If you are planning a ride in the National Arboretum please stick to the equestrian trails. Recently a large group of riders was asked to leave the area around the eagle’s nest at the top of Dairy Farmers Hill. This area contains a huge underground water tank, covered by a layer of top soil, which gravity feeds to the Arboretum irrigation system. It is a great view but the risk that the weight of a lot horses could cause it to give way with terrible consequences is not really worth it.
The Arboretum CEO welcomes horse riders but asks that they stick to the gravel roads, BNT trail and interconnecting alleés. Recommended equestrian routes are shown on a map created specifically for horse riders which you can be downloaded to your iphone and can be found at https://www.nationalarboretum.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/1031834/FINAL-Equestrian-Map.pdf
There is also brochure with lots of information for visitors on horseback at https://www.nationalarboretum.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1046903/FINAL-Equestrian-Brochure.pdf
ACTEA and the BNT Section Coordinator have spent a lot of time since 2004 protecting equestrian access to the Arboretum and it does not help their negotiating position to have to start meetings responding to complaints about equestrians not adhering to agreed equestrian trails. For safety and maintenance reasons the Arboretum does not want horses on the top of Dairy Farmers Hill, in the car parks, on the bitumen roads, around the Visitors Centre or the big grass amphitheatre or the zig-zag track in what they call the central valley. The Arboretum has installed the horse yard near Visitors’ Centre for the convenience of riders. We want to have along and happy relationship with the Arboretum and we need your help to maintain this.
There is new forestry bridle trail connecting the Molongo River causeway below Equestrian Park to the underpass into the Arboretum near the Zoo. You can pick this up by turning right as you come up of the River. To avoid the Zoo altogether you can follow the BNT route to the left after causeway and, after going under the large Tuggeranong Parkway, turning right up the first or second forest roads to the southern entrance to the Arboretum.