30 May 2024

Lace up Canberra, you've got a gorgeous new network of walking tracks to explore

| Dione David
People walk along new Ginninderry walking track

Ginninderry’s new walking track network takes in expansive views along the Murrumbidgee River. Photo: David Barber.

A 10 km network of new walking tracks exploring some of the most beautiful areas of Conservation Corridor, including Canberra’s first swing bridges, have officially opened.

Built by Canberra-based trail builders Iconic Trails and funded by Ginninderry, the network incorporates a wide range of lengths, terrains and expansive vistas along the Murrumbidgee River, promising diverse experiences for all ages and fitness levels to enjoy.

The shortest is an easy 1 km loop of relatively flat terrain that will be punctuated with fun things for kids to do along the way.

Ginninderry Conservation Trust program director Ange Calliess says this track, known as the “Woodland Track”, will be a family favourite.

“We’re hoping to introduce a treasure hunt that parents will be able to download for their kids to do along the way, as well as other nature-based activities,” she says.

“It’s a loop track coming off the existing track from Strathnairn to Shepherd’s Lookout, and goes through pretty woodland areas both natural and planted, and through a fenced farm dam where we’ve been doing some restoration works.

“We’ve fenced it off from cattle and have been replanting, and it demonstrates how we can transform a former farm dam into a rich and biodiverse wetland.”

The Ginninderry Conservation Trust will be consulting with a range of groups over the coming months to develop interpretative signage and artwork that tells stories of the location’s rich First Nations and European history, and cultural and natural values.

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The walks range up to about 6 km, with longer, more challenging tracks taking hikers higher up to amazing views over the Murrumbidgee River.

Separately there are five distinct tracks. However tracks join up at various points, so visitors can “choose their own adventure”.

“You create your own walk depending on the length and difficulty you’re up for and the landscapes you hope to see, because they’re all quite distinctive,” Ange says.

“We’re excited about them all, but I do think the tracks with lookout points more directly over the river are particularly stunning.”

This includes the “Woodland Lookout”.

“There are a lot of views from Shepherd’s Lookout and looking downstream, but this is a special view. It gives people a perspective they haven’t had before. You’re up high overlooking the Murrumbidgee and the landscape beyond the river to the mountain,” Ange says.

“There’s a steep staircase going down, so I think we’ll see a lot of people doing their daily fitness walks up and down that track, but it’s also a lovely spot to stop, sit and daydream.”

All tracks will converge at the site of the future Riverside Park.

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Other notable track features will include Canberra’s only two swing bridges – at 15 m and 37 m respectively – crossing Goodamon Creek where lucky walkers may spot turtles.

The network of paths to take walkers further northwest in line with the Macnamara suburb is still under construction.

The Ginninderry Conservation Trust Rangers, many of whom are multilingual, run monthly guided walks. The new track network is already being incorporated into their school holiday programs.

“We’ve been doing school holiday events for a couple of years now and these new tracks will provide even more options to engage the kids in nature-based activities,” Ange says.

“We believe these tracks are a real destination. We already have walking groups, bird watchers and hikers visiting the tracks who’ve come from all over the ACT. But we also believe it’ll be cherished by Ginninderry residents. We want them to explore and love it. It’s their backyard, after all.”

Parking (and track maps) are available here. Stay tuned on Ginninderry Facebook for updates.

Original Article published by Dione David on Riotact.

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