Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Stockyards Sampler Trail
Stockyards Loop and Inner Loop tracks give enthusiasts a good introduction to the popular downhill mountain bike area at the ‘back’ of the You Yangs Regional Park. Our loop offers a taste of some of the more technical trails in the Stockyards area of the park without using the double diamond ‘extremely difficult’ descents. Though it might seem short (7km), this ride gives you a taste of man-made riding environments like boardwalks, berms and rock gardens, while you become familiar with the park’s layout.
This riding area is testament to the hard work and perseverance of Parks Victoria staff and a large group of hard working volunteers led by Geelong Mountain Bike Club. When torrential rain hit Victoria early in 2011 it not only wrecked much of the park’s ‘sustainable’ trail network but also exposed a number of degraded asbestos cement pipes that had been used for drainage. The park had to be closed and it took six months to get it up and running again, but not before the trails had been brought up to International Mountain Bike Association standards and after considerable work on improving drainage.
From the start at the Stockyards car park you cross a series of erosion banks installed since the flooding that are great fun at a decent clip. On your right you will see the start of Cressy Descent, Trav’s Diamond, Turbulence and Bandages or Glory, with the latter two ‘double diamond’ runs being suitable for downhill and freeride bikes only. The ride turns right on the relatively easy Lactic Acid singletrack which is sprinkled with a few little rock ledges where last-minute braking is not recommended. At the time of writing, Rockwell Run and Link Track were still being repaired but it’s a simple matter to add them to this loop from 1.5km on Lactic Acid.
Dam View leads you back up to the Stockyards Loop where you need to select a relatively low gear and stick to it. A short, steep climb once you are back on the Stockyards Loop offers limited traction and you may benefit from a detour to the left to provide more of a run-up. The Boulder Track provides its own run-up loop before hitting a giant lump of granite. Once you reach
It can be hot and windy in the Stockyards area of the You Yangs. This ride won’t take you more than an hour but allow some extra time to check out the wild downhill heroes in action. Stay off the double diamond runs unless you know what you are doing and have all the right protective gear.
The You Yangs dominate the landscape 55km or 45 minutes west of Melbourne and 22km north of Geelong.
By car: Take the Little River exit from the Princes Freeway, then Old Melbourne Road, Little River Road, You Yangs Road, Farrars Road and Branch Road to the park’s main entrance (Melway Key Map 11). After you enter the park and pass the information centre, look for Great Circle Drive on the left and follow it for about 2.5km to the Stockyards car park and the start of the Stockyards Loop.
By train: Some Geelong trains stop at Little River, from where you can ride 10 kilometres to the You Yangs via Drysdale Road.
Food and Drink
Nearest supplies are at the Little River service station in Little River Road and the Little River Hotel in River Street, just past the bluestone railway station. It can be hot and windy in the Stockyards area of the You Yangs so take plenty of fluids. Water, toilets and picnic facilities available in the park.
On your way down from the Stockyards car park on Great Circle Drive, watch for the Branding Yard Trail on your right. From here it is a short walk to the beautiful Bunjil Geoglyph stone sculpture.
If you are combining Kurrajong Plantation ride and this, park as for the Kurrajong Plantation ride and complete that loop as a warm up before riding up the Great Circle Drive to do the Stockyards. Then ride back down to your vehicle on the brilliant Junction Track (4.1km). Keep in mind when looking for a car parking spot that the Great Circle Drive is one way after the Kurrajong picnic area, committing you to a 12km round trip.
7.728 km / 4.802 mi
201 m / 660 ft
230 m / 756 ft