Tuggeranong Pines MTB Park | Canberra’s Local Hot Spot

Venturing south so often to partake in our much-desired holiday adventure of camping in Thredbo, left us more than a little over the 7 hr monotonous journey. To shake things up, we begun planning our drives to incorporate action-packed pit stops – usually in the form of mountain biking. And because of this great decision, we found Tuggeranong Pines!

Due to outstanding flow and a kind of undiscovered vibe, Tuggeranong Pines quickly made its way into our favourites list and is potentially the best Canberra mountain biking destination.

Tuggeranong Pines Overview

Difficulty
Beginner / Intermediate

Trail Style
Singletrack, Gravity Enduro

Distance
5 km

Time
2 hrs

Total Descent
461 m

Entrance Fee
Free

Facilities
None

Recommended Gear
Open face helmet, Long sleeve jersey, Comfortable riding shorts, Gloves


Dead trees surrounding the tight singletrack of Tuggeranong Pines mtb park

Located just off the Monaro Highway in the southern region of Canberra, Tuggeranong Pines almost slips by unnoticed. The small network of trails winds through one of the many pine forests Canberra is known for. Consisting of only 5 km of mapped out trails, Tuggeranong is easily one of the smallest Canberra MTB parks we have ridden to date, but it packs a punch.

While Tuggeranong Pines cannot be classed anywhere close to a downhill bike park, the trails all represent one common feature…

Flow!

Candace saving a fall after pulling to the inside of a berm while mountain biking in Tuggeranong Pines

Every single trail begins from the top of the mountain and follows a unique passage that flows through the open Pine Forest.

These well-built flow trails generally become more technical as the altitude increases, featuring a collection of rocks, roots, loose sections and off-camber lines. But something they all have in common – other than gravity – is an awesome variety of jumps.

While most jumps are of a smaller nature – anywhere between 1 m and 3 m long – several monsters can be found in Tuggeranong. Exploring more of the upper trails will lead to an exposure of jumps anywhere up to 6 m long and in extreme cases, 15 m…

Yes, you read correctly. The most advance jump line found in Tuggeranong Pines supports some absolute senders.

In our opinion, this is where Tuggeranong excels. Jumps for all skill levels are scattered throughout the bike park, providing the perfect training ground for the progression of any mountain biker. For example, Candace would have never considered attempting a gap jump due to past experiences…

Now look at her go! She has also realised the importance of long sleeves and protective gear!

candace scratched up after stacking in glenrock mountain bike park
acing a step down while mountain biking in tuggeranong pines

Now the good news is out of the way, it’s time for the bad… Unfortunately, the Canberra government doesn’t consider Tuggeranong Pines as enough of a priority to install chairlifts… how rude!

But on a serious note, locked gates make shuttling impossible. So the only access is an easy-going 700 m pedal up the dirt road running through the centre of the bike park.

Tuggeranong Pines Trails

Main Run

You’re spoiled for choice with smooth, well-built trails. However, the best place to start is Main Run.

A 582 m descent, boasting nothing but confidence-inspiring lines and small jumps over a 51 m drop in elevation, is the perfect start to a blissful day.

Main Run is a great warm-up trail, but it doesn’t end there. Not only is it great for novices hoping to increase their skills, but also for the advanced riders pushing themselves to the limits of speed. With nothing but small doubles, tight sections and poppy berms, it’s by far one of the favourites!

So take some time to warm those legs up, even though you may not need it after that damn climb…

Hitting a gap on main run in Tuggeranon Pines mtb park

Main Run 2

Further north of Main Run you’ll find a very similar trail which doesn’t appear on the Trailforks map. Does this mean we get to name it? Let’s go with ‘Main Run Two’. Original right?

If your confidence is growing but rock gardens and road gaps don’t sound appealing, then this is the perfect step up. Essentially ‘Main Run Two’ runs alongside Main Run with the addition of a steeper, more technical beginning followed by some larger gaps.

Flying around a nice berm in Tuggereanong Pines mtb park

In-Between-Er

Now the legs are ticked over, time to tackle some of the big kid trails. As you edge closer to the peak of the mountain, the runs step it up a notch. Less forgiving lines through intermediate level rock gardens on steeper terrain are the cause of this. So pick your lines before pinning it down with your eyes shut!

There are three options to choose from; Triple Treat, Magic Mushroom or our pick of the bunch, In-Between-er.

In-Between-Er stretches 634 m over a 66 m descent, creating a short but exhilarating run. Beginning by throwing you straight into the deep end, In-Between-Er shoots you down the most technical rock garden at Tuggeranong Pines.

What’s not to love?

Mountain biking through the rock gardens of Tuggeranong Pines in Canberra mountain biking

Following the rock garden, don’t expect the tech to settle down. Extremely tight lines are coming up next as you enter the denser section of pine forest. And when taken at speed, avoiding the trees takes some precise judgement.

Beyond scraping shoulders with the tight tree line, you’ll find yourself gliding over more rocks and ruts before a smooth berm takes the jolt out of In-Between-Er. Pump hard out of this corner in order to generate enough speed for the hip jump that shadows.

Don’t worry, I couldn’t clear it either… After several attempts and my tail between my legs, it was time to move on down the run.

Another well-formed berm places you on line for one last series of rocks before the trail opens up with a couple of great little features. A larger gap to pallet jump is the standout and provides a perfect launch for practising whips!

