Cycle Tasmania, Mountain Bike Ride, Carr Villa & Youngtown Trail
This figure of eight(ish) loop takes in two of the best bike trails in Launceston’s southern suburbs, and some of the city’s best mountain biking. There’s good singletrack in Youngtown Regional Park but little that’s technical, making this an excellent ride for novice mountain bikers.
Sealed bike paths combined with a mountain biking loop that mixes singletrack with old vehicle tracks. As a bonus, the bulk of the climbing is done on the sealed paths.
Apart from a short stint on fairly quiet Opossum Road, this ride is on bike tracks throughout. The tracks are shared with walkers and horse riders, so be alert to the presence of others.
Youngtown Regional Park is around seven kilometres south of the Launceston city centre. From town, follow Elphin Road south, turning right at Quarantine Road and then left at the roundabout onto Opossum Road (beside Norwood Store). The parking area is about 900 metres along this road.
Food and Drink
Norwood Store is the only option along the route, and has sandwiches, pies, coffee and a surprisingly good selection of homemade cakes.
From the parking area at the start of the ride, a short track runs east from Poplar Parade to Glenwood Road, where you can hook up with Ride 33 to Relbia and Evandale.
A cycling triathlon of sorts, this short ride combines sealed bike paths and a small bit of road riding with a lovely section of straightforward mountain biking to finish. The two main sections of the ride - the Carr Villa Trail and the Youngtown Trail - can be cycled separately or combined as described here for a short ride that’s long on variety. The ride starts at the edge of Youngtown Regional Park, though you won’t enter the park until later, beginning instead along a dipping bike path beside Poplar Parade.
The freewheeling descent to the stream is more than matched by the climb back out, and the bike path runs all the way to Quarantine Road, though once you enter suburbia and the queue of driveways, it’s easier just to take to the road. Pick up the Carr Villa Trail at the Quarantine Road roundabout, continuing to climb beside the dense sclerophyll bush of the Carr Villa Flora Reserve. This trail loops around the reserve and the adjoining cemetery for about three kilometres, with its firm surface making it a good little time trial if you’re working on your fitness or speed.
At around the two-kilometre mark the manicured greens of the Launceston Golf Club appear across Opossum Road and, shortly after, the flora reserve ends abruptly at Carr Villa Cemetery... new life giving way to old death and about 60,000 graves. Along the final side of the Carr Villa ‘square’, the ride’s longest descent begins, rolling back to the Quarantine Road roundabout and down to the stream, before climbing briefly back up to Youngtown Regional Park. The tracks inside the park can get pretty slushy after rain but that’s their greatest difficulty, with the route winding comfortably through the sporadic bush and grassland.
The outward ride through the park clings to its southern edge - simply follow the fenceline as close as possible - and if you do want a bit of a technical test, the track climbs a set of steps just beyond the second stream crossing. Here also, the ride steepens briefly before turning back on itself beside the playground, dipping beneath the line of pylons before following the valley floor back towards the car park, finishing with a lovely bit of free-flowing singletrack.
7.902 km / 4.91 mi
184 m / 604 ft
184 m / 605 ft
104 m / 343 ft