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Blue Mountains mtb rides
Lawson Ridge

post fire - tony fathers

Lawson Ridge changed dramatically in Spring 2002. Fires deliberately lit at Mt Hay looked as though they may threaten houses in Hazelbrook and Woodford, so backburning was undertaken. Lawson Ridge fire trail marks the edge of the burn - once side is as it always was, one side is blackened and burnt. 

The saddest change is to the track itself. To allow for easy access by fire tankers and 4WDs, the track has been bulldozed, and has gone from overgrown firetrail with a nice long singletrack, to wide, open smooth firetrail. What was singletrack coated in leaf litter, overhanging trees almost joining overhead, is now a 1.5 vehicles wide, soft sandy firetrail. Only the very last section of the ridge is as it once was - but now is just a sad reminder.

Of course, it will recover, all of the mountains has been burnt before, and tracks like this started out as wide firetrail, but for now, we have to wait. Even though recovery has started, it's going to be a long time.

This is still a pleasant ride, and there's still plenty of bush to see - the track's not all motorway. The beautiful rocks out towards the end are on the unburnt side - it's not all bad.

It's not as much fun as it used to be. ;^(

There's still lots of sidetracks off Lawson Ridge to explore, a few I still haven't explored and a track running under the powerlines (just after you hit the dirt) which takes you up and down lots of hills and over lots of waterbars (jumps - some only if you're game), before bringing you out at the top end of Lawson, almost into Bullaburra.

If you don't get air along this track you're not trying - especially if you come from the Lawson end.

I've nicknamed the powerlines track "The Dipper", because it's like a rollercoaster - you get to tear down some big hills, but just like Luna Park, the climbs to the top are a slow struggle.  I always walk a few of the hills, even coming down from Lawson - one is a killer! You'll find nice views and the pleasant Frederica Falls along here. Frederica Falls also has a bbq plate if you are so inclined - watch out for fire bans though.

A detour up to the top of Blue Mountain (the Blue Mountain - turn right just after the last houses on the dirt) rewards the rider with views to the east and south, but trees have grown into the city views - there's still panoramic views to the west.

To get to this ride, catch the train to either Lawson, or Hazelbrook.  If you get off at Hazelbrook, head west up the highway until you get to the top of the hill.  Queen's Road is off to the right.  From Lawson, head back towards Sydney, either on the highway, or the back road that runs parallel to the highway (Badgery's Crescent??).  Just after the two roads join together again, Queen's Road is off to the left - if you get to Hazelbrook, you have gone too far...  If you drive, you can park right out Queen's Road where the dirt starts and go from there.

Follow Queen's Road till just past the mobile phone tower, and take the right fork down through the gate into the Park. Take the next left fork (unless you are going up to Blue Mountain) and then follow the main trail, taking right forks till the end.

Aboriginal sites:

A few hundred metres down Queen's Road is Kangaroo Street.  Turn left and climb the short hill to see some interesting Aboriginal rock engravings of a ...kangaroo... Another Aboriginal site is at the start of the climb up from Hazelbrook.  Take the footpath (R/H side) and veer off towards a little archway, just as the hill starts.  You can see a rock shelf that has been dug out hold water.

Distance ~20 km
Difficulty Medium/Hard - may need to walk some uphills.
Surface may be loose.
Time Varies - several hours recommended for the whole ride.
Trains Lawson or Hazelbrook - timetable
See also... The Oaks (Woodford to Glenbrook), Terrace Falls, sidetracks
Interest Blue Mountain, Aboriginal rock engravings, great rock formations
Last reviewed 17 November 2002

Sadly, this ride has been reduced to a rating of 3 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!

fAt hIpPy productions
another fAt hIpPy production

Standard disclaimer:
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.

Copyright © Tony Fathers, 1997 - 2006