It's a not a long ride, nor a technical ride, but Blackheath's Hanging Rock has lots of fun waterbars for jumping, and some absolutely amazing views. I ended up with over 100 photos for the day, all views.
Hanging Rock is reached from Ridgewell Rd, Blackheath. Ridgewell Rd is dirt from its start, which is around 1 km west of Blackheath station. Blackheath is itself around 10 km west of Katoomba, and like Katoomba, is a town with many spectacular lookouts.
This ride is suitable for all, as long as beginners take it easy over the waterbars (you don't have to jump just because I do...), as it is just a basic firetrail in good condition. Ridgewell Road starts as normal dirt road, but once you are past the old dump, it becomes narrow winding firetrail with waterbars. Lots of waterbars! After a few kms there's a gate to keep out the cars, then it's all ours! Well, ours and bushwalkers'.
There's a few hills that beginners may struggle with, but nothing too long or big. Apart from the very short singletrack from the old car park to the lookout, the riding isn't technically difficult. This track may well be my new king of waterbars - I suspect there's even more than on Linden Ridge, although they aren't as big.
There are quite a few other tracks running off to both sides - these may make good riding/exploring, but stick to the main trail so you don't get lost.
The trail takes you to the lookout, then there's a walk to the left down a very steep bit of track to Hanging Rock. This isn't a ride at all - I had to shoulder my bike down to take some piccies, and cursed and swore all the way back up. Stout chains and locks may be a better option! You can get onto the rock, but one day it's going to fall. Don't get on it that day!
The jump across is only a metre, but it feels much further, thanks to the huge drop and the overwhelming cliff face, which slopes inwards from about 50 m above you into the valley far below.
I love getting out there, sunning myself on the rock, the sounds of birds and water flowing far below, fabulous views... ommmmmmmmm......
I ummed and ahhed about the rating for this track. Despite its relative shortness, the views and waterbar fun factor have earned it the maximum five fat hippies!
All rides are now rated in Fat Hippies - one means grab a slice of pizza and stay on the beanbag, two means not bad, three means well worth a ride, four is a great ride and five means stop looking at your computer, go ride it!
|Distance||under 15 km there and back (sorry, my speedo wasn't working properly!)|
|Difficulty||easy/medium firetrail. May need to walk some uphills. Lots of waterbars!|
|Time||Variable - depends on how much exploring or gazing into the distance you do!|
|Facilities||Plenty of shops and a pub in Blackheath|
|Interest||Blackheath has heaps of bushwalks and great lookouts, lots of flowers spring and summer|
another fAt hIpPy production
Like all outdoor activities, mountain bike riding can result in serious or fatal injury. Your bike must be in good condition and suitable for off road riding. Track conditions may have changed since these reviews. There may be dangers on tracks that haven't been mentioned in these pages. Don't ride beyond your ability. If you fall off it's your own fault.
Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, thoughts, comments, opinions etc expressed herein are mine, and should not be taken to represent anyone else. If you don't like anything I've said, sorry, just change the channel.