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.
Well graded fast rolling dirt road and fire trail with some climbing involved.
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.
Various fire trails can be explored which lead off Kings Tableland Road.
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.
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1,548 m / 5,079 ft
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