This track has some similarities with Faulconbridge Point - it's an out and back firetrail along a northerly ridge, the actual dirt distance is fairly short, there's lots of waterbars (aka: jumps) for big air opportunities and there's more difficult tracks off to the side to explore. There the similarities end. Although there are views, they aren't as spectacular, and tend to be hidden through the trees. This track is quite hilly, and the waterbars are bigger, faster and more fun - especially since Faulconbridge Point has had its waterbars flattened.
I don't know why I don't get out on this track more often - on my latest ride I once again had a ball, despite only riding the firetrail section. After jumping all those waterbars I had a grin from ear to ear.
There's a few km of road riding from Linden station before the start. Not all trains stop at Linden, and it's best to get in a carriage towards the rear of the train, as the first carriage often stops past the station - easy enough to jump off if you're young and fit, but much harder with a bike! Don't go up the stairs - head west to the end of the platform (towards Katoomba), where you'll see a pedestrian crossing over the line back to Sydney. Cross here and go down to the road. Head west along the road, and you'll soon climb a largish hill past King's Cave (signposted). Another small hill and you'll see a small playground on the right, and a right hand turn into Glossop Rd.
Turn right into Glossop Rd and follow it till the end. This can be a bit confusing, as Glossop Rd turns off as a "No Through Road" with the main road changing into Linden Ave. Glossop Rd then starts again further on - basically, you just need to stay on the main road and don't take any turn-off's. About a kilometre past the playground there's a gate blocking the road, and you'll see the turn-off to Linden Observatory on the right (note: if you drive, there's nearly no car parking available - probably better to park a bit further away). Go round the gate, and you're into Water Board land. Follow the tar road to the water tank. On the way out, the big downhill from the tank can be very fast - although it's signposted at 20...
As you zoom down the winding hill or crawl up the other side, you might notice a lake in the valley to the left - this is Lake Woodford, which used to be the sole water supply for the area. There's a couple of lookouts with good views of the lake. Unfortunately, it's Schedule 1 Catchment area, meaning no access, or a $10,000 fine. Pity, as there are some nice tracks along the water's edge. Water Board vehicles are allowed, but not bikes. hmmm...
When you reach the water tank (and ubiquitous mobile phone tower), there's another gate, and at last the dirt begins. You've now come nearly 2.5 kms from the playground. Put your bike under or over the gate, and you're away!
There's some singletrack off to the left at the gate, but it only goes around the back of the water tank compound, eventually coming to a firetrail bearing a sign warning of $10,000 fines. I didn't risk it.
About 50m along the main track, there's a lookout off to the left, which offers great bush views to the west. The waterbars start immediately, but I need more speed to turn them into jumps. Fortunately, this doesn't take long!
Shortly, there's a track heads off to the right past an old water tank and the remains of a building. This gives a short singletrack bypass to the main track, rejoining after about half a km.
Approximately 2 km from the gate, as we round a hairpin bend, we come to the first long singletrack. The singletrack runs off the main track to the left past a fallen tree. This track starts with some very steep waterbars designed to keep 4WD's out (apparently succeeding) and runs for some 5.5 kms before finally petering out. I rode this on a very hot day, and found it quite hard - it was hilly, very overgrown in spots and there were lots of loose rocky sections. It would be easier in cooler weather. At the end, you can see north across the Grose Valley to what must be Bilpin.
This singletrack is another track where eyewear and helmets are strongly recommended - last time I rode it I had fresh scratches on my sunnies and a big gouge out of my helmet from a low branch trying to take me out! I was also covered with small scratches from brushing past bushes. Lots of mid range and low range riding. On the way back there were some fun downhill runs in the more open areas, but you still need to be careful and look for hidden rocks and loose sticks amongst the leaf litter, as they can flick up and damage derailleurs and spokes.
It's a fairly slow singletrack to ride - lots of low and mid range riding, very little high range, and lots of dodging around and under plants. Although there were some on the firetrail, I didn't see any other bike tracks or footprints on the singletrack, so it's fairly remote - be careful!
Back on the main track, continue out and down over more waterbars. Jumps, jumps, and more jumps - some fast, some slow, some huge, and some just rollovers. Honestly, I reckon this track has more jumps than any other I've ridden in the mountains! Better riders than me could really get some huge air along here - just watch out for your collarbone...
There's another singletrack about another 3 kms along from the first hairpin, also on a big hairpin. This singletrack runs less than a kilometre to a small (dry) dam.
Eventually the fun on the main track ends at the bottom of a hill, and you have to turn around and come back the way you have come. Some of the jumps still work but there's more uphill in this direction. There's actually another steep new singletrack which has appeared out here, and you can see more steep firetrails on the other side of the steep gorge. According to my map, that must be the track running off from the helipad on Faulconbridge Point. Maybe they join, I'll leave you to discover that - looked like too much walking for me!
Linden Ridge is quite a mixed bag, with something for new and experienced riders alike. I reckon there's more waterbars per metre than any other track in the mountains, yet the track itself is mainly easy firetrail. The singletracks offer very overgrown and often technical riding. There's good views at times (of bush and to the city), but these are often hidden by trees. The track itself was effected by the recent bushfires - there was no burning, but the dozers have been in to widen the track a bit. Fortunately they left the waterbars behind, and didn't turn the track into a freeway as happened elsewhere. Although quite sandy, the track condition is generally good.
This ride was loads of fun, scoring a solid 4 fat hippies
All rides are now rated in Fat Hippies - one means grab a slice of pizza and stay on the couch, two means not bad, three means well worth a ride, four means a great ride and five means stop looking at your computer, go ride it!
|Distance||~26 km station to station (out and back ride)|
|Difficulty||easy/medium firetrail, medium/hard singletrack. May need to walk some uphills. Surface may be loose and corners rutted/sandy. Lots of waterbars! Singletrack overgrown and covered in leaf litter.|
|Time||Variable - depends on how much exploring you do!|
|Facilities||There are NO shops or facilities in Linden. Possibly water on railway station.|
maps Springwood 9030-IV-S - 1:25,000 (my copy is very old)
|See also||Oaks fire trail|
|Interest||King's Cave, Caley's Repulse, lots of flowers spring and summer|
another fAt hIpPy production
Standard disclaimer:Like all outdoor activities, mountain bike riding can result in serious or fatal injury. Track conditions may have changed since these reviews. 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