If you happen to be in Tumut rural NSW and looking for a pleasant, flat, quiet country ride, you will not be disappointed with the Gilmore Valley 30 km Loop. Bring your own refreshments and your camera. This prime cattle and sheep grazing country is something special to experience. Five Bike North members undertook the Loop ride following the conclusion of a Bike Leichhardt away weekend. At this time of year the tree colours were just turning. If the Tumut-Batlow Rail Trail ever comes to fruition, it is proposed that the Gilmore Valley would be one of the sections.
Our ride started on East Gilmore Rd, about 10.2km out of Tumut, on the Batlow Rd. We chose to drive to the starting point to avoid cycling on the narrow and fast Tumut Batlow Rd. Once parked on the grass verge along East Gilmore Rd, we began cycling leisurely eastwards.
East Gilmore Rd follows the Gilmore Creek as it meanders along the Valley floor. The country views along the way are most scenic and tranquil. The riding is easy, hardly a gear change required. The disused Tumut Batlow train tracks can be easily seen. After 14.2km, the road crosses over the Creek via the low Barrenjoey Bridge and turns into West Gilmore Rd to meander westward, back to Batlow Rd along the reverse side of the creek. At the turn point into West Gilmore Rd, the road is compacted gravel for 7km. Other than one loose 20 metre patch, our road tyres managed the gravel well. As farms back on to the Loop all along the Valley there are many cattle grids to be crossed; we chose to walk over them. Care was needed not to divide any cattle grazing the long paddocks, “cows up” became a common call. We found the cattle along the way side to be easily spooked, as cyclists we unwittingly set up a stampede at one point; a conveniently placed cattle grid saved us. At the end of West Gilmore Rd, turn right onto Batlow Rd and cycle 500 metres downhill then turn right to enter once again East Gilmore Rd, back to parked car to complete the Loop.