Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Red Carpet Trail

Red Carpet provides a return route to Forrest from Lake Elizabeth but it is quite a contrast to Barlidjaru, the outbound route. It starts under an umbrella of tree ferns before heading into more open, rugged eucalypt country. This ride is quite a contrast to most of the other rides in the area, because of the natural terrain, technical challenges, and a destination.

Much of the ride is close to Kaanglang Road before heading through some rougher vegetation then a short section of gravel road around West Barwon Reservoir. The final section back to the trailhead is on Forrest Loop trail.

From Lake Elizabeth car park, follow the signs for trail number 3, Red Carpet. The first section shares the Barlidjaru trail for a short distance, before heading into a more rugged singletrack through the forest. Trail conditions change and you encounter a wide variety of natural technical challenges. There are ruts, tight turns, some short steep descents and narrow squeezes between the trees. Further on, the trail narrows and you encounter some blackberries, close enough to menace your legs. Passing through the West Barwon dam area, the trail incorporates some wider access tracks before returning to narrower trails for a gentle climb back up to Forrest.

Access

The ride starts at the Lake Elizabeth car park, which is accessible by road from Forrest. It is designed to be the return option of Barlidjaru, which starts at Forrest and ends at the Lake Elizabeth car park.

Food and Drink

You can get a small range of snacks from the general store in the main street of Forrest. Grocery shopping in the town of Forrest is limited so it pays to stock up before you come. The Forrest general store has a range of essentials but for super-

markets, stop at Colac on the way.

Side Trip

Visit the local office for Department of Sustainability and Environment, in the main street for maps of the trail network, along with information on local tourist attractions.

Suggested side trips include:

• Drive down to the coast to Apollo Bay
• Ride or drive to Lake Elizabeth car park, then enjoy
a 20-30 minute walk down to the lake
• Try the local beers at the brewery
• Check out West Barwon Reservoir
• Great road cycling opportunities. The annual Amy’s Gran Fondo ride travels through this area.

Trail map

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8.443 km / 5.247 mi

Total Distance

270 m / 885 ft

Total Ascent

272 m / 893 ft

Total Descent

336 m / 1,102 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Sightseeing
Mountain biking
Road riding
Commuter
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
Ride Duration: <1 hr
Fitness Level: Low
MTB Segment: flow
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Trail Signage: Excellent
Mobile Coverage: Limited
Estimated Distance: 8.6
Elevation Gain: 221
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire facilities
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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