access, so watch for traffic.
  • 7.4 At a fork in the road, take the left track signed Forties Rd.
  • 7.6 Turn left onto the continuation of Forties Rd. Head straight on through numerous intersections, one with a forestry gate.
  • 10.2 Turn left into Chalks Rd. Ignoring all side roads, continue along the top track.
  • 10.6 With Baynes Gully Rd to the left, veer right onto the lower section of the track.
  • 10.9 Turn right into Tower Rd.
  • 12.1 Turn left onto Warren Rd and ride along the shoulder back to the forest HQ.
  • 12.5 Carefully cross to the carpark, where the ride ends.
  • Trail map

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    Back

    13.013 km / 8.086 mi

    Total Distance

    213 m / 697 ft

    Total Ascent

    212 m / 695 ft

    Total Descent

    530 m / 1,739 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: options
    Fitness Level: High
    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: 13.0
    Elevation Gain: 223
    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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