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Here are 10 trails you can hit that are spread throughout the city and designed for a range of abilities – there’s something for everybody.
Hiking, walking and running are great, cost-effective ways to explore your new home and get some exercise into your daily routine.
Before you leave the house, make sure to take water, food and a well-charged phone. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are also highly recommended as temperatures in Canberra are often over 30 degrees Celsius in summer.
Remember to check when the sun will set so you’re not completing your walk or hike in the dark. If you’re walking along a bush trail, make sure to tell someone where you’re going.
One of Canberra’s most iconic walks, the Bridge to Bridge is a 5km loop located right on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, taking you past some of our gorgeous cultural institutions and cafés.
This inner-city track is popular for all walkers and is fully cemented, so you don’t need to worry about getting muddy shoes. Public transport will drop you off right next to the lake – bus stops near Albert Hall are a great starting point.
One of the best places to catch the sunset, this short-but-steep urban walk starts behind the Australian War Memorial. The track will quickly take you out of the bustle of the city and into the bush before popping you out to soak in views overlooking central Canberra including Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House and more. This is one of Canberra’s busiest trails, with hundreds of people walking it each day.
Crowned by Telstra Tower, Black Mountain dominates the Canberra skyline with the summit walk being the most famous of the trails located inside this nature park. If the idea of huffing and puffing up a mountain doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, have no fear – there are plenty of easier and lesser-known trails, including the 2.2km Forest Loop trail, that you can enjoy with less intensity.
The perfect walk for when you don’t have much time but still want to get some steps in, this hour-long return trip located in the Belconnen suburb of Cook is a favourite for Canberrans.
Providing stunning shots over Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain, this 4km walk has a few lookout spots that will let you take a breath and absorb the beauty around you.
Bonus tip! Head up here during our Canberra Balloon Spectacular in March to catch the sunrise and hot air balloons in all their glory.
A part of the much larger Canberra Centenary Trail, the One Tree Trail offers a little taste of the longer track. At just under 9 km return, this trail will see you leave the village of Hall and head upwards, taking in panoramic views over suburbia and bush before you get anywhere near the summit. At the top there is a perfect selfie spot to commemorate your trek up the peak and a good spot to enjoy some food before you head back down into Hall.
Gain some altitude to catch the impressive view of the Murrumbidgee River snaking its way through the valley until it joins with the Molonglo River. This easy 45-minute walk through Woodstock Nature Reserve to get to Shepherd’s Lookout will give you new perspective – gaze upon mountain ranges and enjoy one of the city’s best bush vistas without having to leave the suburbs.
Gorgeous all year round, Red Hill really comes into its name and beauty during autumn when the deciduous trees surrounding it turn brilliant shades of reds and oranges. Need motivation for the sometimes-steep climb? There are multiple lookouts offering different vistas over the city. Or stop for a spot of bird watching – the eucalypt hollows are the favourite nesting places for our native wildlife.
Take in panoramic views of the Brindabella range and Namadgi National Park at this favourite southside spot. A busy trail that will take you a bit under an hour to complete, Mount Taylor is a staple for many living in and around the Tuggeranong Valley. Often with a coffee van set up at the trailhead each morning, you can smash out some early movement then grab some caffeine for the perfect start to your day.
If you don’t mind heading a bit further out of town, make your way to the Googong Foreshores where kilometres of walking trails are nestled into the stunning bushland and along the Burra Creek and Googong Dam. One hidden gem to keep an eye out for is the London Bridge Walking Track. This short 800m track will bring you out at the spectacular London Arch Bridge where you can sit and listen to water bubbling over rocks, birds singing their songs and the lazy creek flowing through the granite arch. Keep moving along the trail for a 2.2km loop back to the carpark or just return the way you came.