Last updated August 2, 2023
A cracking loop East of Orange. Head out the scenic and nicely rolling Icely Road past Suma Park Dam, then it’s a couple of fast descents to Lewis Ponds. A left turn onto Dry Creek Road, takes you through the valley and on to the 8km section of gravel.
The gravel is hardpack clay with embedded small rocks and some light loose fill on top. It generally rides well on a road bike but there are one or two corners with bone-shaking corrugations. As always the condition can change depending on weather and road maintenance.
At the end of Dry Creek Road is Ophir Road which continues the uphill rolling terrain before you hit the Lower Lewis Ponds climb up through Mullion State Forest. The approximately 10 minute climb starts off easy until half way when the gradient jumps up to 13% and continues on around that until the top. A short but steep challenge.
Once at the top, it’s a nice descent through the 5 acre blocks of Clifton Grove, before turning left and starting the Mill Hill climb back in to town. Watch for traffic once you go past the Orange Tip. It’s a busy section with little shoulder.
An alternative route back to town is to turn right on to Ophir Road at the bottom of Banjo Paterson Way (around 44kms), then left on to Cullya Road (another 4kms), then left again at Clergate Road (a further 3kms climb) before heading back to town. See Cullya Loop (although you will be riding in reverse) for more information. It should add around 40mins to the ride.
Food & Water
No food or water en route.
Watch Out For
Road Condition: As with most Orange roads, the condition varies. There is quite a lot of patching on this route. Icely Road early on is quite rough in places with bitumen sprayed over a potholed surface without repair. The rest of the route is OK.
Traffic: A quiet-ish route for the most part, but it does get busier close to town (see note above).
Variations / Extensions
Return via Cullya Road: See note above, adds about 40mins to the ride.