McMahons Lookout Trail

Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, McMahons Lookout Trail

This ride follows the Kings Tableland Road on a narrow corridor through water board land. The objective of this ride is McMahons Lookout which has breathtaking views over Lake Burragorang and out over the Kanangra Boyd wilderness area. A smooth well graded trail surface and lack of technical difficulty allow for fast cycling to be maintained for most of the ride. A reasonable amount of climbing combined with a decent ride length makes this a great day out for the fitter riders or those looking for full day in the saddle.

Terrain

Well graded fast rolling dirt road and fire trail with some climbing involved.

Access

Car: Via M4 then onto Great Western Highway. Left into Kings Tableland Road and follow through to the old hospital approximately 4.2km and park here.

Train: Take the Blue Mountains line to Wentworth Falls. Exit the station, turn left and head along the Great Western Highway back toward Woodford. Turn right into Kings Tableland Road.

Food and Drink

Food and drink available at Wentworth Falls. No food or drink available on the ride. Picnic tables and toilets located at McMahons Lookout.

Side Trip

Various fire trails can be explored which lead off Kings Tableland Road.

 

More Details

From Wentworth Falls station this ride would be approximately 57km return. Here I’ve taken the shorter option starting from the old hospital grounds on Kings Tableland Road which can be reached by car. This route shortens the ride by around 12km. A highlight of this ride is the fantastic views over Lake Burragorang which is the main source of Sydney’s water supply and is formed by Warragamba Dam.

For those who like a few dam facts; Lake Burragorang is fed by five rivers; the Kowmung, Wollondilly, Nattai, Wingecarribee, and Cox’s. It has a usable capacity of around 2,027,000,000,000L, a surface area of 52km2, 354km of foreshores and at its deepest point it is 105m deep!

The prize at the end of this ride is McMahons Lookout which contains two separate lookouts, a picnic area and a toilet. The first of the lookouts is reached via a walking track which starts from the southern end of the car park. Bikes will either have to be left at the car park or walked the 800m to the lookout. Once reached the westerly facing lookout offers excellent views down to the lake and on a clear day out to the Kanangra Wilderness area.

A second lookout can also be reached from the car park through the picnic area. From here there are fantastic views of the lake and the Cox’s River valley, and in the distance the Wild Dog mountains can be seen. Remember to pack the sandwiches as the picnic area has two wooden picnic tables and a makes a great place for a lunch stop. A composting toilet is located a short distance away through the lookout car park. This ride should only be attempted by more experienced riders with good levels of fitness as the distance and climbing makes for a challenging ride. Whilst the terrain undulates the outward leg to the lookout tends to be predominantly downhill with some fantastic high speed descents.

Unfortunately all this height will have to be regained as you grind your way uphill on the way home. For the entire length of the ride it is open to traffic, so ride within you limits and keep a lookout for vehicles. Trail surface is sandy in patches but mostly smooth and fast rolling allowing for high-speed cycling with no technical challenges. A reasonable amount of tree cover makes this ride suitable all year around.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the old hospital follow the Kings Tableland Rd. If starting from Wentworth Falls station follow the directions from Andersons to the old hospital. Sign noting McMahon’s Lookout 20km.
  • 7.2 Turn off to Andersons fire trail to your left. Ignore this and continue on straight ahead.
  • 9.0 Red Hill fire trail on your left ignore this and continue on straight.
  • 9.3 Open gate.
  • 13.7 At trail junction ignore trails to left and right and continue on straight.
  • 14.4 At a Y-intersection take the right fork which is McMahons Lookout. Left fork leads to the W5 fire trail. Ignore this.
  • 19.8 Car park at McMahons Lookout is reached. Enjoy the lookouts, take a breather and return the same way.
  • 39.6 Old hospital grounds and end of ride.
  • Trail map

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    Back

    38.956 km / 24.206 mi

    Total Distance

    1,548 m / 5,079 ft

    Total Ascent

    1,573 m / 5,161 ft

    Total Descent

    842 m / 2,762 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 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
    Trail Signage: Average
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 39.6
    Elevation Gain: 1331
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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