Whipping over the Pallet jump in Tuggeranong Pines mtb park in Canberra

And that’s why In-Between-Er is the stand out run.

While we did say this was our pick of the bunch, it is also the most demanding and perilous trail at Tuggeranong Pines.

Magic Mushroom

Magic Mushroom is another great option for downhill lovers, especially those looking for a less intense introduction. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a downhill track and not to be taken lightly. But the rock gardens don’t pack that same punch in comparison with In-Between-Er.

686 m in length and with an elevation drop of 67 m, Magic Mushroom is similar to In-Betweener. But, instead of sending you straight into the gnarliest section of the run, some flat loose corners are thrown your way.

And I mean loose!

I nearly lost it on every round when venturing to this neck of the woods. After the sketchy commencement, the trail veers right and here’s where the rock gardens begin. These rock gardens – while proving very steep – are quite tame and don’t feature any large drops or ‘oh shit’ moments. Best bet is to open up the brakes and let the bike do the work for you.

Beyond the opening rock gardens, Magic Mushroom takes a turn for the better – much like its neighbour In-Between-er – and shifts focus to flow. Allowing you to finish the run in style!

Mountain biking through a hectic rock garden while riding some of Canberras best mtb trails in Tuggeranon Pines

Little Jumps

Let’s slow it down a little and get back on track with some flowing jump lines that everyone loves. Hugging the outskirts of the Tuggeranong Pines’ south-western border, you’ll find a popular old run known as Little Jumps. A great trail providing an extensive progression of little jumps. 

Guess that goes without saying huh?

One kilometre of little jumps to be exact, and with the lower half of this particular run dipping in and out of a deep gully, the rollercoaster style increases the g-force for the perfect finale.

mountain biking through the tight trees of Tuggeranong Pines mtb park while sending a hip jump

Terranova

Tuggeranong Pines isn’t only a place for beginner level riders to grow, it showcases several monster features that make a challenging test for the advanced mountain biker.

The most advanced being Terranova!

This jump line has been built for those insane riders looking to push the absolute limit of skill and commencing with a monster gap, there is no margin for error.

The line consists of 3 booters in total and comprises of a gap, step-down and a hip. All of which stretch to lengths over 10 m and definitely provide the feeling of flying as you soar through the air.

Clearing the huge step-down on Terranova in Tuggeranong Pine

Tuggeranong Pines Northern Lines

Working across the boundary north of Main Run, we mentioned earlier of an advanced flow line inbound. What we failed to tell you is what lies after…

And that is… Humungous Jumps!

A relatively mild beginning doesn’t prepare you for what’s approaching and casually riding the loose trail sets you online for something big! A road gap stretching upwards of 10m is the first jump in this sequence, which is only a baby in comparison.

Be sure to look before you leap as these jumps aren’t always in the best condition!

Sending Canberras biggest road gap at Tuggeranong Pines mtb Park

Not long after this beast – and carrying the almighty speed from sending the biggest road gap in Tuggeranong Pines – there is another monstrous gap approximately 15 m in length. Encouraging a finish in style.

And it’s with these two extremely advanced lines that Tuggeranong Pines is able to cater for every and anyone who love mountain biking.

Whipping over a big hip jump in Tuggeranong Pines wearing my Fox Proframe helmet

Where to stay in Canberra

Basing yourself in the heart of town is a great way to grant easy access to the best Canberra mountain biking locations. If you are visiting solely to ride, consider which bike parks are of most importance and accommodate yourself close to them.

Being Australia’s Capital City, Canberra offers plenty of options for accommodation. Everything from Caravan Parks, Hotels, Luxury resorts and Airbnb are found in the city.

One thing Canberra lacks – due to being a city – is free camping. If you’re happy to park your van up next to the Monaro highway, then Tuggeranong Pines carpark may be a perfect cheeky spot. But that doesn’t sound very nice to us. So here is a list of campsites in the area, just beware, a small fee is required for most:

Slicing ever so tightly past the tight trees in Tuggeranong Pines mtb Park in Canberra

Where to eat in Canberra

If you’re a foodie, Canberra isn’t going to let you down. There is a massive variety of dining options – as you would expect from a Capital City – suited for any traveller. Our favourites are:

Check out Her Canberra Foodie Bucket List, these guys have gone above and beyond to create Canberra’s 100 best places to eat.

Railing a rocky berm at Tuggeranong Pines while mountain biking in Canberra

Getting to Tuggeranong Pines

Tuggeranong is a 3 hr drive south-west from the heart of Sydney and is the perfect place to experience some Canberra mountain biking! Located at the southern-most point of Canberra, Tuggeranong Pines is easily accessed from the Monaro Highway as you bypass the eastern side of Canberra.

The trailhead entrance is small and can be easily missed as your shooting along the highway, so pay attention to Google Maps. Typing Tuggeranong Pines into Google Maps should leave you with no problem, but if you’re finding it difficult to locate this Canberra MTB park, search for Delta Force Paintball Canberra…

That’s right, the trails are directly next door to a paintball complex… Better ride fast!

Tuggeranong Pines MTB Park in Canberra Pinterest Pin
Tuggeranong Pines MTB Park in Canberra Pinterest Pin
Tuggeranong Pines MTB Park in Canberra Pinterest Pin