Distance: 7 km, round trip
Road Conditions: Mainly cycle paths
Route: Clockwise circumnavigation of Lake Ginninderra
Starting Point: Water Police Station off Emu Bank Rd, Belconnen Town Centre
Description: It is better to ride in a clockwise direction from the start point because the views are better and when hills occur you are cycling down them. Ignore an offshoot to the left soon after the start–it leads up to cross Joynton Smith Dr. and go on to the suburb of Florey. If you look to the right and behind you (difficult, I admit) there are early views across the lake to foliage-obscured buildings and, beyond them, to the Telstra Tower in its solitary magnificence on Black Mountain. Its primary purpose is to transmit radio and television signals, but its viewing galleries provide extraordinary views of Canberra.
The path continues to skirt the edge of the lake, while ahead are wooded slopes and distant suburbs. It runs past the first of several picnic areas and be careful not to take a path off to the left (it goes on to Belconnen North). Instead, cycle on to meet Ginninderra Dr., crossing over the dam wall (from this vantage point the Belconnen Town Centre appears to sit on the lake shore) before moving to the right. The ranges of Namadgi and Tidbinbilla are far away, yet in summer, when viewed from here, there is an illusion that thickly forested plains run up to their very base.
After you cross a foreshore access road there are further views across the lake to the Belconnen Town Centre and its mountainous backdrop, more distant now. The cycleway runs through stands of eucalypts and heads towards Ginninderra Drive Bridge, spanning the lake. Turn left just before the trail runs under the bridge and find that the path you are on arcs to the right and takes you across the bridge before dropping to the right to resume its route around the lake shore. From the bridge you can see up to the queer coloured turrets of the concrete fortresses at the BelconnenTown Centre and buildings on or near the shore.
As it proceeds, the path winds through picnic/playground areas of the John Knight Memorial Park (he was a local politician), which gather crowds on sunny weekends. Keep riding to the right, ignoring paths to the left. You must pass Ginninderra College, one of two educational institutions in Canberra to have a waterfront location, cross a wooden bridge and ride in front of the Ginninderra Cove commercial development before reaching Emu Bank road and returning to the start point. A dazzling sidelight of this ride is the variety of the lake’s birdlife, particularly in its quieter reaches.