Cycle Melbourne, Road Ride, Belgrave Loop
By the time you’ve finished this ride you’ve enjoyed some exhilarating downhills, done some serious climbing on rough fire tracks and ridden on everything from singletrack, through bike paths to major roads. Just remember as you enjoy the long descent from Belgrave, that the ride is a loop so there’ll be equal measures of climbing!
The Where to Ride rating is a clear indication that this ride is achievable, but testing in parts, for the average rider. If you prefer your hard efforts early in a ride, you might consider starting at one of the lower points such as Lysterfield Park or even get off the train at Upper Ferntree Gully and cross the Burwood Highway to start the ride at the 4.3km mark. The downhill to this point requires little effort, then the ride through the suburbs on a mix of shared trails and roads is mostly gently undulating on sealed trails and roads. The section along Ferny Creek Trail is also relaxing, although the scenery is a bit variable, ranging from attractively landscaped linear parks to graffiti covered factory walls. A hybrid or road bike could be used up to the 19km mark, but things get more serious after you enter Churchill National Park.
The short loop through this park makes the change from suburbs to bush and takes you past picnic areas and walking trails. Because the trail gets rough in parts, especially through the north part of Lysterfield Park, a mountain bike is ideal to tackle the complete ride. A granny gear won’t go astray on some of the hills either, although one short climb is more suited to a mountain goat than a mountain bike. The advantage of a mountain bike will also become evident once you get to Lysterfield Park since there are many off-road trails to explore. If you’ve got time get a map at Trailmix and try some although you might consider a return visit, as it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
The lake at the park is also a welcome feature which is popular with visitors on any day of the week. There are picnic facilities near the lake and a swimming beach as well as toilets and information boards. This lake was originally a reservoir which served the Mornington Peninsula but was transformed to a park in the 1980s after Cardinia Reservoir replaced it. After leaving the park you ride through Belgrave Heights, where you encounter the steepest climbs, just to ensure you don’t slacken off towards the finish.
The ride starts at Belgrave station, just behind the town’s main street, which is the end of Burwood Highway.
Food and Drink
Before or after the ride, there are a variety of shops along Belgrave’s Main Street which serve everything from refreshments to meals. Along the route there are occasional drinking fountains as well as shops at a few locations throughout the suburbs. Trailmix café in Lysterfield Park understands what cyclists want as it caters for the many mountain bikers who use the trails in the park.
38.787 km / 24.101 mi
1,058 m / 3,471 ft
949 m / 3,114 ft
237 m / 779 ft