Last updated February 2, 2024
Update 9.2.23 I rode this route a couple of weeks ago on my relatively new gravel bike with 40mm tyres (Pirelli Cinturato H). The road condition has deteriorated a little particularly on the roads leading in to Millthorpe with some corrugations. Council (Cabonne I believe) has also decided to patch sections of the road between Icely Rd and Byng with rock up to 100mm in size. The sections are short and easily walked over and can also be ridden if you’re keen for a challenge. Despite the road condition changes this is still a stunning ride.
Rolling gravel roads… There are a few ways to get to the historic village of Millthorpe and although this may be a longer way to do it, it’s also one of the most beautiful, especially if you don’t mind ambling along gravel roads and tackling a few punchy hills.
This route is a series of gravel road sectors with connecting sections of bitumen.
Before you start: There is a low level crossing on Summer Hill Creek just below Suma Park Dam (8.3kms). If the dam is 100% full (see the Orange Council website – click on the Water Storage tab), there will likely be water over the crossing and you may be better following this alternate route.
Sector One: Takes you along Bulgas Road through Kinross Forest (radiata pine). The landscape is a bit surreal and feels denuded, but the views back to town from the top are worth the climb up to the top. Once through the pine section, there’s a downhill run through eucalypts and on to open farming country.
Sector Two: The longest and most scenic gravel section takes you through Byng (1830’s settlement) and then on to rolling farm gravel roads which you’ll share with local cattle & sheep and not much else. There are a few cattlegrids along the way. Note: the turn on to Gordon Road seems like private property but it’s a public road – please be respectful of the livestock though.
Sector Three: Greghamstown to Millthorpe. Very straight, only slight inclines and at the time of writing, smoother than our bitumen roads.
Millthorpe itself is one of the most beautiful villages in the Central West and has a couple of pubs, a few cafés, cellar doors and a few shops to take a break wandering around. From there it’s a few short gravel sectors linked by bitumen, heading back to Orange.
This route includes about 48kms of gravel.
Food & Water
Cellar Doors en Route
Angullong is a sponsor of Ride Orange. Located on Victoria Street in the heart of Millthorpe, they have a wide range of consistently excellent wines and are a must-visit cellar door. Keep an eye out for their beautiful bluestone building. They’re open 7 days.
Mayfield Vineyard is on Icely Road.
Watch out for
Road Condition: bitumen roads are good, gravel roads mostly good, with some rougher sections (although this can change).
Traffic: Watch the section from the Northern Distributor to Bulgas Road, there is little shoulder and it can get busy, otherwise the roads are relatively quiet. Be careful crossing the highway at the end of Gordon Road.