Cycling at Lewana Cottages
Lewana Cottages support the pursuit of cycling in all forms in The Blackwood, a world class cycling area nestled between the villages of Balingup, Nannup and Bridgetown. The forest terrain and natural landscape surrounding Lewana Cottages create a unique location to experience the best of the best cycling tracks and routes whatever type of riding you enjoy.
Stay at Lewana Cottages and ride to get into shape, practice on the race route, push yourself against the clock and your mates or just relax and cycle with the family.
Bike facilities on the estate include a small bike workshop inc. stand & tools, bike wash down area (seasonal) and bike rack at The Coffee Cart.
Lewana Cottages work closely with Ride WA to promote cycling, especially on gravel in The Blackwood.
The trails leading directly out from the cottages provide access to some of the best gravel riding available. The area’s popularity has increased in recent years due to SEVEN - Australia’s Premier Gravel Race. Three of the most iconic sectors from the SEVEN race touch on the Lewana estate, with Spruce Road, (a cat 3 climb), passing through the property and leading onto Chainsaw Ridge, (Sector 5). Lewana Cottages proudly provide a checkpoint and spectator venue on the race route after Arcadia, (Sector 4), and at the beginning of Chainsaw Ridge.
The Blackwood River Valley has plenty to offer all types of gravel bicycle riders from a leisurely ride along the banks of the river heading west towards Nannup and the Munda Biddi trail. Alternatively ride east, turning onto Radiata Road just before Wrights Bridge and follow this gravel road all the way down to Maranup Ford Road for a great out and back route. For those who have the legs and are feeling more adventurous The Crucible, (SEVEN Sector 3) and Arcadia are great for riders wishing to taste some of the most iconic SEVEN climbs and terrain. These can be ridden separately or linked together to make a 60km loop with plenty of vertical metres. If you are looking for more still, continue and ride up Spruce Road directly out of Lewana Cottages and onto the legendary Chainsaw Ridge and towards the Glacier sector.
The Crucible is considered by many to be the most iconic gravel ride in the area, offering expansive views throughout the climb and topping-out onto the ridge line. To access this trail for Lewana, head west from the cottages along the road towards Nannup. After approximately 2 km turn right onto Ferndale Road where the gravel begins. There is a ford river crossing here so exercise caution, though for most periods it is passable.
The Arcadia climb is preceded by several kilometres of riding adjacent to the Blackwood River taking you deep into the valley away from the main road. This climb has several steep pinches leaving many trying to stand on their pedals to generate more power only to find their rear wheel losing traction and being forced to sit back down. This climb runs unsighted leaving you to wonder where the top is, however, after almost doubling back near the top the view opens out and onto an undulating ridge line with some very high speed pedalling sections prior to the final descent towards Lewana Cottages.
Ride straight up Spruce Road directly from Lewana Cottages. This is one of the few climbs that is sighted from bottom to top, there is no doubting how far you must go during this climb, (1.8km, Cat 3). This ride is a favourite for those staying at Lewana as quality climbing can be had before your non-riding partner is even out of bed!
Located in the Crucible, Weathertop provides a shorter route (25Km) from Lewana making the most of great climbs and descents available in the Blackwood Ride Park. Heading towards Balingup, the circular route is accessed via River Road just past Wrights Bridge. The Cat 3 and and Cat 5 climbs combine to provide 550m elevation ensuring you the best views of the valley below.
This 46km ride takes you from Lewana through parts of the best SEVEN sectors during a mainly circular loop to Balingup. Following an initial climb up Muricata Road and into the Labyrinth you descend steeply and cross the Blackwood River, riding into the Crucible with those expansive views. The route into Balingup provides a climb on Southampton Road which is navigated in both directions before returning to Lewana via the beautiful Glenarden Road through part of Arcadia.
A word of caution
All the gravel riding in the area is straight forward and suits any bicycle designed for off-road riding. Gravel riding by its very nature is non-technical and the routes here are generally well maintained. However, do look out for forestry machines and other vehicles and obey all signs particularly during tree felling work. Beyond the normal precautions when heading out into the bush, the most hazardous aspect for cyclists is from wildlife as emu’s and kangaroos are plentiful in this area and will often lay on the road or adjacent. Limiting your speed during the descents and keeping a look out is perhaps the best way staying safe.
To find out more about SEVEN : https://tourofmargaretriver.com/seven/
Tourist Route 251 between Nannup and Balingup hosts some major road cycle races during the year. The TOMR Roaring Forties Road Race, Cathedral Team Time Trial and the Tour of the Blackwood Race all pass Lewana Cottages' entrance. The route offers some of the best road cycling possible in WA and the lack of wind in the valley adds to riders enjoyment. The roads in the Blackwood offer some amazing scenery and the villages in the Valley provide some great places to stop and explore.
Find out more at https://tourofmargaretriver.com/tomr/
Located less than 2km from the Lewana Estate is a favourite area to race downhill mountain bikes. Being steeper and longer than most other locations, the Nannup Downhill State Championship Trails offer an exhilarating natural downhill challenge. With the mountain bike trails located off the Brockman Highway in Nannup and the Linga Longa Bike Park being only a short distance away, Lewana offers a great place to base yourself with your mountain bike.
Linga Longa, Western Australia’s Gravity Mountain Bike Park is an amazing venue where riders can camp for events, and during public and private Gravity Days. Further information on the bike park can be found on their website. You can camp at Linga Longa however should camping not be your thing, Lewana Cottages offers a very conveniently located accommodation option.
Parking & Other Facilities
Cyclists staying at Lewana have direct access to the gravel track network from their front door. For those not staying with us, a cleared area opposite Lewana Cottages entrance on the Balingup-Nannup Road offers a convenient parking spot. Day parking is not available on the estate for non-residents.
The Coffee Cart and Little Shop at Lewana Cottages are available to all residents and non-residents alike and bike stands are conveniently provided. The Coffee Cart is open 8-10am during weekends & holiday periods.
"Located in the heart of the Blackwood River Valley the trails leading out from Lewana Cottages provide access to some of the best gravel riding in WA"
— Nick, 26th December 2020