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The Lower Hunter is a fantastic place to ride. We have open roads with good shoulders, and they connect a wide variety of destinations. Wineries, mine ruins, mountain-top lookouts…we have it all.
There’s weeks worth of Gravel to explore too – and it’s all high quality. You’ll love it!
We’re foundation members of the Cycle Hunter Valley network, you can download the pdf of the map here, and explore the valley at your own pace. There’s routes for Road, MTB and Gravel, along with service points on most routes that can help you if you’re in trouble.
This loop is 20kms with 400m of climbing, so it’s perfect for your Instagram photo in the Hunter.
Ride from Cessnock CBD or start at Saddler’s Creek Wines.
You’ll ride through rolling hills and vineyards on asphalt and gravel roads.
There’s a short bit of steep road up to the lookout, but the view is really worth it!
This loop is a real challenge, and we caution all MTB riders before taking it on.
Starting at the village of Paxton, you’ll ride the lovely Congewai Road past serene acreage and grazing cattle.
The road ends with a knee-deep water crossing (don’t try this after rain!) and then you’re through the gate and into the foothills of the Watagan Range.
Ride a fast section of trail to the river crossing, then start the 250m ascent where you’ll push and carry your bike. It tops out at 18% grade, so this is a serious climb!
At the top, find Georges Rd and then hit the high speed gravel descent of Heaton Road into Quorrobolong, then back to Paxton via Ellalong.
41kms, 600m of climbing, about 3 hours to complete.
If you’re looking for quiet country gravel roads with a medium climb, then Heaton’s Gate is right for you.
This ride is a favourite of our Saturday Explorer group for its combination of scenery and exercise.
Travel south out of Cessnock CBD into Quorrobolong and head up Heaton Road into the Watagan Range.
Turn at the first grid for a 35km round trip, or continue up to the ridgeline and follow Georges Rd east to Cooranbong, or west to Congewai.
Here’s some other local routes from our GoPro: