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Published June 25th 2017
Leisurely bushwalk, lake views, pretty bush flowers
Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Linden is the smallest town in the Blue Mountains National Park and offers a leisurely bushwalk with views of Lake Woodford.
From the highway, Linden appears as an unassuming village, consisting of a couple of houses and a train station, where a few years ago, you had to alert the driver or guard if you wanted the train to stop.
However it's also home to Lake Woodford, a picturesque water catchment area, tucked away amongst rolling hills of eucalypts.
Bush flowers and mushrooms seen along the Linden Ridge trail. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
The dam and lake are off limits to public access (i.e. you can't swim in the lake), and large bodies of water are not something you generally expect to encounter when bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, making this walk unique.
The entrance to the walk has no clear sign or name which keeps it off the radar to all but locals and the trail extends along the Linden Ridge. The first part of the walk is sealed road, perfect for those who like the idea of bush, but also like to remain close to civilisation.
Glassop Rd forms part of the trail past Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Road forms the first part of the Linden Ridge Trail past Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
GPS co-ordinates of a viewpoint over Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Towards the bottom of the hill, there is a small path to the left, which offers a nice view over Lake Woodford (image at top of article). There's no signage and on the lookouts there are no safety barricades, so take care and don't walk too close to the edge.
Path to the first lookout over Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Where the road meets the trail. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
The trail is popular with mountain bikers and once you hit dirt, there are little jumps along the way, although there are also sandy sections which inexperienced riders need to look out for.
Inexperienced mountain bike riders need to watch out for sandy sections. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
This is a walk where the journey is as much the destination. Walk (or cycle) as long as you have time for, enjoying the serenity of the bush and the views, whilst smelling the flowers along the way, like the sweet comforting wattle or the crisp freshness of eucalyptus leaves.
I walked about 3km each direction (according to GPS), taking two hours round trip, stopping regularly to take photos. For those with additional time or on a bike, you could head to the end of the trail which is 7km long (from the start of the dirt track).
Note for experienced walkers only
As you near the first right-hand turn of the sealed road. There is a cleared area off to the left, with flat rocks, if you walk across this, there is a vague path on the other side that leads to a rocky outcrop that gives a nice clear view of Lake Woodford. The path here is not always obvious and is steep in parts, so only attempt this if you are confident with bush navigation. If you look at Google Maps in satellite view you can make out the start of the track.
The start of the walk past Lake Woodford. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
If you're driving from Sydney, turn left at Tollgate Drive (off the Great Western Highway) at Linden and follow it over the bridge, then turn right at Glassop Rd.
If you're driving down the mountains, you'll turn left at Tollgate Drive then left at Glassop Rd.
Follow Glassop Rd (past all the houses) until you get to Linden Observatory where you will see the gate across the road.
If you're catching the train, Linden station is approximately three kilometres from the Linden Observatory (taking roughly thirty minutes to walk). Take Burke St at the Northern side of the station, Google Maps tells you to take the Great Western Highway which is not advised and much longer. Turn right at the park then continue till you get to the observatory.
There are no facilities along this walk and there are no shops in Linden, so be prepared with sufficient food and water, making sure you take your rubbish back out with you.
Please don't take risky selfies on clifftops. Don't be that tourist who needs to be winched out via helicopter; it happens all too often in the Blue Mountains.
The Linden Ridge trail is a unique bushwalk offering views of Lake Woodford, that is also great for mountain biking.
Lake Woodford in the Blue Mountains. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.