This ride is a typical Blue Mountains ‘out and back’ which follows a rough fire trail along a ridge top to the spectacular Baltzers Lookout which has stunning views out over the Grose Wilderness. From Baltzers Lookout a short walking trail leads to the spectacular Hanging Rock. Easy navigation and the short distance make this an ideal ride for less experienced cycling fellas looking to clock up some time on the dirt. If you're more experienced, when ridden at a reasonable pace, you will have a ball with the flowing nature of the trail and the numerous water bars.
For a side trip, you can start a short walk to the spectacular Hanging Rock.
Rough ridgetop fire trail with a number of water bars.
Take the M4 from Sydney and follow it through to Blackheath. Just before passing through Blackheath, look for Ridgewell Road on your right. Park anywhere along Ridgewell Road.
Train: Alight at Blackheath station and turn left onto the Great Western Highway, then turn right into Ridgewell Road.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of cafes, shops and a pub located in Blackheath.
Following a fire trail for its entire length along the gently undulating ridge top, this ride takes you to the fantastic Baltzers Lookout where you’ll see breathtaking views of the Grose Wilderness. A short walking track leads to the interesting rock formation which is known as Hanging Rock. Exercise caution at both the lookouts and also if you’re walking down to Hanging Rock, as unlike most Blue Mountains lookouts, there is no safety fence/barrier to separate you from one rather large drop.
There is a reasonable amount of tree cover so this trail is suitable for riding all year around. Weather in the upper Blue Mountains can be extremely variable with large variations in temperature possible and conditions can be very different from that experienced in Metro Sydney. Although it's a short ride, be well prepared for all weather conditions and carry the appropriate clothing. Being an ‘out and back’ makes navigation on this ride extremely simple and it makes a great ride for those with less experience looking to get in some time off-road.
The trail itself has a soft slightly sandy surface with numerous loose small to medium sized rocks. As you’ll follow the top of a ridge line there are no major climbs or descents to contend with, but the ride does tend to be downhill on the way out to Baltzers Lookout and predominantly uphill on the return. There are a few small climbs, all rather short that can be easily walked. Fitness wise this ride is achievable regardless of fitness levels, and due to the loose nature of the trail, it is recommended for those with basic bike handling skills.
Although this is a great ride for beginner and intermediate skills, it also has something for the more advanced. Ridden at a reasonable pace, you can find a nice flow to the trail and combined with the rough surface and water bars suggesting a little ‘air time’, this trail can present a more challenging and enjoyable ride. If you are looking for more time in the saddle combine this with Anvil Rock to make one large ride which takes in three fantastic lookouts. You might also combine these two rides over a weekend using Blackheath as a base making for a great introductory weekend of cycling.
Traffic note: Low amount of vehicle traffic for the first section of the ride but once the locked gate is reached the only traffic is walking and cycling fellows.
- 0.0 Start at the beginning of Ridgewell Rd.
- 0.8 Fire trail opens out into an open area with a fenced off waste depot to your left. Look for the fire trail starting straight ahead.
- 1.27 Fire trail splits. Take the left / straight option and ignore the older looking trail heading off down to the right.
- 5.7 Fire trail terminates into a large open area. Find the rough foot track directly ahead leading to the Baltzers Lookout itself. Bikes should not be ridden on this track, however, they can be wheeled the rest of the way or simply left here. Once at the lookout the walking trail to Hanging Rock can be found off to the left and heading roughly downhill. Once you have admired the amazing view simply retrace your steps and tracks back to the beginning.
- 11.4 Back at Ridgewell Rd and the start.
12.066 km / 7.497 mi
258 m / 847 ft
258 m / 847 ft
1,084 m / 3,557 ft