Saturday, 12 November 2011

Eagle's Eyrie, Maydena

So it's been a bit quiet lately on the outdoor front, largely due to my having to have a wisdom tooth pulled a couple of weeks ago (I write this towards the end of November) and the subsequent development of a dry socket which left me spending nearly two weeks (and counting) with a throbbing sore jaw.

However, just before I went into the dentist's chair I did manage to get away for a day's ride to Eagles Eyrie out near Maydena.

View from Eagles Eyrie towards Lake Peddar.
This is a ride I've been meaning to do for quite some time, thinking that it might be a nice loop to add to that is starting at Maydena, head out to Junee Cave then follow old trails and backroads out onto Florentine Road, which I would then follow back around to Styx Road and the Styx Big Tree Reserve and finally the big climb up to Eyries Eagle lookout and of course the fun downhill run back down to Maydena.

GPS of Route.  Note originally planned to follow the powerlines from ther Styx up to Eagle's Eyrie.
I liked the idea of this ride as it seemed to link together quite a few cool points in the area and I thought it would include some nice tracks as well.  Unfortunately I was mainly wrong on this latter point.

False promise: The first section of road out to Junee Cave
I'd been out to Junee Cave back in August and it was a lovely drive through eucalypt forst and overhanging pine plantations, however between then and now there has been a road side logging operation go through (hey, it happens) which has turned what starts out as a lovely ride into a bit of an eyesore and a chore to ride.

Mouth of Junee Cave

Mouth of Junee Cave
After Junee Cave we continuned to follow the road through pine plantations around to Florentine Road, and then backtracked towards Styx Road as planned and began the long climb up over the pass.
Back trails from Junee Cave to Florentine Road.
Kim was having one of those days where the legs just weren't working, so after a bit of a consult at the top of the pass on Styx Road we decided to cut out the drop back down to the Styx Big Tree Reserve and head staight up the power lines to the lookout. 

Kim pushing up the hill.

The power lines ... it goes up steeply in the distance.
Word from the wise: DON'T follow the track that runs up under the power lines, it ends after a couple of hundred metres and we ended up spending 20 minutes bashing our way through thick bush to get back out onto the main track.  There's a small road that heads off a further 50 metres along the road towards the reserve - that's the way to go.

To say that the start of this ride is steep is like saying the My Everest is high.  The climb up this track is just brutal, but it's actually so steep that you can just sort of get in behind the bike and push.  I found myself doing lots of step counting (50 steps and rest, 50 steps and rest, 20 steps and rest).


However, it only took 25-30 minutes to get up the steep bit and from there it was some fun riding along the ridge, before the final steady but ridable road up to the lookout itself.

half way up. check that - third the way up.

Just for the record ... I let her beat me to the top so I could get the photo.  Honest.

You should be aware that it can be slightly depressing standing outside the building in a biting wind looking inside at the nice comfy couches and coffee machine before crouching down in the lee of the building outside and eating your sandwiches, or in Kim's case feeding it to the birds ...
Kim, feeding the birds.
In the end, we ended up just following the main road (Roberts Road) back down to Maydena, though we did poke our heads down a few 'trails' but they all looked pretty extreme (yes, I've already locked into my to do list for a future solo ride).
Following Roberts Road back down ... it's a lot steeper than it looks here.

John's Great Idea number #429 - let's leave the road and go this way.

Kim's Great Idea number #3 - roll this stump onto John before he has anymore stupid ideas.
Other than a small detour onto the road to cut out a big dog-leg (which some of us handled more gracefully than others) it was a pretty straightforward ride all the way back to Maydena.

How not to get down a steep slippery bank.
We ended up going for a drive out to the Styx Big Tree Reserve for a look around, and also continued along the Styx Road to check out the river crossing up the alternative route to the lookout (just filing it away for another day).

The Big Tree

The 'Bigger' Tree (I kid you not that's what it is called).

Mr Echidna having his afternoon tea.

I am a god - the river has been crossed.
... now if only I could remember how I did it.
All up it was a pretty cool day, though if I had to rate the route I'd only give it a 2 out of 5.  I'm still keen to get back out there and do some more exploring.  I know there's a route out there ... somewhere.


  1. interesting investigation. I agree there must be some fantastic riding out there. Lots of potential as a mtb destination.

  2. And now with a proposed 100km of trails built by Dirt Art, it is a place I will have to visit.

  3. Hi was just wondering if the rd up the power lines ffrom the styx rd to eagles eyrie would be suitable for a cyclocross bike ?? ;)

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