Last week I shared with you Running 145kms around Canberra on the Centenary Trail – Stage 6 where my journey started at North Watson and takes me to Mulligans Flat car park in Bonner. This week I bring you the final stage of 7 where my journey picks up at Mulligans Flat car park in Bonner and takes me back to Hall where this challenge started.
I am undertaking this challenge as part of my training towards my marathon challenge for 2020 and fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer UK. You can support this fundraiser by purchasing tickets in our raffle which has some awesome prizes on offer. Details further on.
This is my final stage of running the Centenary Trail! I normally would do my run on the Sunday but with this week being Mothers Day I decided to do my run on Saturday. Up until this point I had been very luck with the weather with beautiful days available. Well there was one Sunday that wasn’t so good but I did that run on the Monday instead. As I was putting on my trail shoes there was a bit of a sun shower but regardless I was determined to get this final stage done.
The starting point for this stage according to the Centenary Trail website is meant to be the Northern Border Campsite but this is about 5km in from the car park at Mulligans Flat Road. It made sense to stop here for the previous stage to save doubling back 5km and trekking in 5km to start the next stage. I expected this stage to be just under 20km from Mulligans Flat Road car park to Hall.
Setting off from the car park I ran north along the track parallel to Mulligans Flat Road until the trail essentially hits the border with New South Wales. The trail pretty much follows the border line in a zig zag fashion for most of the way. This border line wat surveyed back in 1911. The reason for the zig zag line has to do with the way the water falls into the two different jurisdictions.
Along the track there is signage to advise that the Golden Sun Moth Synemon plana lives in the surrounding grasslands and open grass woodlands and encourage people to stick to the track.
This trail is actually quite hilly and slow going, this whole stage had 531 metres of elevation gain which the second highest elevation gain of all the stages. The trail does take you to Oak Hill but I didn’t summit it this time, that may have been enough to make it the number one stage for elevation gain if I did.
Being rather hilly it did provide some fantastic views over Gungahlin which made it worthwhile!
After about 5km I made it to Northern Border Campsite. This is a bush campsite with a pit toilet and covered picnic tables. This could be a good spot to hike to from Forde or Hall and stop for a picnic before returning home.
The trail then meanders along following the NSW border. At points the trail is quite narrow, steep and rocky. You do need to pay attention where you are going and be mindful of mountain bikes. I crossed paths with a few groups on bikes and stepped well off the path to give them plenty of room to safely get past.
This is a very bushy rural track and it is only when you get some elevation and can see Gungahlin that you are reminded how close to development you are.
This track would actually be quite good for mountain bike riding with some technical challenging sections, I might have to do this on my bike soon!
As I was approaching One Tree Hill I was stopped by a couple of hikers who asked which way this trail led. It was good to be able to pass on some good information. They asked about any peaks to climb and as they had just passed One Tree Hill I asked if they went up but they had missed that trail. They said they would check it out on the way back.
I head off towards One Tree Hill and made the slow climb up to the top to take in the sight of Gungahlin. Not long ago I did the hike from Hall early one morning with the family to watch the sun rise. If you haven’t done this yet make sure you do. A slow walk with kids should take about an hour. Soon there should be trail coming up from Taylor to the Centenary Trail to provide some other options. I am told eventually there will be one from Jacka as well.
Once I came down from Once Tree Hill it is pretty much a 4km downhill run into Hall. At this point there was also a bit of light rain but not enough to get too wet. The trail in places was pretty muddy but hey that’s trail running!
Running down that final stretch towards the Centenary Trail sign where this all started from was such a great feeling, I did it! The full Centenary Trail completed. Make sure you check out my highlights video below.
What should my next challenge be? Run the Centenary Trail in the opposite direction? Go the same way around again but try to beat my previous time? Find other happy trails?
To support my fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer UK Marathon 2020 challenge I am holding a raffle and tickets are just $10 each with some great prizes on offer.
Do you have the need for speed? In this raffle, prizes include driving a V8 race car at Sydney Motorsport Park, reach over 200km/h skydiving over Canberra from 15,000 feet and a B737 Jet Flight Simulator experience.
Buy your tickets here: Need for Speed Raffle
Tickets will be drawn on Friday 12th June 2020 at Gungahlin Eastlake Club.