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A Drunken Wiki is the companion wiki to the blog "A Drunken Madman", written by Jason Brown.

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On the other side of the Blue Mountains, tucked away an hour or so down Jenolan Caves Road, lies Kanangra-Boyd National Park. It's off the beaten track, takes commitment to get to, contains lots of long, fast firetrail riding and is home to an annual 100km classic race.

In short, it's a rider's paradise.



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Getting there

From the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Mount Victoria, follow signposts south to Jenolan Caves. If you're coming from Sydney, you'll be about 1.5 hours into driving at this point. Buckle up, there's more to come.

Drive south towards Jenolan Caves Road, along an increasingly narrow and precipitous road until you drive through a cave into Jenolan itself. You'll pass Caves House here and start up the other side of the valley. There are signs here to Kanangra Walls. You're not going quite that far, and in fact Kanangra Walls Road is surprisingly close. Turn left onto Kanangra Walls Road and follow the trail south for a few kilometres until you see a signpost for the Budthingaroo Fire Trail on your right. This comes just before a large clearing, so if you pass the clearing and see a sign for the Mount Emperor Trail, you've gone a little too far. Park up where you like and get ready...

The Race circuit

The Race circuit follows Budthingaroo trail to a T-junction where Mumbedah breaks off left and some descending starts. I've crashed hard on this section, so don't underestimate it. After Mumbedah, the next junction is a right turn into Mount Emperor Firetrail, which leads to the Ben Lomond Firetrail and the Box Creek Firetrail. From the beginning, it's been getting steadily smoother underfoot, and Ben Lomond/Box Creek are fast and flowing.

After this, you join the Kowmung Firetrail rightwards, which becomes the Morong River Trail. Very smooth, very fast. You follow this until the junction with the Boyd River Firetrail on the left, and a sign for the Uni Rover Trail on the right. Go left and continue uphill until you hit Kanangra Walls Road.

Turning left, you follow KWR for maybe 100m before diving back into the forest on the Kowmung Trail and Morong Trails again. This time you take the Uni Rover turning, across a river, then loop back round the southern end of the circuit to rejoin Kanangra Walls Road and hammer north, on a surprisingly rough and uphill graded trail.

The PDF Map here shows the entire thing (Thanks TrailFlix)

Side Trails

There are many potential side trails and escape trails. It's possible to short-loop Budthingaroo and Mumbedah back to your start point, or to turn left into Mount Emperor around where Ben Lomond Starts, for two shorter loops. The Emperor Creek Firetrail can shortcut part of the Ben Lomond/Box Creek section, and there are several more trails on the other side of Kanangra Walls Road

Notes

  • Observations for the 100km race from the 4 Aug recce
  • The river crossings make for very cold, wet feet, so winter rides may be unpleasant without waterproof socks or overshoes
  • There are a few points where the high-speed trails throw up sudden bends with mid-corner bumps. Take care and keep looking well ahead or you'll be off the side.
  • Go early to meet wallabies, echidnas and wedge-tailed eagles
  • Staying overnight at Caves House means you arrive in much better time, and without hours of driving. There is free camping at Boy River Campground but the plateau can be very, very cold.
  • Riding or driving out to the Walls lookout is a rewarding close to the day if you finish in the light.

 

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